Tommy Gagliano

Posted: 13th April 2011 by admin in Lucchese Family, New York

Tommy Gagliano

(1884 – February 16, 1951)

There’s little information found regarding the early life of Tommy Gagliano. He was also known as Thomas Gagliano.He was supposed to have arrived in New York in the early 1920’s from Sicily. While he was in Bronx, he joined a Sicilian criminal gang under Gaetano “Tom” Reina . By the middle of the 1920’s, he became underboss to Reina.

If the ingredients for being a successful mob boss include keeping a low profile, avoiding arrest, shunning media publicity, and above all else longevity, then no Mafia leader can match the ghost-like performance of Gaetano “Thomas” Gagliano.

Thomas, Tommy or Tommaso, is a relative of Frank Gagliano, and the son of a deported mobster. He was also the cousin of mob boss Thomas Eboli’s chauffer and bodyguard, future Genovese crime family underboss Dominick Alongi who would later achieve notoriety when they were among the many mobsters arrested fleeing the famous 1957 Apalachin Meeting. He is a blood relative of mobster Joseph Gagliano. Early in his life, Gagliano became a criminal accomplice and childhood friend of Joseph Valachi. Because they were friends, the two performed many burglaries and armed robberies together.

Gaetano “Tommy” Gagliano was a New York gangster who founded the Lucchese crime family, one of the powerful “Five Families” of New York. He served as its low-profile Boss for over two decades. His successor was his longtime loyalist and Underboss, Gaetano Lucchese.

These Families had interests both in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The Bronx, however, was the main domain of the third Family that was headed by Tom Reina. In this family were such men as Tommy Lucchese, Steve Rondelli and Gaetano Gagliano. It was also Gagliano and Antonio Monforte who organized the Plasters’ Information Bureau in the Bronx during April 1928. The contractors who refused to join the association and pay their dues were soon visited by a strong-arm goon squad.

The two partners established the United Lathing Company In the year 1929 and hired Michael McCloskey, or better known as the “czar” of the Lathers’ Union, to help them gain a foothold in that trade. The Treasury Department probe revealed that an amount of $500,000 was gained from the industry that year.  Gagliano was handed a sentence of 15 months after he was convicted on tax violations.

Gagliano rose to prominence along with Tommy Lucchese in the Mafia family of Gaetano Reina which was Bronx-based. As trouble between Joe Masseria and the Brooklyn Castellammarese Mafia began in 1930, Reina’s organization was divided. Reina outwardly sided with Masseria but his sympathies were with the Castellammarese. When Reina was assassinated, it was alleged that it was probably at the hands of Masseria men. This development caused Gagliano and Lucchese to give their support to the Castellammarese.

Joe Pinzolo, a Masseria puppet installed as Family leader after Reina’s death was assassinated in 1930. It appeared that Gagliano and Lucchese cooperated in the assassination.

The Gaetano Gagliano family of Cosa Nostra was seriously involved in the black marketing of sugar, gasoline ration stamps, and meat during World War II.

Gagliano was officially recognized as boss of the old Reina group after the war ended in 1931 with  Lucchese as his underboss until about 1951.It is also presumed that , Gagliano  died of natural causes during that time .