The Death Of The Modern American Mafia

1532 Words7 Pages
The American underworld reared its head for the first time in the late nineteenth century. Since this time new waves of immigrants to the United States, primarily Italian, have facilitated in the rise of organized crime in America. Italian mafia members treated the workings in America as an extension of the Sicilian mafia rather than a new organization. The immigration of the Lucania family from Italy to the United States would be the cause of one of the most drastic changes in the workings of organized crime. Charles Luciano became the father of the modern American mafia.
Charles Luciano lived the hard childhood experienced by the children of almost all immigrants. On November 24, 1897, Charles Luciano, christened Salvatore Lucania, was
…show more content…
Luciano could barely speak English which caused him to struggle in school and, being stubborn and belligerent, he turned to the streets (Gosch, 1975). However, during his five years of formal education, Luciano did learn one thing: Jews could prove extraordinary allies (Gosch, 1975).
Luciano learned his way around the life of the streets. One of his first major rackets was getting his schoolmates to pay him for protection ("Lucky Luciano Biography", n.d.). If they didn’t cough up the money, he was liable to give them a beating himself ("Lucky Luciano Biography", n.d.). By 1916, he was a leading member of the Five Points Gang, a gang with a reputation for brutality and for fighting to the death in gang wars. In this same year, Luciano started delivering narcotics for George Scanlon, and was caught for selling heroin, which got him a year at Hampton Farms Penitentiary. This was the start of something for Luciano.
Luciano formed a gang that would later dominate the face of organized crime and change it into a new and all-pervasive menace that would influence the American social life for many years to come. He first met Meyer Lansky and Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel when he was into “grabbing pennies” from jewish kids for protection (Gosch, 1975). Luciano had walked up to Lansky, and standing a whole head taller than him, made the usual proposition for protection (Gosch, 1975). Lansky stared Luciano down and, with no fear, told Luciano he didn’t need
Get Access