joe adonis

anonymous asked:

Hi do you know what luciano and lansky's financial situation was towards the end of their lives? Like were they still living rich, moderately or poor? Also, is it true that luciano became angry at joe adonis towards the end of his life because adonis was still very wealthy and didn't offer to help out luciano who was supposedly financially struggling?

they definitely weren’t poor, but they didn’t have as much money available to them in their old age as they did while they were actively involved in their various enterprises from the 20s on—i’m unconvinced charlie resumed active involvement in any rackets after his arrest/deportation, and meyer seems like he was pretty tapped out of any big money-making things after the cuban revolution in ‘59. so meyer had 26+ more years of earning potential, and he tended to live more within his means than charlie ever did. again, they definitely weren’t flat broke or anything, but as far as i can tell charlie was essentially living off whatever “investments” he could make in italy and whatever he could get from meyer and frank while they were still active, and meyer was rumored to be worth hundreds of millions at the time of his death, but his family only received $30k [which, for what it’s worth, would be about $75k today. it’s lower than what i’ve read is average for inheritances, but honestly not by much]. the speculation there is either the rumors were WILDLY overblown—which is probably at least partially true considering i can’t find a source for that number that’s not either hank messick’s utter horseshit writing or fbn/fbi records, which imo lied about anything they had to in the interests of keeping their budget inflated—or that whatever money meyer DID have was either tied up in property [or investments, or favors, or other various non-liquid revenue streams] or swiss bank accounts only he could access and that his kids had no way of getting after his death.

as for the stuff with joe adonis, it definitely seems like his relationship with charlie cooled off after they were both in italy. the main source for this is TLT, which, it’s up to you how much you want to trust it, especially with the later shit [which i tend to have a harder time buying than the prohibition-era stuff], but it does shake out in some newspaper articles from when they were both still alive too—charlie straight up denied association with adonis once he arrived in italy, and it doesn’t seem like they had much contact before charlie’s death. there are honestly a lot of reasons i can very easily see charlie being bitter about joe: he had the option of jail time or deportation, which is obviously more choice than charlie got even after operation underworld; like meyer, joe had an extra 20+ years of earning time on charlie, so he may have had more saved up to live off of after he was deported when charlie was relying on “gifts” from rackets he hadn’t controlled since ‘36; and from what i’ve read it seems like charlie had a much rougher go of it in italy insofar as italian police monitoring him [warranted or not], but by the time joe arrived ten years later they were convinced there was nothing either of them could get up to as deportees, so he dealt way less with the stuff charlie tended to complain about before he even got there—not being able to avoid tails, being held in a jail cell with no outside contact for three days on suspicion of involvement in crimes, etc. it’s definitely the kind of thing an already-bitter guy would take to heart, and no one can say these guys weren’t petty fucks a lot of the time, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the newspaper articles i’ve read have the right picture of it.

Joe Adonis (left) on stand, flanked by his lawyer, was a defiant witness. He was first cited for contempt when he refused to testify last December. This time he again refused to answer most questions of the committee. 

Joe Adonis: For reasons better known to me, I refuse to answer that.
Rudolph Halley: Well, you are directed to answer that last question.
Adonis: I decline to answer the question on the ground it might tend to incriminate me.
Halley: Is not the business of that company the conveying of Ford automobiles from the Ford plant in Edgewater, NJ to various places through the east?
Adonis: Are you finished?
Halley: That is the question.
Adonis: I decline to answer.
Famous mobsters' signs
  • Aries: Joe Gallo, Vincent Gigante, Vincent Mangano, "Crazy Phil" Leonetti
  • Taurus: Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, Tony "Big Tuna" Accardo, Tony Spilotro
  • Gemini: Henry Hill, Sam Giancana, Angelo Bruno
  • Cancer: Jimmy "The Gent" Burke, Meyer Lansky, Jack "Legs" Diamond, Paul Vario, Dean O'Banion, Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll
  • Leo: Salvatore Maranzano, Dutch Schultz, "Big Paul" Castellano, "Longie" Zwillman, Bugs Moran, Carmine Persico
  • Virgo: Mickey Cohen, Carlo Gambino, Roy DeMeo, Joe Valachi
  • Libra: Albert Anastasia, Joe Profaci, Stefano Maggadino
  • Scorpio: John Gotti, Santo Trafficante Jr.
  • Sagittarius: Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Vito Genovese, Joe Adonis, Joe Colombo, Tommy Lucchese, Owney Madden
  • Capricorn: Arnold Rothstein, Joe Massaria, Al Capone, Joe Bonanno, "Big Joey" Massino
  • Aquarius: Frank Costello, Johnny Torrio, Frank Nitti, Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, Nucky Johnson, Tony Corallo, John Franzese
  • Pisces: Benny "Bugsy" Siegel, Carmine Galante, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, Neil Dellacroce, Vito Rizzuto, "Little Nicky" Scarfo
Joe Adonis: A Friend of Ours

Joe Adonis (born Giuseppe Antonio Doto; November 22, 1902 – November 26, 1971), was a member of the American Mafia (Cosa Nostra) who was an important figure in the formation of the modern Mafia in America. He was born in town of MontemaranoItaly, near Naples but his family moved to America in 1909. 

As a young man he earned a living by stealing and picking pockets. It was during this time that he met Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano and formed an enduring friendship and  Joe developed a loyalty to Lucky that would last for decades.

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- Mugshot of a young Joe Adonis, date unknown

At the onset of Prohibition, Luciano, Adonis, Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel started a bootlegging operation in Brooklyn. This operation soon began supplying large amounts of alcohol to the show business community along Broadway in Manhattan. Doto soon assumed the role of a gentleman bootlegger, socializing with the theater elite.

It was during this time that he started calling himself 'Joe Adonis’. It was thought that the name was given to him by a chorus girl he was dating, another theory is that he got the name after reading a book about Greek mythology. He was extremely vain and cared deeply for his personal appearance. On one occasion, Lucky Luciano saw Adonis combing his thick, dark hair in front of a mirror and asked him, “Who do you think you are, Rudolph Valentino?” Adonis replied, “For looks, that guy’s a bum!”

During the 1920s he began working as an enforcer for Frankie Yale. After Frankie Yale’s murder in 1928, Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria took over Frankie Yale’s operation and soon became embroiled in the violent Castellammarese War with his rival  Salvatore Maranzano. During the course of the war, Joe Adonis and his friend Lucky Luciano joined the Masseria faction but as the tide of the war began to turn against Masseria, Luciano approached Maranzano about switching sides. When Masseria learned of this he contacted Adonis and ordered him to kill Luciano. Naturally Joe Adonis told Luciano about this plan.

On April 15, 1931, Adonis allegedly participated in Masseria’s murder. Luciano had lured Masseria to a meeting at a Coney Island, Brooklyn restaurant. During their meal, Luciano excused himself to go to the restroom. As soon as Luciano was gone, Adonis, Vito GenoveseAlbert Anastasia, and Bugsy Siegel rushed into the dining room and shot Masseria to death.

Once they had switched sides Luciano soon organised the death of Maranzano who, although reorganizing the Italian gangs in New York into separate families, declared himself Capo Di Tutti Capo 'Boss of the Bosses’. Once Maranzano was out of the way Luciano was now the pre-eminent crime boss in New York. However instead of taking all of the power for himself, and based on the suggestion of Johnny 'The Fox’ Torrio, he organised the National Crime Syndicate that united all of the major crime organisations across the country. For his loyalty to Luciano, Joe Adonis was given a seat on the syndicate’s board of directors.

Adonis and Luciano soon controlled bootlegging in Broadway and Midtown Manhattan. At its height, this operation grossed $12 million in one year and employed 100 workers.[9] Adonis also bought car dealerships in New Jersey. When customers bought cars from his dealerships, the salesmen would intimidate them into buying “protection insurance” for the vehicle. Adonis soon moved into cigarette manufacturing, buying up vending machines by the hundreds and stocking them with stolen cigarettes. Adonis ran his criminal empire from Joe’s Italian Kitchen, a restaurant he owned in Brooklyn. By 1932, Adonis was also a major criminal power in Brooklyn. Despite all his wealth, Adonis still participated in jewelry robberies, a throwback to his early criminal career on the streets.

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- Joe, watching Frank Costello at the Kefauver hearings, c. 1950/1

Adonis placed many politicians and high-ranking police officers on his payroll. Adonis used his political influence to assist members of the Luciano crime family, such as Luciano and Genovese, and mob associates such as Meyer Lansky and Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, the head of Murder, Inc.

In 1936 when Luciano was sent to prison, he left Joe Adonis in charge of the National Crime Syndicate. Though when Luciano was deported and tried to set up a base of power in Cuba, Adonis loyally gave back the reigns of the National Crime Syndicate

In May, 1951, Adonis and several associates pleased No Contest to charges of operating three gambling rooms in Lodi, New Jersey and Fort Lee, New Jersey, to two to three years in state prison. On August 6, 1953, at a hearing in Adonis’ prison, the U.S Department of Justice ordered Adonis’ deportation to Italy. The government claimed that Adonis was an illegal alien. Adonis fought deportation and claimed that he was a native-born American citizen

Once in Italy, Adonis moved to a luxurious villa outside the city of Milan. On January 26, 1962, Luciano died of a heart attack in Naples at age 64. Adonis attended the funeral service in Naples, bringing a huge floral wreath with the words, “So Long, Pal”.

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- An older Joe Adonis

In late November, 1971, Italian police forces transported Adonis to a small hillside shack near Ancona, Italy for interrogation. During the lengthy questioning, Adonis suffered a heart attack. Adonis was rushed to a regional hospital in Ancona, where he died several days later on November 26, 1971. He was 69 years old