|This article is about the novel character. You may be looking for his film counterpart.|
Also known as 'Leo the Milkman' he was one of the few Dons whose criminal activities had never been suspected by the police, Don Cuneo ran a fleet of milk trucks from The Bronx as a front for his illegal activities. This earned him the nickname 'The Milkman'. Ottilio Cuneo took over the the family after the death of Rosario LaConti at the hands of Giuseppe Mariposa in 1933, Cuneo allied his family with the Corleone Family after Mariposa turned his attention to Vito Corleone ultimately leading to the death of Mariposa. Cuneo was present at the wedding of Sonny Corleone, where he danced with his wife and young daughter.
Role in the War
Cuneo sided with his fellow dons against the Corleone family only because of the death of Captain Mark McCluskey. Cuneo was not part of Emilio Barzini's plot to take their territory and assets, however was willing to invest in Sollozzo's heroin trade. His family became heavily involved in the mob war shortly after it began, assassinating two Corleone button men whilst they were still eating their soup. They were some of the strongest fighters in the war. Don Cuneo despite his unassuming nature, was known to be a ruthless tactician.
Always fond of children, during the peace meeting arranged by Don Corleone, Ottilio made it a point that the future drug business would not involve children in any way.
After the War
After the peace, Cuneo assisted Michael Corleone in locating and dispatching Fabrizio. The media suspected that the Five Families War had been a coup by Cuneo and Anthony Stracci to gain power over the greater families in New York City.
Cuneo arranged the security for a Commission meeting that was supposed to serve as Michael Corleone's retirement meeting, but the meeting was discovered by Attorney General Daniel Shea and many of the Dons were arrested. Though this had not been his fault, he was looked upon with some derision because of it,
Ottilio presumably died of natural causes, the senior most Don on the Commission at the time of his death.
Personality and traits
A man of great personal warmth, Cuneo managed to protect his reputation as an upstanding citizen through his jovial behavior, often sharing sweets with the children of his business associates. This was not a persona, and he was a gentle individual even in matters of business, though knowing when it was necessary to crack down, and as such was a ruthless tactician.
Behind the scenes
- Ottilio Cuneo is loosely based on Stefano Magaddino, who as boss of the Buffalo family controlled upstate New York.
- In the novel Don is Ottilio, while in the film don is his elder brother Carmine. In the novel only Barzini and Tattaglia are killed, while Ottilio Cuneo remained an ally to the Corleones. In the film, however, Cuneo is killed along with the other dons.
- Although Ottilio is presumably a Sicilian, the surname Cuneo originates from the Northern Italian city of Cuneo, in Piedmont.