Geraci was born in Cleveland, Ohio to a family originally from the town of Milazzo, Sicily. His father, Fausto Geraci Sr., was a driver for Don Vincent Forlenza of Cleveland. Forlenza also served as his godfather and became his trusted friend. His mother died soon after he became a made man.
Geraci became a boxer in his teens, eventually becoming a ranked heavyweight under the moniker Ace Geraci. He was introduced to Salvatore Tessio through his contacts in Cleveland and became part of his regime. He participated in fixed fights for Tessio's sports fixing ring and worked as an enforcer, while he rose through the ranks. He also helped Paulie Gatto beat Kevin Moonan and Jerry Wagner, the young men who sexually assaulted Amerigo Bonasera's daughter Maria, within an inch of their lives. Geraci later married Charlotte and they had two daughters, Beverley and Barbara.
After Tessio's treachery against the Corleone family was discovered, Geraci was ordered to kill him to prove his loyalty at Two Toms in Brooklyn. Afterwards, he took Tessio's place as caporegime to Michael Corleone, the new head of the family. While Geraci was completely loyal to the Corleone Family, he disliked and resented Michael, who he thought had done nothing to earn the power and respect accorded to the Don.
Geraci's true position was made clear, when he flew a plane carrying Frank Falcone and Anthony Molinari, the Dons of Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively. The plane crashed into a lake, killing the Dons, but Geraci managed to escape alive.
Some time after his recuperation in hospital, Geraci learned that the plane was sabotaged by Michael Corleone. Geraci had been used as a pawn in an elaborate plan that would weaken the Chicago and Cleveland families. Geraci swore revenge against Michael Corleone, staying quiet until he could hatch a plan to defeat his nemesis.
Around this time, Hyman Roth was looking to eliminate Michael from the scene to avenge the death of Moe Greene. When Roth found out Geraci was out for revenge, he arranged a meeting between Geraci and Cleveland Don Vincent Forlenza. The two figured that Michael's brother Fredo, long thought to be weak-willed, could easily be manipulated into helping them. They dispatched Johnny Ola, Roth's right-hand man, to meet with Fredo and get him to supply valuable information about the Corleones--not telling Fredo that they were actually setting up a hit.
Despite this, Geraci kept up the front of a loyal Corleone and was eventually promoted to street boss. He was placed in charge of the intended assassination of Fidel Castro which ultimately failed. Realizing that Michael Corleone still wanted him killed because did not trust him and that he would figure out what he did, Geraci went into hiding in Sicily.
Over the next few years, Geraci eluded Michael Corleone by constantly changing hideouts, orchestrating a smear campaign against Michael Corleone and Tom Hagen and becoming a boogeyman to the Corleone family. He killed Hagen himself in Florida, and attempted to use a Commission vote to force Michael into retirement, leaving the Corleone family operations in his hands. His plan failed, however, as he was betrayed by his 'co-conspirators' Anthony Stracci and Frank Greco. He was then ambushed and killed by Eddie Paradise, Michael Corleone's new caporegime. The book he wrote, Fausto's Bargain, (detailing his criminal life and life on the run) was later published and became a bestseller, spawning several hit movies.
Personality and traits
Confident and self assured yet generally good with people, Geraci seemed to have the perfect demeanour to be a made man, though he had some weaknesses such as a sense of mercy, one that petered out after his betrayal. He was also somewhat arrogant, thinking he could conquer enemies far greater than himself, such as Michael Corleone, without fear.
Behind the scenes
- Nick Geraci only appears in the Mark Winegardner sequel novels, The Godfather Returns and The Godfather's Revenge, in which he is an important POV character.
- The conclusion of Nick Geraci's story is a clear moment of self-reference in The Godfather. His manuscript is rewritten by struggling author Sergio Lupo (a clear allegory of Mario Puzo) and sells 20 million copies, spawning three films. In a humorous note, only the first two are considered classics.
- Comparison can be made with his time in exile to the hunt for Osama bin Laden in the 2000s and 2010s, as authorities search for "a tall, imposing, bearded man with a chronic, withering disease—and somehow failed to find the cave where he was hiding".
- Geraci seems to be heavily based on Winegardner himself, which has drawn some criticism from outside sources, with some criticizing the character as an unrealistic self-insert character or "Mary Sue".