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"Blessed is the peacemaker, for he can be called a child of God."
―Don Altobello[src]

Don Osvaldo "Ozzie" Altobello was an influential member of the Mafia in New York City and an old friend of the Corleone family.


Michael and Altobello

Altobello at Michael's party.

Vincent and Altobello

Vincent Mancini and Don Altobello.

Altobello was an old friend of Don Corleone and became godfather to Connie during Prohibition. In 1955, he became the consigliere of Rico Tattaglia, and he succeeded him as Don in 1962.[2] Altobello's ascension to the position of Don was considered surprising by many, as one of the Tattaglia family's numerous pimps or hoodlums was expected to take the position of power. As soon as he became Don, Altobello made his family a strong ally of the Corleones, leaving them without an enemy on the Commission, save for the Barzini family Don, Paul Fortunato, who later conceded. His appointment was seen as an "olive branch" extended towards the Corleones. At a Commission meeting in 1963, Altobello vouched for Publio Santini to join Frank Greco's crime family. Altobello was successful, as he lacked the vices of Don Philip Tattaglia, whose distracted interest with women helped bring about his death in 1955. He also had daughters of his own living in America.

He had ties to members of the Sicilian Mafia, such as Mosca of Montelepre, and acted as a peacekeeper between the families of New York and Palermo.

Altobello and Michael[]

"As your family’s oldest friend, I’m always chosen to bring you messages."
―Don Altobello to Michael Corleone[src]

Altobello remained a close ally of Michael Corleone well into the 1970s. He even donated one million dollars so he could be a part of the Corleone Foundation. However, by this point, whether out of bitterness for Michael's attempt to disappear into the legitimate world, or by greed, Altobello allied himself with Licio Lucchesi, chairman of Immobiliare and a powerful and influential Italian political figure.

The Immobiliare Plot[]

"Michael, traitors are everywhere."
"You still have your fingers on the strings, even now.
―Don Altobello and Michael Corleone[src]

Michael became suspicious of Altobello's motives after Joey Zasa, the family's chief rival, orchestrated an assassination attempt on Michael that ended up killing many members of the Commission, but sparing Altobello, because he had left to follow Joey Zasa after he stormed out. Suspicious, Michael instructs his nephew Vincent to go to Altobello and pledge his allegiance to him in order to spy on him.

Night at the Opera[]

Don Altobello's demise

Don Altobello's demise at Teatro Massimo.

While in Sicily, Altobello enlists the services of his old friend, the famous assassin Mosca of Montelepre and conspires to kill Michael at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo when Anthony Corleone was set to debut in Cavalleria rusticana. Knowing that Michael still had some respect for Don Altobello, Connie gave him a batch of poisoned cannoli's as a present for his 80th birthday. Altobello indulges in them while sitting alone in his box at the opera house. Equipped with opera glasses, Connie spots Altobello succumbing to the poison, and sheds a tear over her dead godfather.

Personality and traits[]

Even though Don Altobello appeared to be a befuddled old man with a cane, in reality he was a Machiavellian schemer who was much more lucid and aware than he gave on. He was a very clever and talented man as Don Tommasino once said, respected by both the older and younger mafiosi as a peacemaker.

Behind the scenes[]

  • In The Godfather Part III Altobello is portrayed as an old friend of the Corleone family and an influential figure within the underworld, both in New York City as well as in Sicily, but the film does not provide any further details. In The Godfather's Revenge he is described as the consigliere of the Tattaglia family. In addition, Altobello's first name Osvaldo was given by the author, Mark Winegardner.
  • It is unknown whether he is the same man as the individual who is seen at the 1948 meeting of the Commission.

Notes and references[]