The rise of what for a time was the most powerful crime family in America began in 1957, the day Albert Anastasia was assassinated while sitting in a barber chair at the Park-Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan. Experts believe Carlo Gambino helped orchestrate the hit to take over the family. Gambino partnered with Meyer Lansky to control gambling interests in Cuba. The family’s fortunes grew through 1976, when Gambino appointed his brother-in-law, Paul Castellano, as boss. Castellano infuriated upstart capo John Gotti, who orchestrated Castellano's murder in 1985. Gotti's downfall came in 1992, when his underboss Sammy Gravano decided to cooperate with the FBI. Gravano's cooperation brought down Gotti, along with most of the top members of the Gambino family. The family is believed to be currently run by street boss John "Jackie" D'Amico.
The origins of the Gambino crime family can be traced back to the emergence of Italian mafioso, Salvatore "Toto" D'Aquila upon the New York mafia scene around 1906, which is when D'Aquila's name first appears on police records for running a confidence scam, a racket that requires a great deal of intelligence and patience. D'Aquila had immigrated to the United States as an influential Palermitano mafioso, and quickly used his ties to other mafia leaders across the country to create a network of connections and to gain influence within the Italian-American underworld. By 1910 D'Aquila had become the leader of his own New York–based Sicilian mafia group, one of four that emerged by the mid 1900s.
These four crime families included D'Aquila's own crime family based in East Harlem, Manhattan, which was also the base of the "first family", the Morello crime family. The Morello family was originally led by Giuseppe Morello and his half-brothers, Vincent, Ciro and Nick Terranova, and then by Joe Masseria, who became D'Aquila's biggest rival in New York. Two Brooklyn-based crime families emerged: one was the Castellammarese clan, led by Nicola "Cola" Schiro from Roccamena, Sicily (not from Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, where the majority of his Brooklyn crime family members came from), and second was a group led by Alfred Mineo based in Brooklyn. Eventually, two more Mafia groups emerged in New York City during Prohibition: This was a break-away faction from the Morello crime family based in the Bronx and led by Gaetano Reina, who was once aligned with boss Ciro "The Artichoke King" Terranova, and the last group formed in the late 1920s based in Brooklyn and led by Joe Profaci. Profaci became boss of one of the Five Families of New York that soon emerged once power in New York's Italian underworld was consolidated and the factions re-structured into the crime families that ruled organized crime in the city and across the country for the next eight decades.
By the mid 1910s D'Aquila had become the most influential Mafia boss in New York, in part because former New York Mafia "boss of bosses", Giuseppe Morello and his brother-in-law and second-in-command, Ignazio Saietta, had been imprisoned for 30 years in 1909 for counterfeiting. D'Aquila continued to amass power and influence within New York's Sicilian underworld and across the nation as his crime family grew in numbers and territory.
The expansion of the D'Aquila crime family was aided by the decimation of the Brooklyn Camorra led by Neapolitan mafia boss, Don Pellegrino Morano, when Morano and his second-in-command, Alessandro Vollero were imprisoned for life in 1917, following a war with the Morello crime family, which led to the murder of boss Nick Morello (born Terranova) in 1916, for which Morano and Vollero were convicted.
By the beginning of Prohibition, the remaining Neapolitan Mafia members and the territory once under control of bosses Morano and Vollero were absorbed into the D'Aquila crime family. Soon after the Brooklyn-based Mineo group was also absorbed into Toto D'Aquila's crime family, making it the largest and most influential in New York City. The only remaining rival that D'Aquila needed to fear was the expanding forces and growing influence of boss Giuseppe "Joe the Boss" Masseria. Masseria had taken over the Morello crime family interests and territory by 1920, and quickly began to amass a great deal of power and influence, enough to rival D'Aquila by the mid 1920s.
By the late 1920s D'Aquila and Masseria were headed for a showdown and inevitable war, but Masseria struck first and D'Aquila was killed on October 10, 1928 by Masseria family gunmen. The crime family D'Aquila had led passed into the hands of his second-in-command or underboss, Alfred Mineo and his top lieutenant Steve Ferrigno, who at the height of the Prohibition era commanded the largest and most influential Sicilian crime family in New York City.
The Castellammarese War, between rival New York bosses Joe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano claimed many victims, including Mineo and Ferrigno who were ambushed and killed on November 5, 1930, outside Ferrigno's home at 759 Pelham Parkway South. It was the latest in a long line of killings on both sides of the war, which ultimately ended with the deaths of both principals - Masseria in April 1931 and Maranzano five months later. The main beneficiary (and organizer of both hits) was Charlie "Lucky" Luciano, who rearranged New York's organized crime and established the basis of the "Five Families" of New York, which became known as the Commission of the Cosa Nostra.
After the Castellammarese War
Following a brief period under the control of Frank Scalice, the first recognized leader of what became the Gambino family was Vincenzo "Vincent" Mangano, an old-school Mafia don in the style of Masseria and Maranzano, but one who was tolerated due to his close ties with Emil Camarda, the vice-president of the International Longshoremen's Association. Through the association, Mangano and the family controlled the New York and Brooklyn waterfront with activities including extortion, union racketeering, and illegal gambling operations including horse betting, running numbers and lotteries
Mangano also established the City Democratic Club, ostensibly to promote bedrock American values but in reality as a cover for Murder, Inc., the notorious band of mainly Jewish hitmen who did the bidding of the Italian-American run families, for a price. Phil Mangano was a member, as was Albert Anastasia, known as the "Lord High Executioner". Around this time, Carlo Gambino was promoted within the organization, as was another future boss of the family, Gambino's brother-in-law Paul "Big Paul" Castellano.
Mangano brothers murdered
Anastasia and Mangano never entirely saw eye to eye. Mangano resented that Anastasia had a girl's name, preferred to keep the company of various members of the other families, and on numerous occasions the two almost came to blows. This was only ever going to end badly for Mangano, and in April 1951, Phil Mangano was discovered murdered, while his brother disappeared without a trace. Although it has never been proven, it is generally believed that Vince was murdered by Anastasia.
Called to answer for the crimes of which he was suspected by the other New York bosses, Anastasia never admitted to his involvement in the deaths of the Manganos but did claim that Vince had been planning to have him killed. He had since begun running the family himself, and few in the organization found themselves inclined to depose one of the most feared killers of the age. Carlo Gambino, a wily character with designs on the leadership himself, maneuvered himself into position as underboss to Anastasia.
The fortunes of the family around this time were closely linked to those of another—that run by Frank Costello, and which is known today as the Genovese crime family. Vito Genovese was the power-hungry Underboss in the family and needed a way to remove the close ties between Costello and Anastasia, which provided solidarity in the National Crime Syndicate for the two bosses.
Genovese thus jumped on the 1952 killing of a Brooklyn man named Arnold Schuster, who Anastasia had killed for the most minor of indiscretions (acting as a prosecution witness against a bank robber Anastasia didn't even know), as evidence that Anastasia was unbalanced and a threat to the syndicate. With Gambino secretly siding with Genovese against his own boss, the wheels were in motion for the removal of Anastasia.
On October 25, 1957, Anastasia was murdered while sitting in a barber's chair at the Park Sheraton Hotel on West 56th Street. For many years, the murder was believed to have been committed by Joseph "Crazy Joe" Gallo. Later, Colombo crime family boss and Gallo foe, Carmine "Junior" Persico claimed credit. Modern historians believe that Carlo Gambino ordered caporegime Joseph "Joe the Blonde" Biondo to kill Anastasia and Biondo gave the contract to soldier Stephen Armone. On the morning of October 25, 1957 Armone, along with Arnold Wittenburg and Stephen Grammauta, murdered Anastasia in the barbershop of the Park Sheraton Hotel. As Anastasia sat in the barber chair the three assailants rushed in, shoved the barber out of the way, and started shooting. The wounded Anastasia allegedly lunged at his killers, but only hit their reflections in the wall mirror. Anastasia died at the scene. Anastasia's underboss Carlo Gambino took the reins of the family, which from then on bore his name. Biondo was rewarded with the underboss position, which he kept until being demoted in 1965. Stephen Grammauta eventually became a caporegime in the 1990s.
Gambino promotes the family
Genovese was sent to prison for 15 years, where he died in 1969. The Gambino family soon became the most powerful crime family in the United States, with close ties to Meyer Lansky's offshore gaming houses in Cuba and the Bahamas, a lucrative business for the Mafia. The failure of Joseph "Joe Bananas" Bonanno, the head of the Bonanno crime family and Gambino's top rival, to kill off Gambino and the heads of other New York crime families in the aftermath of the Bonanno War, saw Gambino become the most powerful leader of the "Five Families".
Gambino allegedly stretched his power as far as to organize the shooting of Joseph Colombo, head of the Colombo crime family, on June 28, 1971. More likely, Colombo shooter Jerome Johnson was a lone nut attracted to Colombo for his Italian civil rights movement. Or as Michael Franzese, an informer later said, it may have been set up by rogue law enforcement, or by Carlo Gambino himself. Colombo survived the shooting but remained in a coma until his death in 1978. He was buried next to Joseph Gallo. Johnson was killed by Colombo's bodyguard.
In either case, Gambino's influence stretched into behind-the-scenes control of the Lucchese crime family, led by Carmine "Mr. Gribbs" Tramunti. Gambino also allegedly influenced the selection of Frank "Funzi" Tieri as boss of the Genovese crime family, after the murder of Thomas Eboli, whom Gambino, allegedly, had had killed over a $4 million drug debt.
On October 15, 1976, Gambino died of a heart attack, and control of the family passed not to the obvious choice, Underboss Aniello "Mr. Neil" Dellacroce, but to Paul Castellano, whose sister was married to Gambino. Allies of Dellacroce were thoroughly unhappy about that move, but Dellacroce himself kept his men in line, and was kept on as Castellano's Underboss.
The FBI closes in on Castellano
The Dellacroce faction remained displeased, believing that Castellano had inherited the role rather than earning it. Castellano did retain a degree of muscle to keep Dellacroce's allies in check, including the notorious crew run by Anthony "Nino" Gaggi and Roy DeMeo, which was believed to have committed over 200 murders during Castellano's regime from the late 1970s and mid 1980s. While Castellano was still in charge, most of the family affairs were run and controlled unofficially by a 4 man ruling-panel which included powerful Garment District leader Thomas "Tommy" Gambino, bodyguard and later Underboss Thomas "Tommy" Bilotti, and powerful Queens faction-leaders Daniel "Danny" Marino and James "Jimmy Brown" Failla, all top rivals of John Gotti.
It was not a time for the family to be embroiled in inner turmoil and argument, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation had targeted the Gambino family as the easiest of the five families to infiltrate - FBI tapes obtained from a bug planted in a lamp on Castellano's kitchen table caught him discussing illegal deals with his subordinates, and by the early 1980s Castellano was up on a number of charges and faced with conviction. He let it be known that he wanted Carlo Gambino's son Thomas to take over the family should he be sent to jail, with Thomas Bilotti (Castellano's chauffeur and bodyguard) as his Underboss, which further enraged the Dellacroce faction, particularly John Gotti.
In 1983, a federal indictment charged 13 members of the Gambino family with drug trafficking. This group included John Gotti's brother, Gene, and his best friend, Angelo "Quack Quack" Ruggiero, who got his nickname for his non-stop talking. The feds had in fact been listening in on his home phone conversations since 1980 - they had Ruggiero on tape discussing family business, making drug deals, and expressing contempt for Castellano. If Castellano knew they were dealing drugs, in violation of his no-drug policy, Ruggiero would be killed. By law, the accused were allowed transcripts of wiretap conversations to aid their defense, and Castellano demanded to be shown them, though Dellacroce did his best to put him off
Dellacroce was by this time suffering from cancer, but with Ruggiero desperate for help, his friend John Gotti stood up for him. All the same, Castellano maintained that he wanted the transcripts, or he would have Ruggiero and Gotti removed. Gotti realized he had to act fast, and the death of his mentor Dellacroce on December 2, 1985, paved the way for him to take out Castellano.
John Gotti takes over
On December 16, 1985, Bilotti and Castellano arrived at the Sparks Steak House in Manhattan for a dinner meeting with capo Frank DeCicco. As the two men were exiting their car, four unidentified men shot them to death. Right after the shootings, John Gotti proclaimed him the new boss of the Gambino crime family. Gotti appointed DeCicco as underboss and promoted Ruggiero to caporegime. At that time, future underboss Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano was allegedly elevated to caporegime.
Known as the "Dapper Don," Gotti was well-known for his hand-tailored suits and silk ties. Unlike his colleagues, Gotti made little effort to hide his mob connections and was very willing to provide interesting sound bites to the media. Gotti's home in Howard Beach, Queens, was frequently seen on television. Gotti liked to hold meetings with family members while walking in public places so that law enforcement agents could not record the conversations. One of Gotti's neighbors in Howard Beach was his dear friend Joseph "Big Joe" Massino, underboss of the Bonanno crime family. Another of Gotti's neighbors, John Favara, accidentally killed Gotti's 12-year-old son in a traffic crash. Soon after the boy's death, Favara was kidnapped and murdered
Mob leaders from the other families were enraged at the Castellano murder and disapproved of Gotti's high-profile style. Gotti's strongest enemy was Genovese crime family boss Vincent "The Chin" Gigante, a former Castellano ally. Ironically, Gigante had participated in the last unsanctioned hit on a Cosa Nostra boss, that of Frank Costello in 1957. Gigante allegedly conspired with Lucchese crime family leaders Vittorio "Vic" Amuso and Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, to put out a contract on Gotti's life. On April 13, 1986, a car bomb meant for Gotti instead killed DeCicco.
Eventually, Gotti's brash demeanor and belief that he was untouchable (he was acquitted on federal charges three times, earning the nickname the "Teflon Don") proved his undoing. The FBI had managed to bug an apartment above the Ravenite Social Club in Little Italy, where an elderly widow let mobsters hold top-level meetings. Gotti was heard planning criminal activities and complaining about his underlings. In particular, he complained about Gravano, portraying him as a "mad dog" killer. Gravano responded by turning state's evidence and testifying against Gotti.
On April 2, 1992, largely on the strength of Gravano's testimony, Gotti and current Consigliere Frank "Frankie Loc" LoCascio were convicted and received a sentence of life without parole.
The family since Gotti
Gotti continued to rule the family from prison, while day-to-day operation of the family shifted to capos John "Jackie Nose" D'Amico and Nicholas "Little Nick" Corozzo. The latter was due to take over as acting boss but was himself sentenced to eight years in prison on racketeering charges. Gotti's son, John "Junior" Gotti, took over as head of the family, but in 1998 he too was convicted of racketeering and sentenced to 77 months in jail.
When Gotti Sr died in prison in 2002, his brother Peter took over as boss, allegedly alongside D'Amico, but the family's fortunes have dwindled to a remarkable extent given their power a few short decades ago, when they were considered the most powerful criminal organization on earth. Peter Gotti was imprisoned as well in 2003, as the leadership allegedly went to the current administration members, Nicholas Corozzo, Jackie D'Amico and Joseph Corozzo.
As former rivals of John Gotti took completely over the Gambino family, mostly because the rest of Gotti's loyalists were either jailed or under indictments, and that Gotti, Sr died in prison in 2002, then-current head of white collar crimes and caporegime, Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo turned state's evidence due to increased law enforcement and credible evidence toward his racketeering trial, and was forced to testify against mobsters from all of the Five Families. One of the last Gotti supporters, DiLeonardo testified against among others Peter Gotti and Anthony "Sonny" Ciccone from 2003 to 2005, and disappeared into the Witness Protection Program. At the same time, Sammy Gravano, Gotti's former Underboss, had evaded the program in 1995 and was arrested and jailed for operating an Ecstasy-ring that stretched from Arizona to New York City in 2003. During that same year, he was sentenced to 19 years in prison, ironically due to informants amongst his associates.
In 2005, Nicholas Corozzo and his longtime underling Leonard "Lenny" DiMaria were released from prison after serving ten years for racketeering and loansharking charges in New York and Florida. That same year, US law enforcement recognized Corozzo as the Boss of the Gambino crime family, with his brother Joseph Corozzo as the family Consigliere, Arnold "Zeke" Squitieri as the acting Underboss and Jackie D'Amico as a highly regarded member with the Corozzo brothers.
Retired FBI agent, Joaquin Garcia infiltrated the Gambino crime family under the alias of Jack Falcone beginning in 2002. Greg DePalma, the Gambino family capo, offered Garcia the position of made man. However, the FBI investigation ceased in 2005 when Garcia's cover was in danger of being blown. But, with sufficient evidence to convict DePalma and several other high-ranking mafiosi, DePalma was arrested and convicted to twelve years in federal prison thanks in large part to Garcia's efforts.
Operation Old Bridge
On Thursday, February 7, 2008, an indictment and four-year-long FBI investigation known as Operation Old Bridge was issued, leading to 54 people affiliated with the Gambino crime family being arrested that very day in New York City and its northern suburbs, New Jersey and Long Island. A federal grand jury later that day accused 62 people of having ties to the Gambino crime family and offenses such as murders, conspiracy, drug trafficking, robberies, extortion and other crimes were included in the indictment. By the end of the week, more than 80 people were indicted in the Eastern District of New York. The case is now referred to as United States of America v. Agate et al. It was assigned to Judge Nicholas Garaufis. The FBI was able to collect the needed information through informant Joseph Vollero, the owner of a truck company on Staten Island, who secretly recorded several conversations between him and members of the Gambino family about three years prior to when the indictment was handed out.
Among the arrested were the current Gambino crime family leaders John "Jackie Nose" D'Amico, Joseph "Jo Jo" Corozzo and Domenico "Italian Dom" Cefalu, including Gambino family caporegime Leonard "Lenny" DiMaria, Francesco "Frank" Cali, Thomas "Tommy Sneakers" Cacciopoli. However, recognized captain and co-acting boss Nicholas "Little Nick" Corozzo, one of the main indicted in the case, fled his home on Long Island, acting on prior knowledge, and was considered a fugitive by US law enforcement until his arrest before turning himself in on May 29, 2008 after almost four months on the run.
The federal operation broke up a growing alliance between the Gambinos and the Sicilian Mafia, who wanted to get further into the drug trade. One of those arrested in the raids in the US was Frank Cali, a captain in the Gambino family. He is allegedly the "ambassador" in the US for the Inzerillo crime family.
Current position and leadership
From 2005 to 2008, federal authorities successfully prosecuted the Gambino administration, several capos, and many soldiers and associates. Since both federal and New York State authorities rounded up the entire Gambino family hierarchy in early 2008, there is an apparent power-vacuum in the Gambino family. Many speculate the new acting boss is the legendary Castellano-loyalist Daniel "Danny" Marino of the Queens faction of the family. Fresh out of jail, Carmine Agnello is also being watched very closely.
A March 2009 article in the New York Post stated that a three-man panel of street bosses Daniel "Danny" Marino, John Gambino and Bartolomeo "Bobby" Vernace was running the Gambino family while the administration members were in prison. The article also stated that the family included of approximately 260 "made" members. Both street boss Jackie D'Amico and acting underboss Domenico Cefalu had finished serving prison terms on November 3, 2009, but D'Amico was kept in custody and pled guilty to new charges that will keep him in prison for up to three more years.
In 2009, former National Basketball Association (NBA) referee Tim Donaghy said that Gambino associate James Battista used Donaghy's knowledge of NBA games to pick winners in illegal sports gambling. Today the Gambino family still controls the piers in Brooklyn and Staten Island through infiltrating labor unions. A pair of indictments in 2009 and 2010, respectively, show the family is still very active in New York City.
On November 18, 2009, the NYPD arrested 22 members and associates of the Lucchese and Gambino crime families as part of "Operation Pure Luck". The raid was a result of cases involving loan sharking and sports gambling on Staten Island. There were also charges of bribing New York City court officers and Sanitation Department officials. On April 20, 2010, Gambino capo Daniel Marino and thirteen other members/associates were arrested and indicted for numerous criminal activities. In additions to the racketeering charges, the fourteen defendants were charged with murder, sex trafficking, sex trafficking of a minor, jury tampering, extortion, assault, wire fraud, narcotics trafficking, loan-sharking and gambling.
Historical leadership of the Gambino crime family
Bosses (official and acting)
* 1910–1928 — Salvatore "Toto" D'Aquila (by the start of Prohibition what was left of the Brooklyn Camorra and the Al Mineo group had merged with the D'Aquila's group to form the largest family in New York. D'Aquila was killed on orders of boss Joe Masseria in 1928)
* 1928–1930 — Alfred "Al Mineo" Manfredi (killed in Castellammarese War 1930)
* 1930–1931 — Francesco "Frank/Don Cheech" Scalise (demoted after murder of boss of all bosses Salvatore Maranzano)
* 1931–1951 — Vincenzo "Vincent" Mangano (disappeared in April 1951, allegedly killed on orders of underboss Albert Anastasia)
* 1951–1957 — Albert "Mad Hatter" Anastasia (murdered in October 1957 on orders of underboss Carlo Gambino)
* 1957–1976 — Carlo "The Godfather" Gambino (died of natural causes 1976)
o Acting 1974–1976 — Paul Castellano (acting boss during Gambino's illness, became official boss after his death)
* 1976–1985 — Paul "Big Paul" Castellano (killed on orders of capo John Gotti)
* 1985–2002 — John "Dapper Don" Gotti Sr. (imprisoned in 1990, died in 2002)
o Acting 1992–1999 — John A. Gotti Jr., also known as John "Junior" Gotti, (imprisoned in 1999)
o Acting 1999–2002 — Peter Gotti (Promoted to official boss)
* 2002–present — Peter "One Eye" Gotti (imprisoned in 2002, serving life sentence)
o Acting 2002–2005 — Arnold "Zeke" Squitieri (imprisoned in 2006)
o Acting 2005–2008 — Nicholas "Little Nick" Corozzo (Convicted in 2008 Operation Old Bridge, project release date is 2022)
o Acting 2008–present — Ruling Committee/Panel: Daniel Marino, Bartolomeo "Bobby" Vernace, and John Gambino.
Street boss is a position created 2005. It is now the second most powererful position in the organization.
* 2005 – present Jackie "Jackie the Nose" D'Amico (arrested Feb. 17, 2008 - Operation Old Bridge, released on bond March 14, 2008, plea deal May 2008, sentenced 2 years on August 18, 2008, released on Nov. 3 2009)
The underboss was traditionally the second most powerful position in the Gambino family (after the boss). However, the 2005 appointment of Jackie D'Amico as "street boss" made that position more important than underboss.
* 19??-1928 Alfred Mineo (his group merged with the D'Aquila family at the start of Prohibition. Mineo was killed in 1930 during the Castellammarese War)
* 1928–1930 Steve Ferrigno (killed in Castellammarese War in 1930)
* 1931–1951 Albert "Mad Hatter" Anastasia (Became official boss in 1951)
* 1951–1957 Frank Scalice (murdered in 1957)
* 1957 Carlo Gambino (Became official boss in 1957)
* 1957–1965 Joseph Biondo (removed by boss Carlo Gambino in 1965)
* 1965–1985 Aniello "Neil" Dellacroce (died of natural causes in 1985)
o Acting 1974–1975 James "Jimmy Brown" Failla (replaced by Dellacroce after release from prison)
* Dec 1985 Thomas Bilotti (Murdered in 1985 on orders of capo John Gotti Sr. after 11 days)
* 1985–1986 Frank DeCicco (murdered in 1986)
* 1985–1986 Angelo Ruggiero (imprisoned in 1986, died in prison 1989)
* 1986–1990 Joseph "Piney" Armone (imprisoned in 1986, died in prison 1992)
o Acting 1986–1990 Frank Locascio (moved to acting consigliere in 1990)
* 1990–1991 Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano (turned government witness in 1991)
* Vacant 1991–1999
* 1999–present Arnold "Squiggy" Squitieri (imprisoned in 2002 and 2005, projected release date is November 2011)
o Acting 2002–2005 Anthony "The Genius" Megale (imprisoned in 2006)
o Acting 2005–present Domenico "Italian Dom" Cefalu
In Italian, consigliere means "advisor." The consigliere's highest priority is to help the boss make decisions. Together, the boss, street boss, underboss, and consigliere are referred to as "the administration."
* 19??-1930 Giuseppe Triana
* 1931–1951 Philip Mangano
* 1951–1957 Giuseppe "Joe Bandy" Biondo
* 1957–1967 Joseph "Staten Island Joe" Riccobono
* 1967–1987 Joseph "Joe N." Gallo
* 1987–1990 Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano
* 1990–1992 Joseph "Joe Piney" Armone
o Acting 1990–1992 Frank "Frankie Loc" LoCascio
* 1992–1999 Vacant
* 1999–present Joseph "Jo Jo" Corozzo (jailed 2008, due for release on June 6, 2011)
Several capo committees have periodically replaced the underboss and consigliere positions, allowing an imprisoned boss better control of the family.
* 1991–1992 - committee John A. Gotti Jr., James "Jimmy Brown" Failla, Nicholas "Little Nick" Corozzo, John "Jackie Nose" D'Amico, Louis "Big Lou" Vallario, Peter "Petey Boy" Gotti
* 1992–1993 - committee John "Junior" Gotti, James Failla, John D'Amico, Louis Vallario, Peter Gotti
* 1993–1994 - committee John "Junior" Gotti, Nicholas Corozzo, John D'Amico, Louis Vallario, Peter Gotti
* 1994–1996 - committee Nicholas Corozzo, John D'Amico, Louis Vallario, Peter Gotti
* 1996–1999 - committee John D'Amico, Louis Vallario, Peter Gotti
* Boss Peter "One Eye" Gotti - the brother of boss John Gotti Sr. In 2003, Peter Gotti was convicted of extortion and money laundering on the Brooklyn and Staten Island waterfronts, and for the attempted extortion of film actor Steven Seagal. Peter received over 20 years in prison. In April 2004, Peter was convicted of extortion in the construction industry and for plotting to murder Sammy Gravano. Peter received an additional 9½ years in prison and has a projected release date of May 5, 2032.
* Acting Boss Daniel Marino, Bartolomeo "Bobby" Vernace, and John Gambino are jointly running the family in Peter's absence.
* Street Boss John "Jackie Nose" D'Amico - a former capo and close John Gotti Sr. ally. D'Amico was involved with labor racketeering, loansharking, extortion and murder in New Jersey, Queens and Brooklyn. In 2005, D'Amico became "street boss" and ran the family with the Corozzo brothers. D'Amico was indicted in Operation Old Bridge and pleaded guilty to extortion, receiving two years in prison. Before his scheduled release in November 2009, D'Amico was charged with conspiracy to murder Staten Island publisher Frederick Weiss. On August 8, 2010, D'Amico accepted a plea bargain in the Weiss murder in exchange for three years or less in prison.
* Underboss Arnold "Zeke" Squitieri - also the leader of the New Jersey faction. As a capo during the 1980s, Squitieri ran drug trafficking operations in New Jersey, Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. In 2006, Squitieri was convicted of drug trafficking, illegal gambling and tax evasion and was sentenced to seven years in prison. His projected release date is November 12, 2011.
* Consigliere Joseph "Jo Jo" Corozzo - a former capo, Joseph and his brother Nicholas "Little Nick" Corozzo control the Queens-based "Corozzo faction". In 1992, Joseph became consigliere after Gotti's imprisonment. On February 8, 2008, Joseph and Nicholas were indicted during Operation Old Bridge. In June 2008, Joseph pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge concerning the extortion of a Staten Island concrete firm and was sentenced to 46 months in prison. His projected release date is June 10, 2011.
Current family capos
During the 1980s and 90s, the Gambino crime family under boss John Gotti Sr. had 24 active crews operating in New York City, New Jersey, South Florida, and Connecticut. After 2000, the Gambino family had approximately 20 crews. However, according to a 2004 New Jersey Organized Crime Report, the Gambino family had only ten active crews.
* George "Butters" DeCicco - Capo of a Staten Island and Brooklyn crew since the 1980s. The brother of former underboss Frank DeCicco, George is heavily involved in loansharking.
* Joseph "Sonny" Juliano - Capo of a Brooklyn crew that operates illegal gambling, loansharking, fraud and wire fraud activities. Juliano previously managed a multimillion dollar illegal gambling ring in 30 New York City locations.
* Daniel "Danny" Marino - Capo of a Queens crew involved in labor and construction racketeering. A rival of John Gotti Sr., Marino was involved in the 1986 murder conspiracy that accidentally killed Frank DeCicco instead of Gotti.
* Bartolomeo "Bobby" Vernace - Capo of a Queens crew. Vernace allegedly operates out of his Vita Cafe in Flushing, Queens, running illegal gambling activities.
* Salvatore "Mr. Sal" Franco- Capo of a Manhattan crew.
* Joseph "Joe the Blond" Giordano - Capo of a Manhattan and Long Island crew.
* Joseph "Joe" Lombardi - Capo of a Manhattan and Staten Island crew.
* Vincent "Vinny Butch" Corrao - Capo of a Little Italy, Manhattan crew. Vincent's grandfather, "Vinny the Shrimp", operated the same crew and passed it to his son Joseph Corrao. Joseph later passed the crew to his son Vincent.
* Salvatore "Tore" LoCascio - Capo of a Bronx crew and son of Frank "Frankie Loc" LoCascio. Along with Richard Martino, Salvatore introduced the Gambinos to online pornography operations that earned the family up to $350 million per year. In 2003, Salvatore was convicted and sent to prison. On August 1, 2008, Salvatore was released from prison.
* Louis "Louie Bracciole" Ricco - Capo of a crew in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. The crew controls half of the illegal gambling, loansharking and racketeering activities in the Bronx.
* (In prison) Anthony "Sonny" Ciccone - Capo of the Gambino crew on the Brooklyn waterfront. Currently imprisoned on several extortion charges.His projected release date is April 24, 2013.
* (In prison) Louis "Big Lou" Vallario - Capo of a crew in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn since the 1980's. From 1996 to 2002, Vallario served as acting boss in the family's 'Ruling Committee/Panel. One of the last aides to John Gotti Sr. His projected release date is October 15, 2013.
* (In prison) Leonard "Lenny" DiMaria - Capo of a crew in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Florida. A close ally of Nicholas Corozzo since the early 1970s, DiMaria allegedly operates racketeering and loansharking activities.His projected release date from prison is September 2, 2012.
* (In prison) Michael "Mickey Boy" Paradiso- Capo of a crew in Brooklyn and Queens. Paradiso has been involved in illegal gambling, loansharking, extortion and narcotics activities. Currently in prison, his projected release date is May 15, 2011.
* (In prison) Anthony "Tony Genius" Megale - Capo of the Connecticut faction and co-leader with Domenico Cefalu of the Sicilian faction. In 2002, Megale was named acting underboss after Peter Gotti went to prison. His projected release date is July 18, 2014.
* (In prison) Augustus "Gus Boy" Sclafani - former acting capo of the Corrao crew. Sclafani was the overseer of the crew while Corrao was imprisoned, but Sclafani came under indictment in 2008 Operation Old Bridge and is currently in prison.
* (In prison) Nicholas "Little Nick" Corozzo - Capo. Brother of Consigliere Joseph Corozzo, uncle of Joseph Jr. and currently the most influential caporegime in the crime family. Became a fugitive for almost four months, currently incarcerated on a 13 year sentence. His projected release date is March 2, 2020.
* (In prison) Dominick "Skinny Dom" Pizzonia - Capo of a crew in Queens. An enforcer and hitman with John Gotti, Pizzonia is currently serving a 15-year-sentence for gambling and loansharking conspiracy. His projected release date is on February 28, 2020.
* (In prison) Thomas "Tommy Sneakers" Cacciopoli - Capo of a crew in New Jersey, Queens and Westchester. Presently incarcerated, his projected release date April 4, 2011.
* (In prison) Carmine Sciandra - Capo of a crew in Staten Island who also co-owns three "Top Tomato" vegetable and fruit markets. In December 2005, Sciandra was shot and wounded by a retired policeman while working at his Staten Island market. On March 25, 2010, Sciandra plead guilty to enterprise corruption and grand larceny for running a massive sports betting and loan shark operation and was sentenced to serve between 1½ to 4½ years in prison.
The Sicilian faction of the Gambino crime family is known as the Cherry Hill Gambino's. Gambino Boss Carlo Gambino created an alliance between the Gambino family and three Sicilian clans: the Inzerillo's, the Spatola's and the Di Maggio's. Carlo Gambino's relatives controlled the Inzerillo clan under Salvatore Inzerillo in Passo di Ragano, a neighborhood in Palermo, Sicily. Salvatore Inzerillo coordinated the major heroin trafficking from Sicily to the US, bringing his cousins John, Giuseppe and Rosario Gambino to the US to supervise the operation. The Gambino brothers ran a Cafe on 18th Avenue in Bensonhurst and took there name "Cherry Hill Gambino's" from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The Gambino family in American began increasing in size with more Sicilian members.
* Giovanni "John" Gambino - Capo in the Gambino Sicilian or Zip faction. Gambino is a Italian national who belongs to the Inzerillo-Gambino-DiMaggio-Spatola clan of Sicily as well as the Gambino family. Reputedly a prominent drug trafficker, Gambino allegedly participates in the three-man ruling panel/committee that runs the crime family.
* Francesco "Frank" Cali - Capo who operates in Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey. According to the FBI, Cali is the official Gambino "ambassador to the Sicilian Mafia" and a rising star in the crime family. Cali and Leonard DiMaria extorted money from businessman Joseph Vollero's trucking company on Staten Island. A major suspect in the drug trafficking between the Sicilian Mafia and the Gambinos, Cali pleaded guilty to racketeering charges and was sent to prison. He was released on May 30, 2009.
* Domenico "Italian Dom" Cefalu - Capo in the Sicilian faction and former acting underboss. He was indicted on racketeering charges in Operation Old Bridge, pleaded guilty, and received 24 months in prison. Cefalu was released from prison on March 11, 2009.
* (Soldier) Rosario Spatola - member of the Cherry Hill Gambinos. His cousin is Giovanni "John" Gambino and his brother-in-law was Salvatore Inzerillo.
In Northern New Jersey, the Gambino family operates crews in Bergen, Passaic, and Essex Counties. In Southern New Jersey, the family operates crews in South Trenton, and Atlantic City. The two Gambino crews operating in New Jersey are the Mitarotonda crew and the Sisca crew. Other capos operating in New Jersey include John D'Amico, Louis Ricco, Francesco Cali, and Thomas Cacciopoli.
* Alphonse "Funzi" Sisca - Capo of a crew in New Jersey. He was a John Gotti Sr. ally and a former drug dealing partner of Angelo Ruggiero and Arnold Squitieri. He was released from prison on September 27, 2010.
* (Soldier) Louis "Bo" Filippelli - acting capo of Sisca's crew during his imprisonment.
* (Soldier) Vincent "Juicy" DiModica - a capo of a New Jersey crew until his imprisonment.
* (In prison) Nicholas Mitarotonda - capo of a crew in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Mitarotonda is currently incarcerated; his projected release date is March 1, 2011.
* (In prison) Andrew Merola - former acting capo of the Mitarotonda crew. Merola is connected to Lucchese crime family Jersey faction leader Martin Taccetta. Merola's crew operates illegal gambling, loansharking, extortion and labor racketeering. Pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
The Gambino family's Florida faction operates in Tampa and the South Florida counties of Broward, Palm Beach and Dade.
* (In prison) Vincent "Little Vinny" Artuso – capo of a a crew in Broward County, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach County, Boca Raton and Palm Beach Island. Artuso lives in South Palm Beach, Florida. On January 22, 2008 in Fort Lauderdale, Artuso, his son John Vincent Artuso, and several crew members were charged with racketeering. In September 2008, the same men were charged with racketeering, mail and wire fraud, and money laundering. Artuso is currently imprisoned at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Florida; his projected release date is August 28, 2016.John Vincent Artuso is also imprisoned at Coleman; his release date is July 29, 2016.
* Freddy Massaro - Capo of a South Florida crew. Massaro also Beachside Mario’s, a restaurant in Sunny Isles Beach.
* Other capos operating in Florida include Leonard "Lenny" DiMaria (from Brooklyn, and Manhattan) and John A. Gotti Jr. (who was working with the Trafficante crime family of Tampa)
* Blaise Corozzo - Soldier and another of the Corozzo brothers. He is serving a one to three year sentence in state prison for a 2008 illegal gambling operation. His son Nicholas Corozzo, also involved with the Gambino family, was arrested in 2004. In 2009, Blaise Corozzo was released from prison.
* Andrew "Andy Campo" Campos - soldier and former acting capo of the Bronx-based LoCascio crew. Campos supervised Tore LoCascio's crew while he was in prison.
* (In prison) Michael Murdocco - Soldier in Carmine Sciandra's crew. Currently serving two to six years in prison after pleading guilty in March 2010 to enterprise corruption, grand larceny and receiving bribes. Murdocco and his son-in-law Sanitation Deputy Chief Frederick Grimaldi, rigged bids to help a New Jersey firm win a sanitation contract. In exchange for kickbacks, Grimaldi allegedly leaked bid information to Murdocco in May 2009.
* The Ozone Park Boys
* DeMeo Crew
* Cherry Hill Gambinos (headed by Giovanni "John" Gambino)
* Howard Beach crew
Former capos under John Gotti Sr.
* Thomas "Tommy" Gambino - former Manhattan-based capo, son of boss Carlo Gambino, and nephew of boss Paul Castellano. Thomas' operations were based in Manhattan's Garment District, where he maintained a stranglehold on trucking services. His influence in the trucking industry also reached into Queens and Connecticut. In 1995, Thomas was sent to prison, and George Remini became his acting capo. Released in 2000, Thomas returned to the family as a soldier, but then retired.
* John A. Gotti - former Queens-based capo and son of boss John Gotti Sr. Gotti Jr. briefly served as acting boss after his father's imprisonment. Starting in the mid-1990's, Gotti Jr. ran the day-to-day activities of the crime family as a member of the ruling panel/committee. In 1999, Gotti Jr. was sent to prison. Since his 2005 release, Gotti Jr. has claimed to be retired. However, law enforcement says that he is still a family soldier operating in South Florida.
* Eugene "Gene" Gotti - former Queens-based capo and brother of John Gotti Sr. Gene is serving a 50-year sentence for heroin trafficking. In the early 1990s, Gene was demoted to soldier and his brother Peter Gotti took over his crew. Gene's projected release date from prison is 2018.
* Richard "Richie" Gotti - former Manhattan-based capo and brother of John Gotti Sr. Richard is a waste management consultant who is involved in illegal gambling, loansharking, extortion and garbage hauling rackets. He is presently just a soldier.
* Stephen "Stevie Coogan" Grammauta - a former Manhattan-based capo. From 1996 through 2002, Grammauta served on the family ruling panel/committee and allegedly served as acting boss for a short period.
* Gregory DePalma - a former Bronx-based acting capo. His peers considered DePalma to be a braggart who was too talkative about family matters. In 1996, DePalma was indicted with then acting boss John A. Gotti. In 1997, DePalma pled guilty and was imprisoned until 2003. In March 2005, DePalma was indicted again with then acting boss Arnold Squitieri and acting underboss Anthony Megale in the FBI undercover operation carried out by Agent Joaquin "Jack" Garcia. DePalma was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison and demoted by the family to soldier. He died in prison on November 20, 2009.
* Salvatore "Fat Sally" Scala - a former Queens-based capo, Scala was a close associate of John Gotti Sr. According to federal authorities, Scala participated in the 1985 assassination of boss Paul Castellano that enabled John Gotti Sr. to become boss. In March 2007, Scala was convicted of extortion and later of tax evasion. In December 2008, Scala died of liver in a North Carolina prison.
* Ronald Trucchio "Ronnie One-Arm" - a former Queens-based capo who led the "Ozone Park Boys" crew and operated in New York and South Florida. Trucchio ran a $30 million a year illegal gambling enterprise. In 2005, Trucchio was sentenced to life in prison for murder. The family demoted him to soldier.
* Anthony "Tony Pep" Trentacosta - a former South Florida-based capo who in 1999 became the first Gambino mobster to oversee strip club operations in Atlanta, Georgia. A close ally of John Gotti Sr., Trentacosta ran a multi-million dollar gasoline tax scam in New York during the 1980s. In 2001, Trentacosta was indicted on racketeering charges and in April 2002 sentenced to eight years in prison. He died in December 2008.
Alliances with other criminal groups
* The Gambino-Lucchese-Genovese alliance (1953–1985) between Carlo Gambino, Tommy Lucchese, and Vito Genovese began with a plot to take over the Mafia Commission by murdering family bosses Frank Costello and Albert Anastasia. At that time, Gambino was Anastasia's new underboss and Vito Genovese was the underboss for Costello. Their first target was Costello on May 2, 1957. Costello survived the assassination attempt, but immediately decided to retire as boss in favor of Genovese. Their second target was Anastasia on October 25, 1957. The Gallo brothers (from the Colombo family) murdered Anastasia in a Manhattan barber shop, opening the was for Gambino to become the new boss of the now-Gambino crime family. After assuming power, Gambino started conspiring with Lucchese to remove their former ally Genovese. In 1959, with the assistance of Luciano, Costello, and Meyer Lansky, Genovese was arrested and Gambino assumed full control with Lucchese of the Mafia Commission. Under Gambino and Lucchese, the Commission pushed Bonanno boss Joseph Bonanno out of power, triggering an internal war in that family. In the 1960s, the Commission backed the Gallo brothers in their rebellion against Profaci family boss Joe Profaci. In 1962, Gambino's oldest son Thomas married Lucchese's daughter, strengthening the Gambino and Lucchese family alliance. Lucchese gave Gambino access into the New York airports rackets he controlled, and Gambino allowed Lucchese into some of their rackets. After Lucchese death in July 1967, Gambino used his power over the Commission to appoint Carmine Tramunti as the new Lucchese family leader. Gambino later continued the alliance with Tramunti's successor, Anthony Corallo. After Gambino's death, new Gambino boss Paul Castellano continued the Lucchese alliance. In 1985, the original Gambino-Lucchese alliance dissolved when John Gotti ordered Castellano's assassination and took power in the Gambino family without Commission approval.
* The Gambino-Lucchese alliance (1999–present) was initiated by acting Lucchese boss Steven Crea in 1999. The two families extorted the construction industry and made millions of dollars in bid-rigging. In early 2002, Lucchese Capo John Capra worked with Gambino acting Boss Arnold Squitieri, acting underboss Anthony Megale, and Bronx-based acting Capo Gregory DePalma. The group was involved in illegal gambling and extortion activities in Westchester County, New York. The members were arrested in 2005 leaving to reveal that Gambino acting Capo DePalma had allowed an FBI agent Joaquin Garcia (know as Jack Falcone) work undercover with his crew since 2002. In late 2008, Gambino family acting Capo Andrew Merola teamed with Lucchese Jersey faction acting Boss Martin Taccetta in an illegal gambling ring, shaking down unions, and extorting car dealerships. Merola was indicted in 2008 and Taccetta was returned to prison in 2009.
* The Gambino-Genovese alliance (1962–1972) was between Carlo Gambino and Genovese family acting boss/front boss Tomas Eboli. The alliance was short-lived because Eboli was unable or unwilling to repay Gambino money from a bad narcotics deal. The alliance ended when Gambino ordered Eboli's murder on July 16, 1972.
* The Gambino-Bonanno alliance (1991–2004) started with John Gotti and new Bonanno boss Joseph Massino. As a member of the Mafia Commission, Gotti helped Massino regain the Bonanno commission seat that was lost in the early 1970s. The Gambino family influenced the Bonanno family to give up narcotics trafficking and return to more traditional Cosa Nostra crimes (loan sharking, gambling, stock fraud, etc.) By the late 1990s, the Bonannos had become almost as strong as the Gambinos.
* The Gambino-Westies alliance (1970s-present), The alliance started when the Genovese family went to war with the Westies over control of construction at the Jacob Javits site which Genovese family front boss Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno wanted to control. The Genovese family ordered murders of all top Westies to gain the control over the Westside. When the new boss James Coonan took control over the Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan Irish-American group decided to teamed with Gambino family capo Roy DeMeo and end the war.
Government informants and witnesses
* Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano, Underboss
* Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo, Caporegime
* Dominic "Fat Dom" Borghese, Soldier
* John Morella, Soldier
* Frank "Frankie Fap" Fappiano, Soldier
* Willie Boy Johnson, Associate
* Dominick "Big Dom" LoFaro, Associate
* Frank "Red" Scollo, Associate
* Lewis N. Wilson, Providence drug kingpin
* Andrew DiDonato Associate
* Robert Mormando, Soldier (later stated in court that he is gay)
Gambino family mobsters
* Anthony "Tough Tony" Anastasio
* Carmine Agnello
* Bartholomew "Bobby" Boriello
* Louis Capone- may have been an associate under Albert Anastasia
* Roy DeMeo
* William "Billy Batts" Devino
* Carmine "Charley Wagons" Fatico
* Carmine "Doctor" Lombardozzi
* Ralph "Ralphie Bones" Mosca
* Frank Piccolo
* Angelo "Quack Quack" Ruggiero
* Anthony Scotto
Trials involving Gambino family
* Mafia Commission Trial
* Pizza Connection Trial
In popular culture
* Witness to the Mob - A made-for-television movie about the life of Gambino underboss turned FBI informant Sammy Gravano.
* In the 2001 TV movie, Boss of Bosses, actor Chazz Palminteri portrays Gambino boss Paul Castellano.
* In the 1996 TV movie Gotti, actor Armand Assante portrays Gambino boss John Gotti .
* In the movie Goodfellas, Gambino family made member William "Billy Batts" DeVino (played by Frank Vincent) is killed in a fight with Thomas DeSimone (portrayed as "Tommy DeVito" by Joe Pesci) a Lucchese crime family associate.
* In the video game GTA IV, in which the setting is based on New York and New Jersey, the Gambetti family is a reference to the Gambinos. Also during the mission "Waste Not Want Knots" on route to a Mafia controlled waste management plant Michael Keane (a character) mentions the Gambinos while reciting numerous fictional and real mafia families.
* Law & Order commonly references the Gambinos as a literary flourish but does not involve actual persons except to allude to them by the court cases that were inspired by actual events, commonly 'Ripped from the headlines'.
* "Mr. Moran" is a song about Sammy Gravano on the album A Jackknife to a Swan by the ska-core group The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
* Rapper Raekwon recasts the Wu-Tang Clan as an Italian mafioso family dubbed the "Wu-Gambinos" on his debut album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...
* In his song "Last Real Nigga Alive," Nas raps about his infamous feud with Jay-Z. In one line he says "...'Cause in order for him to be the don/ Nas had to go/ the Gam-b-i-n-o rules, I understood..."
* In Frasier season 4 episode 23, Frasier tells Daphne and Martin "It's like Christmas morning in the Gambino's household", at the end of their argument regarding their exchange of gifts.
* The song "Shiksa Goddess" from the musical The Last Five Years contains a line about the "Gotti clan," another name for the Gambino crime family.
* In the anime Phantom ~requiem for the phantom, Azuma Reiji kills a member of the Gambino crime family while working under Inferno.
* A hip hop group formed in 1998 called Gambino Family (group), had a few songs but the group has not been around since.
* On the social networking site, Gaia Online, the most powerful and richest NPC family in the site are the Gambinos.