Sunday, February 25, 2018

Frank 'the Prime Minister' Costello

Frank 'the Prime Minister' Costello (Francesco Castiglia; January 26, 1891 – February 18, 1973) was an Italian-American Mafia gangster and crime boss. Costello rose to the top of the United States underworld.
He became one of the most powerful and influential mafia bosses in American history.
While working for the Morello gang, Costello met Charlie "Lucky" Luciano, the Sicilian leader of Manhattan's Lower East Side gang. The two Italians immediately became friends and partners. The Luciano-Costello-Lansky-Siegel alliance prospered with the passage of Prohibition in 1920. The gang went into bootlegging, backed by criminal financier Arnold "the Brain" Rothstein.

In 1931 Luciano became the leader of the new Luciano crime family, with Genovese as underboss and Costello as consigliere. Costello quickly became the biggest earner for the Luciano family and began to carve his own niche in the underworld. In 1936, Luciano was convicted of running a prostitution ring and was sentenced to 30 to 50 years in state prison. Luciano appointed Costello as acting boss.
Vito Genovese waited 10 years after his deportation to Italy to make his move against Frank Costello. On May 2, 1957, Costello was shot in the head by Genovese protege, Vincent "Chin" Gigante. Before taking the shot, Gigante called out, "This is for you, Frank!" On hearing this, Costello turned his head. Gigante fled the scene thinking the fallen Costello was dead. However, Gigante's warning had saved Costello and left him with only a scalp wound.

During his retirement Costello still retained power and influence in New York's Mafia and remained busy throughout his final years. Costello suffered a heart attack and died February 18, 1973.