Joseph Bonanno

aka Joe Bananas

Early Life

- Born on January 18, 1905.

-Moved to Brooklyn at the age of 3, but later moved back to Italy.

-Fled back to the U.S. because of Mussolini's fascist ideas.

-Became involved with bootlegging.

Life in the U.S.

After working in the bootlegging business, Joseph also acquired some legitimate businesses, such as bakeries, dairy farms, cheese company, and a funeral home. He was arrested for running guns, but the charges were dropped. He later worked as an enforcer for Salvador Maranzano. Salvador became a mentor to Joseph, but Salvador was murdered in 1931.


-Joseph almost lost his U.S. citizenship after lying on the application.

-He served 14 months in prison due to contempt of court.

-He was abducted by two gunman in 1964.

-Joseph was one of the very few mob bosses that got to retire from organized crime.

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Joe Bonanno Speaks About His Hero Salvatore Maranzano