Mobster Hall of Fame

Top 10 Most Successful Gangsters

Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone

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(January 17, 1899 – January 25, 1947) was an American gangster who led a Prohibition-era crime syndicate. Known as the "Capones", the group was dedicated to smuggling and bootlegging liquor, and other illegal activities such as prostitution, in Chicago from the early 1920s to 1931.

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"You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone."

Charles "Lucky" Luciano

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(November 24, 1897- January 26, 1962) is considered the father of modern organized crime for splitting up New York City into five Mafia crime families and for establishing the first commission. Luciano was the first official boss of the modern Genovese family. Had a movie based off of him and his life's story made in 1973.

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"If you have a lot of what people want and can't get, then you can supply the demand and shovel in the dough."

Pablo Escobar

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Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria (December 1, 1949 – December 2, 1993) was a Colombian drug lord, and narcoterrorist, an elusive cocaine trafficker, and rich criminal. 1983, he had a short-lived career in Colombian politics. he was a leader of one of the most powerful criminal organizations. In the 1980's he controlled a large empire of drugs and murder that covered the globe. He made billions of dollars, ordered the murder of hundreds if not thousands of people, and owned personal empire of mansions, airplanes, a private zoo and his own army of soldiers and hardened criminals.

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"I prefer to be in a grave in Colombia than in a jail cell in the United States."

John Gotti "The Teflon Don"

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(Oct. 27, 1940- June 10, 2002) in Springfield, MO (Age 61After having his own boss killed in 1985, John became head of the Gambino crime family in New York where he focused on drug trafficking, gambling, extortion and stock fraud. When he was the leader, the family made about $500 million. But his success came at a price. He was brought up on multiple charges, but always escaped conviction giving him the nickname “The Teflon Don.” It was when his underboss, Sammy The Bull, finally testified against Gotti, that he was found guilty and sentenced to life without parole.

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“I never lie because I don’t fear anyone. You only lie when you’re afraid.”

Momo Salvatore “Sam” Guingano

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(June 15, 1908- June 19, 1975)

Sam Giancana used his violent ways to rise to the highest ranks of the Chicago Mob. Knowing the government really had the power, he began to dabble in politics. Many historians think his stuffing of ballot boxes led to John F. Kennedy’s election in 1960, and he was even subpoenaed to testify about a possible CIA/Mafia plan to assassinate Fidel Castro. However before he could take the stand, he was shot in his home. Whether it was the CIA, a rival Mob boss, or one of his many ex-girlfriends who killed him, know one will probably ever know.

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“I own Chicago. I own Miami. I own Las Vegas.”

Whitey Bulger

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Sep. 3, 1929

Now captured, Whitey Bulger was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List since 1999, under Osama Bin Laden. He was a major player in the Boston crime scene, but was also an FBI informant. He worked close with the FBI, giving them information about the dangerous Patriarca crime family, while also organizing his own crime network. In 1994, he fled the area to escape an upcoming indictment after being tipped off by a former FBI contact. He remained at large for 16 years, until he was hunted down by a special FBI task force in 2011. He remains in custody awaiting trial for 48 charges, including 19 counts of murder.

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“Every day out there is another day I beat them. Every good meal is a meal they can’t take away from me”

Sammy Gravano "Sammy the Bull"

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March 12, 1945 Sammy is former underboss of the Gambino Family. He is known as the man who helped bring down John Gotti, the family's boss, by becoming an FBI government witness. Originally a mobster for the Colombo Crime Family, and later for the Brooklyn faction of the Gambinos, he participated in the conspiracy to murder Gambino boss Paul Castellano. Gravano was a key role in planning and executing Castellano's murder. After Castellano's death, Gotti elevated Gravano to underboss, a position he held at the time he became a government witness. At the time, Gravano was the highest-ranking member of the Five Families to break his Cosa Nostra oath and cooperate with the government. His testimony drawed in other Cosa Nostra members to also be government witnesses.

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"I loved the Godfather. I thought that was the best interpretation of our life that I've ever seen. Godfather I and Godfather II- the other one stunk."

Louis “Lepke” Buchalte

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(Febuary 6, 1897- March 4, 1994) Buchalter was the boss of “Murder, Inc.,” an organization of thousands of killers-for-hire who were paid salaries by the New York and Chicago mafias to hunt down and kill anyone who irritated them. After Buchalter was imprisoned for drug trafficking, he was sentenced to 30 years in Leavenworth, but then New York found out that he was behind the murder of Joseph Rosen, a truck driver who refused to get out of town when Buchalter told him to. Buchalter ordered his men to hunt Rosen down and kill him. Abe Reles, to save himself, ratted Buchalter out, for this and four other ordered murders. He was given the death penalty for these crimes, and electrocuted on March 4th, 1944, three years after his conviction, the only major Mafia capo to be executed in the United States.

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"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

John Herbert Dillinger, Jr

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(June 22, 1903- July 22, 1934) Dillinger tried not to hurt anyone. All he wanted was to steal the government’s money. He once shouted in a crowded bank, “Stay calm, ladies and gentlemen! We’re here for the government’s money, not yours! The government steals from you, so we steal from them.”

During the Great Depression, this is exactly how a lot of the American public felt, and he was smart for a criminal. He played the part of Robin Hood to be that much harder to catch, and it worked. .

But Dillinger stole for himself. He had a $10,000 bounty put on his capture and also escaped from prison twice. The most interesting of his break-outs was in Crown Point, Indiana, where his attorney sneaked a wooden pistol to his cell. Dillinger painted it black with shoe polish, and tricked a guard into thinking it was real.

During his spree, from June 1933 to July 1934, his gang killed 13 lawmen, including police and FBI agents. From here on, J. Edgar Hoover wanted him dead, not alive.

His death is well-known. He was leaving the Biograph Theater on July 22nd, 1934, with prostitute Ana Cumpanas, the so-called “woman in red”. She was dressed in an orange dress, but the lights cast a red hue over her as she walked out with him. FBI agent Melvin Purvis lit a cigar. Dillinger saw him, noted several other agents closing in and attempted to draw a pistol while running into an alley. He was then shot three times.

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"All my life I wanted to be a bank robber. Carry a gun and wear a mask. Now that it's happened I guess I'm just about the best bank robber they ever had. And I sure am happy."

Lester Joseph “Baby Face Nelson” Gillis

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(December 6, 1908- November 27 1934) Gillis was probably had the most violent, fuming hatred of law enforcement of anyone in history. He despised his nickname and is known to have rifle-whipped at least one man for saying it to him. His partner, John Dillinger, stopped him from killing the man, which would be a complication. Their partnership was confined to robbing banks. When Dillinger was killed, on July 1934, Gillis became Public Enemy #1, and the FBI’s entire Chicago-area field office came down on him.

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"machine gun, fire."