Oct. 2, 1897, to June 6, 1962.
"The Old Man"
Born in 1897, Profaci was part of a wave of Sicilian Mafiosi to wash ashore in New York during the 1920s. Profaci reportedly showed up in 1926, already with strong ties to the Magaddinos and Bonannos and outwardly in the olive oil business.
Profaci was among the Unione Siciliana members arrested at a Cleveland convention in 1928, so it is apparent that he was already significant in the underworld by that time. He quickly became a gang leader in Brooklyn and found himself in the good graces of the winning side of the Castellammarese War in 1930-31. He was made the father of his own crime family in 1931 with Charlie Luciano's reorganization of the Mafia.
During 1961, a group led by Joey Gallo rebelled against Profaci. That rebellion might have been part of the behind-the-scenes mischief-making performed by Carlo Gambino against the conservative Mafia wing in an effort to enhance his own power. It also might have been due to Profaci's policy of extracting regular membership fees from his gang underlings.
Early in 1962, Gambino suggested that Profaci retire. The Mafia's national Commission, however, gave him a vote of confidence that year. Profaci would not live to see 1963. He died of cancer shortly after receiving the Commission's backing.
Upon his death, Joe Magliocco took the reins of the Profaci Family, and civil war with the Gallo group broke out. Magliocco was quickly replaced by Joseph Colombo, and Profaci's old underworld clan became known as the Colombo Crime Family.
© 2007 T.Hunt
The American "Mafia"