Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.


The Five Families are the five major New York City organized crime families of the Italian American Mafia.

The term was first used in 1931, when Salvatore Maranzano formally organized the previously warring gangs into what are now known as the Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese, and Lucchese crime families, each with demarcated territory, organizationally structured in a now-familiar hierarchy, and having them reporting up to the same overarching governing entity. Initially Maranzano intended each family's boss to report to him as the capo di tutti capi (boss of all bosses), but this led to his assassination and by September the role was replaced by The Commission, which continues to govern American Mafia activities in the United States and Canada.

The crime families originated out of New York City Sicilian Mafia gangs. Salvatore Maranzano formally organized them in the summer of 1931, after the April 15 murder of Giuseppe Masseria, in what has become known as the Castellammarese War. Maranzano introduced the now-familiar Mafia hierarchy: boss (capofamiglia), underboss (sotto capo), advisor (consigliere), captain (caporegime), soldier (soldato), and associate; and declared himself capo di tutti capi (boss of all bosses).
By declaring himself boss of all bosses, Maranzano was breaking the deal he had made with Lucky Luciano in which the gangsters agreed that they would be equals, in exchange for Luciano agreeing to help murder Masseria. For reneging, Maranzano was murdered on September 10, 1931, on Luciano's orders. The boss of all bosses position was then eliminated in favor of The Commission. The Commission would consist of the head of each of the Five Families, plus the heads of the Buffalo crime family and the Chicago Outfit. The council would serve as the governing body of the American Mafia, settling disputes, including demarcating territory among the previously warring factions and would govern all activities in the United States and Canada.


By 1963, when they were publicly disclosed in the Valachi hearings, the family names had changed and were based on their bosses at the time, Joseph Bonanno, Carlo Gambino, Vito Genovese, Tommy Lucchese and Joseph Profaci. Other than the Profaci family, which was renamed the Colombo family, the names have remained unchanged.


The crime families historically operated throughout the New York Metropolitan area, but mainly within New York City. In the state of New York the gangs have increased their criminal rackets on Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk) and the counties of Westchester, Rockland, and Albany. They also maintain a strong presence in the state of New Jersey. The Five Families are also active in South Florida, Connecticut, Las Vegas, and Massachusetts.
  • The Bonanno crime family operates mainly in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Long Island. The family also maintains influence in Manhattan, The Bronx, Westchester County, New Jersey, California, and Florida, and have ties to the Montreal Mafia in Quebec.
    • Bath Avenue Crew operated in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, New York.
  • The Colombo crime family operates mainly in Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island. The family also maintains influence in Staten Island, Manhattan, The Bronx, New Jersey, and Florida.
  • The Gambino crime family operates mainly in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Long Island. The family also maintains influence in The Bronx, New Jersey, Westchester County, Connecticut, Grand Rapids Michigan, Florida, and Los Angeles.
    • The Ozone Park Boys operate in Queens and Long Island
  • The Genovese crime family operates mainly in Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. The family also maintains influence in Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Florida.
    • 116th Street Crew operates in Upper Manhattan and The Bronx
    • Greenwich Village Crew operates in Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan
    • Genovese crime family New Jersey faction operates throughout the state of New Jersey
  • The Lucchese crime family operates mainly in The Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. The family also maintains influence in Queens, Long Island, Staten Island, Westchester County, and Florida.
    • Cutaia Crew operates in Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island
    • Lucchese crime family New Jersey faction operates throughout New Jersey
    • The Tanglewood Boys was a "recruitment gang" that operated in Westchester County, The Bronx, and Manhattan.

Popular culture

Factual and fictional details of the history of the crime families have been used in a vast array of media, such as:


  • In The Godfather (1972), the Five Families are represented by the Barzinis, Corleones, Cuneos, Straccis, and Tattaglias
  • Harold Ramis's crime comedy Analyze This (1999) begins with a flashback to the 1957 "Big Meeting" of the Five Families in the wake of the assassination of Albert Anastasia.


  • In Nicholas Pileggi's book Wiseguy (1986) and its film adaptation Goodfellas (1990), the rise and fall of the Lucchese family is depicted over a 25-year period, told from the perspective of mobster Henry Hill.


  • The HBO series Boardwalk Empire portrays the rise of Charles Luciano to power and his betrayal of both Joe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano, during the rise of the American Mafia.
  • A recurring plot arc in the CBS series Person of Interest concerns the campaign of mobster Carl Elias to dominate the Italian Mafia in New York. In particular, the Dons of the Five Families are prominently depicted in the first-season episode "Flesh and Blood" (April 5, 2012).
  • In the HBO series The Sopranos, the DiMeo crime family (based on the DeCavalcante family from New Jersey) works with the Lupertazzi crime family of Brooklyn, one of the crime families in New York.
  • The FOX comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine includes an undercover operation involving the take-down of the Ianucci crime family in Brooklyn at the close of its premiere season.


  1. Names are changed since 2011. History is Colombo, Bonanno, Marasco, Amato, and Lucchese. Old people and jail\\prisons do not recognize. Marasco and Amato reorganized the commission and is responsible for unsolved arson and hacking. Marasco is what Gambino once was. Amato is what Genovese once was. Venero "Benny Eggs" Mangano and Giovanni "John" Gambino are dead of natural causes. Colombo\\Profaci; Bonanno\\Maranzano; Marasco\\Gambino; Amato\\Genovese; Lucchese\\Gagliano. Rules are served time and 20-75 are the ages have to be Italian to be "made". I am just an associate. 7/27/2018.

  2. the bottom line was,is and always will be THE OMITY $$$ DOLLAR!!!!!no such thing its who is making me more $$$? that person wil always win! FAMILY wat a fkin joke!!!!!!

  3. I see here television shows, movies and books, so it kind of looks like these "Families" might be owed some cash mula from all the profits.

  4. I am here to collect

  5. I wish I could remember this guy's name. But an amusing fact regarding the Mafia was the appearance of an Italian family on Family Feud many years ago. It isn't correct, but I will call them the Framucci's. So anyway, after introductions from the other family members, Steve Harvey finally gets to Momma Framucci. When he asks her what she does, she answers, "I shoot guns." Harvey steps back, "You mean as a vocation?" "No," she answers, "As a hobby - and I am very good at it." She proceeded to describe some examples of her impressive skill. Harvey then asks her show she developed an interest in guns - did her family have a history in law enforcement or the military? "No, my father was a hitman for the Mafia." She gave his full name. I Googled it later and, if the internet source can be trusted, there actually was a Mafia hitman with that name. The article said he was unusual in that he lived into quite old age and died of natural causes.

  6. anybody know of a Jack Palermo?