Consisting of the Dons of the most powerful Mafia families, the Commission is usually summoned to settle disputes and to approve new members, caporegimes or bosses. Only the Commission can decide to remove a Don from power, although many unauthorised cases have passed.
In 1948, after the murder of Vito Corleone's son Sonny, a meeting was held in order to broker a peace between the warring Corleone and Tattaglia families. Emilio Barzini presided over the meeting and acted as a mediator. At the meeting, Vito realized that the other New York dons had secretly aligned themselves with Emilio Barzini in order to force the Corleone family into sharing its political protection with the rest of the Commission, which was involved in a burgeoning drug trade that Vito was opposed to. Vito reluctantly agreed to share his political influence to protect the drug trade, thus avoiding further bloodshed and ending the Five Families War. Don Cuneo proposed paying tribute to Vito Corleone in the form of "rent money" whenever he or one of the three other dons needed said influence, jokingly remarking "After all, we are not communists".
In 1955, Vito's youngest son and successor, Michael, exacted revenge by having Barzini, Philip Tattaglia, Victor Stracci, and Carmine Cuneo assassinated in dramatic fashion, effectively wiping out the Commission and consolidating the now-hegemonic power of the Corleone family.
By the 1970s, the Commission had reformed while the Corleone family had receded from criminal activity in an effort to become "legit" through corporate endeavors. Michael still appeared to exercise de facto control over the body, as he was personally responsible for blocking Joey Zasa's progress through the Commission.
In 1979, Zasa organized a helicopter raid during a Commission meeting in Atlantic City, sparing only a few lucky men, his benefactor Don Altobello and Michael Corleone, who escaped just in time. However, it later became known that the person who was trying to kill Michael was in fact his long-term ally, Don Altobello, who had requested for that particular meeting in the first place.
Historical leadership of the Commission
Chairman of the Commission
- 1934-1945 — Vito Corleone
- 1945-1955 — Emilio Barzini
- 1955-1970s — Michael Corleone
- 1970s-1979 — Don Altobello
The original Commission (1934-1961)
East Coast/Southern U.S.
- Chicago Outfit (Chicago) (gained a seat in 1955)
- Zaluchi family (Detroit)
- Forlenza family (Cleveland)
The reformed Commission (1961-present)
Five Families of New York
East Coast/Southern U.S.
In the Last Don
In the universe of The Last Don, there are a number of different crime families, though they do not all have easily identifiable territories.
- Borgetto family (Philadelphia) - dissolved 1998
- Clericuzio family
- Garillo family
- Migliaccio family
- Santadio family - dissolved 1969
- Zametaro family
Notes and references