The Deadly Don: Vito Genovese, Mafia Boss (Hardcover)

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Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author Anthony M. DeStefano presents the definitive book on Vito Genovese, the namesake of a crime family which still considered one of the most viable and dangerous in the
U.S. today. From enforcer to Godfather, Vito Genovese rose through the ranks of La Cosa Nostra to head of one of the wealthiest and most dangerous crime families in American history.

Vito Genovese ran rackets as a member of Giuseppe "Joe the Boss" Masseria's gang in New York City before joining forces with Lucky Luciano, Frank Costello, Meyer Lansky, and Bugsy Siegel as bootleggers during Prohibition. As a soldier in the Castellammarese War, he helped orchestrate Masseria's death on behalf of Brooklyn crime lord Salvatore Maranzano, consolidating his position and power before ensuring Maranzano, too, was knocked off. For the next three decades, Vito Genovese--shrewd, merciless, and utterly savage--killed countless gangsters in his bid to become the capo di tutti i capi--boss of bosses--in the American Mafia. Genovese would betray some of the mafia's most notorious bosses, including Albert Anastasia and Frank Costello, to eventually seize control of the Luciano crime family, one that still bears the Genovese name today.

In The Deadly Don, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anthony M. DeStefano presents the rise and fall of Vito Genovese in this first comprehensive biography of the legendary mafioso--from his childhood in Naples, Italy, and the beginnings of his bullet-ridden criminal career on lower Manhattan's mean streets, through his self-exile in the mid-1930s back to his homeland where he ran a black market operation under the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini, and his return to New York where Genovese

made a fortune as the head of an illegal narcotics empire. DeStefano reveals the important and terrifying role Genovese played in the creation of the Mafia, detailing his bloody and ruthless lifetime of crime that would put him behind bars for his last fifteen years--and securing his infamous place in the history of organized crime.

About the Author

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Anthony M. DeStefano has covered organized crime for more than three decades, including the crime beat for New York Newsday for the past 20 years. His books on organized crime include Gangland New York, King of the Godfathers, Mob Killer, and Vinny Gorgeous, among others. He lives in New Jersey. Please visit him online at

Praise For…

Praise for Pulitzer Prize winner
and his acclaimed books
—Nicholas Pileggi, author of Wiseguy and Casino
“Thrilling American crime writing.”
—Jimmy Breslin, author of The Good Rat and winner of the Pulitzer Prize
“DeStefano is a master at cutting through the secrecy of the Mafia hierarchy.”
Publishers Weekly
“[A] well researched take on organized crime . . . Will appeal to
                 readers of criminal histories and tales of New York’s political underworld.”
Kirkus Reviews
“DeStefano’s book tracks the downfall [of] all of the old organized crime families . . . unique insights.”
New York Law Journal
“The best and last word on the subject . . . DeStefano brings the story to life.”
—Jerry Capeci, creator of
Product Details
ISBN: 9780806540931
ISBN-10: 0806540931
Publisher: Citadel
Publication Date: May 25th, 2021
Pages: 356
Language: English