"Oh, what a wicked world it is that drives a man to sin."
―Domenico Clericuzio[src]

Domenico "The Pope" Clericuzio was the boss of the powerful Clericuzio clan in Sicily and later America.


Early life

A young Domenico in Sicily.

Son of Croccifixio Clericuzio and his young wife, Domenico was sent to America when his clan's power was failing due to the actions of Benito Mussolini, who had five hundred members of the clan murdered and the remainder exiled. Since then he made his family a vast empire consisting of his sons Giorgio, Vincent, and Petie, his daughter Rose Marie, and his cousin Joseph De Lena, along with his grandson Dante and his nephew Pippi and his son Cross.

The Santadio War

The war started officially when the Santadio family had Don Clericuzio's son Silvio killed. Don Santadio's son Jimmy wanted to marry Clericuzio's daughter Rose Marie, and when his brothers saw them talking with Silvio they thought that he was being set up. Jimmy proceeded to marry Rosemary under the condition that only Pippi was to be there. Pippi later met Don Santadio and after the wedding he and Clericuzio's sons raided and killed every present Santadio family member, including Jimmy. This caused Rose Marie to fall into a depressive spiral from which she never recovered.

Later years

The Don in 1997.

"Everything worked out according to my plans. How easy it is to outwit the young."
―Domenico Clericuzio[src]

After the war Don Clericuzio decided to legitimize his family and handed many of his businesses over to the other families, under the condition that he was given authority over their finance by taking a cut of the profits.

Despite this apparent state of retirement, Domenico secretly arranged for the family regain its former strength by having troublesome elements such as his grandson Dante eliminated. When Dante was killed by Cross, the Don exiled him to Europe, secretly proud that his great nephew had inherited the family ruthlessness.


The Don lies in state.

"I'll get you you a doctor."
"No son... get me a priest... get me a priest.
Giorgio and Domenico Clericuzio[src]

In 1998, shortly after celebrating his birthday, the Don became very ill, prone to seeing hallucinations of himself as a youth, and regretting the ruthless actions of his past. He eventually died in his bed, his son Giorgio by his side.

Personality and traits

"He thought he was the last Don."
―Cross De Lena[src]

A ruthless schemer, Domenico was not above ordering the murders of close friends and relatives if they betrayed him or threatened his family's future. A master manipulator even into into his dotage, he masterminded the cementing of his family's reputation even whilst pretending to have retired.

When not in business, the Don was a dedicated family man, who loved and cherished all of his children and grandchildren, as well as his nephew Joseph, who he raised like his own. He had doted particularly on his daughter Rose Marie and was devastated when she fell into madness after witnessing the murder of her husband, an act which the Don had seen as unfortunate but necessary due to Jimmy being a Santadio. He also adored Rose Marie's son Dante, but was willing to have him eliminated when it became clear the young man was a dangerous element in the family.

Behind the scenes

He was played in the miniseries and The Last Don II by Danny Aiello, who plays Tony Rosato in The Godfather Part II.

Notes and references

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