What Happened to Lucky Luciano? | The True Story of the Father of Organized Crime

Salvator Lucania, popularly known as Lucky Luciano, was an Italian-born crime boss based in the United States. Often considered the father of organized crime in the US, Luciano kicked off his criminal career as a petty criminal selling drugs and conducting robberies. The man quickly rose through ladders of crime and became the head of the American underworld. He was given the moniker ‘lucky’ for his unimaginable ability to evade capture and sometimes even death.

How did Lucky Luciano set foot into the world of crime?

Lucky Luciano immigrated from Italy to New York with his family when he was just 8 years old. New York proved to be the perfect setting to fan Luciano’s criminal tendencies. At a young age, he started selling drugs and was involved in extortion, robbery, and gambling.

He dropped out of school and started his own violent gang of kids. Luciano then found the company of Meyer Lansky, and his path was set.

How did Lucky Luciano grow?

Lucky Luciano cultivated ties with powerful and young gangsters in New York. With Joe Masseria’s cooperation, Luciano began controlling major illegal activities such as bootlegging, prostitution, and drug trafficking. His wit, fearlessness, and ability to manage wayward situations helped establish him as one of the most efficient men in the underworld. 

What happened in the war between Joe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano?

Luciano was heavily put off by the results of tension between Masseria and Maranzano. As a result, he got rid of both of them in just 6 months. First, he got Masseria assassinated by four men in a restaurant. Six months later, he had Maranzano killed by four gunmen. Luciano had become the ‘capo di tutti capi’ or the boss of bosses in the crime world. By 1934, he had become the head of the national crime syndicate. However, his time at the pinnacle was short-lived.

How was Luciano caught?

In 1936, Luciano was tried and convicted for a number of cases including extortion, prostitution, and violence. He was sentenced to 30 to 50 years in Clinton Prison in Dannemora, New York. Luciano continued to operate his gang from prison.

After he helped stop the sabotage on the navy docks, his sentence was lessened and he was deported to Italy.

What happened to Lucky Luciano in the end?

He continued a portion of his illegal activities in America from Italy. He died of a heart attack in Naples in 1962. His body was then brought to New York for the last rites.

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