Average Lifespan Of A Mafia Boss

Average Lifespan Of A Mafia Boss

  • What is the average lifespan of a mafia boss?
  • What is the percentage of bosses who get killed?
  • What mafia family has had the most bosses killed?

To answer these questions, I’ve taken the data from the top 8 mafia families in the country and gone back almost 100 years for a significant sample size. Those 8 families have had a total of 66 bosses. The statistics from this study are revealing of just how dangerous the job is. Here are the numbers:

Studying The Numbers

Average Lifespan Of A Mafia Boss

Approximately 19 years and 1 month  This is the average of all 8 families listed below. 19 years 1 month is the length of time that the bosses lived after taking over their families. It obviously varies significantly from family to family. The Gambino bosses have the shortest lifespan at 14 years. The Colombo bosses have had the longest average lifespan at 22 years and 9 months. 

It’s a very unpredictable position all though there’s only three general outcomes: dying of natural causes, being murdered or dying in prison. The 19 year lifespan is somewhat deceptive because a few bosses like Tony Accardo and Joe Bonanno lived well over 50 years from the time that they took control of their families. 

Many bosses like Salvatore Maranzano, Natale Evola, Joseph Magliocco, Manfredi Mineo, Joseph Pinzola and Philip “Chicken Man” Testa lasted less than 2 years. Most of these men were killed in the ongoing violent power struggles that have come to define the mafia. Very few bosses were able to die of natural causes a free man like Carlo Gambino and Tony Accardo did.

% Of Mafia Bosses Murdered

15/66 = 22.7%   Nearly a quarter of mafia bosses end up being murdered. Looking at these numbers, it’s easy to see that this is the most dangerous job in the world. The more prestigious the family, the more dangerous the position becomes. The boss has all the power and authority but is always going to be a target. 

Of the 15 bosses killed, 10 of them were killed before 1958. There hasn’t been an official boss killed since Paul Castellano in 1985. There has still been plenty of mafia violence, just not on the same scale. Many of the bosses went to prison for life, like Colombo boss Carmine Persico and Lucchese boss Vic Orena.

The Colombo Family and the Patriarca Family in New England are the only major families not to have had a boss murdered. That’s surprising because the Colombos are well known for their civil wars ever since the 1960s. Their boss Joe Colombo was shot and seriously wounded, but lived several more years. 

Most Dangerous Job In The Mafia

5/9 = 55.5%  Being boss of the Gambino Crime Family is easily the most dangerous job of them all. Five of their nine official bosses have been murdered. Every single boss before Gambino was killed. No other family comes close to matching the Gambino hierarchy violence. 

These numbers don’t even include the shocking March 2019 murder of acting Gambino boss Frank Cali. While the murder of Cali appears to be unrelated to mafia activity, there could very well be a power struggle on the horizon. Gene Gotti could be back in the mix after 3 decades in prison. The situation is ongoing right now.

Of all the deceased Gambino bosses, Carlo Gambino himself is the only one who didn’t get murdered or die in prison. The fates of newer former bosses John Gotti Jr. and Peter Gotti remain to be seen. Both men claim to have fully retired and cut their ties to organized crime. Their last boss Domenico Cefalu is over 70 years old and semi retired.

Summary of 8 Families Studied

This includes the infamous Five Families of New York City: Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Lucchese. It also includes the three most prominent mafia families outside of New York: The Chicago Outfit, The Bruno Family in Philly and The Office in New England. All are still active currently, albeit at a lower frequency.

*murdered

Bonanno Family (New York)

  • *Salvatore Maranzano 1930 – 9/10/1931
  • Joe Bonanno 1931 – 5/11/2002
  • Paul Sciacca 1968 – August 1986 
  • Natale Evola 1971 – 8/28/1973
  • Rusty Rastelli 1973 – 6/24/1991
  • *Carmine Galante 1975 – 7/12/1979
  • Joe Massino 1991 – still alive
  • Vincent Basciano 2004 – still alive
  • Michael Mancuso 2013 – still alive
  • Approximately 16 years and 4 months
  • 22% of Bonanno bosses murdered

Colombo Family (New York)

  • Joseph Profaci 1928 – 6/6/1962
  • Joseph Magliocco 1962 – 12/28/1963
  • Joe Colombo 1963 – 5/22/1978
  • Carmine Persico 1978 – 3/7/2019
  • Approximately 22 years and 9 months
  • 0% of Colombo bosses murdered

Gambino Family (New York)

  • *Manfredi Mineo 1928 – 1930
  • *Frank Scalise 1930 – 6/17/1957
  • *Vincent Mangano 1931 – 4/19/1951
  • *Albert Anastasia 1951 – 10/25/1957
  • Carlo Gambino 1957 – 10/15/1976
  • *Paul Castellano 1976 – 12/16/1985
  • John Gotti December 1985 – 6/10/2002
  • Peter Gotti 2001 – still alive
  • Domenico Cefalu 2011 – still alive
  • Approximately 14 years even
  • 55.5% of Gambino bosses murdered

Genovese Family (New York)

  • *Joe Masseria 1922 – 4/15/1931
  • Charles Luciano 1931 – 1/26/1962
  • Frank Costello 1938 – 2/18/1973
  • Vito Genovese 1957 – 2/14/1969
  • Philip Lombardo 1969 – April 1987
  • Vincent Gigante 1981 – 12/19/2005
  • Liborio Bellomo 2010 – still alive
  • Approximately 19 years and 8 months
  • 14.2% of Genovese bosses murdered

Lucchese Family (New York)

  • *Tommy Reina 1922 – 2/26/1930
  • *Joseph Pinzola 1930 – 9/5/1930
  • Tommy Gagliano 1930 – 2/16/1967 
  • Tommy Lucchese 1951 – 7/13/1967
  • Carmine Tramunti 1967 – 10/15/1978
  • Tony Corallo 1973 – 8/23/2000
  • Vittorio Amuso 1986 – still alive
  • Approximately 19 years even
  • 28.5% of Lucchese bosses murdered

The Outfit (Chicago)

  • *Jim Colosimo 1910 – 5/11/1920
  • Johnny Torrio 1920 – 4/16/1957
  • Al Capone 1925 – 1/25/1947
  • Frank Nitti 1931 – 3/19/1943
  • Paul Ricca 1943 – 10/11/1972
  • Tony Accardo 1947 – 5/22/1992
  • *Sam Giancana 1957 – 6/18/1975
  • Sam Battaglia 1966 – 9/7/1973
  • Felix Alderisio 1967 – 9/25/1971
  • Joseph Aiuppa 1971 – 2/22/1997
  • Joe Ferriola 1986 – 3/11/1989
  • Samuel Carlisi 1989 – 1/2/1997
  • John DiFronzo 1996 – 5/27/2018
  • Sol DeLaurentis 2014 – still alive
  • Approximately 17 years and 9 months
  • 14.2% of Outfit bosses murdered

Bruno Family (Philadelphia)

  • *John Avena 1931 – 8/17/1936
  • Giuseppe Dovi 1936 – 1946 
  • Joseph Ida 1946 – 1970
  • *Angelo Bruno 1959 – 3/21/1980
  • *Philip Testa 1980 – 3/15/1981
  • Nicodemo Scarfo 1981 – 1/13/2017
  • John Stanfa 1991 – still alive
  • Joey Merlino 1998 – still alive
  • Approximately 17 years even
  • 37.5% of Bruno Family bosses murdered

Patriarca Family (New England)

  • Phil Buccola 1924 – 1987
  • Raymond Patriarca Sr. 1954 – 7/11/1984
  • Raymond Patriarca Jr. 1984 – still alive
  • Nicholas Bianco 1991 – 12/14/1994
  • Frank Salemme 1991 – still alive 
  • Luigi Manocchio 1996 – still alive 
  • Peter Limone 2009 – 6/19/2017
  • Carmen DiNunzio 2016 – still alive
  • Approximately 19 years and 9 months
  • 0% of Patriarca Family bosses murdered