Salvatore Maranzano was a high ranking mafioso from Sicily who came to the United States to establish a criminal empire.


Salvatore Maranzano became, shortly after his arrive from Sicily, the boss of a criminal organization in Manhattan in New York City.

In 1933, Maranzano refused Vito Corleone's proposal to share his monopolized control over the gambling rackets in Manhattan, in exchange for political contacts and expansion into Brooklyn and The Bronx. This sparked the Olive Oil War. Maranzano, purportedly good friends with Al Capone, arranged for two of Capone's gunmen to come to New York to take care of things, and end the upstart. These gunmen were swiftly taken care of by Luca Brasi. With Capone's humiliation, and the odds even up, Corleone then sent the reserve of Tessio's regime after Maranzano.


Maranzano's soldiers were deserting him, fleeing his losing cause. Desperate for peace, Maranzano agreed to sit down with Corleone in a restaurant in Brooklyn. Maranzano's bodyguards had unbeknownst to him made a deal with Vito Corleone to set Maranzano up and fled the restaurant as Tessio and four of his men came in, armed to the teeth. While he still had half-chewed bread in his mouth, Maranzano was struck down in a hail of gunfire, riddled with more holes than swiss cheese.

Behind the scenes

  • In reality, Salvatore Maranzano was a mafioso from Castellammare del Golfo in Sicily, who became the leader of the Castellammarese faction in New York City. His main rival in New York was Joe Masseria, who was betrayed to Maranzano by his lieutenant, Lucky Luciano. Luciano aligned himself with Maranzano, though Maranzano didn't trust Luciano and planned to kill him. Foreseeing this, Luciano sent Jewish associates to Maranzano's office posing as Treasury agents, who shot and stabbed Maranzano several times. Lucky Luciano then reformed the American Mafia and became the most powerful crime boss in the United States.
  • In reality, Salvatore Maranzano was killed on September 10, 1931. In The Family Corleone Maranzano is substituted by Giuseppe Mariposa to avoid a contradiction about the date of his death.
  • In The Godfather novel Maranzano is rather based on his real-life adversary, Joe Masseria, whose stronghold was Manhattan, and who was betrayed by his lieutenants and murdered while dining in a restaurant. In reality, Maranzano was also rival of Al Capone, as Capone was an ally of Joe Masseria.
  • The Capone gunmen Maranzano sent for are likely a reference to Buster from Chicago, a group of hitmen from Chicago who Marazano used during the Castellammarese war.

Notes and references

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