Basic Information About Paul Castellano
|Category||Business › Criminals|
|Date of birth||1915-06-26|
|Place of birth||New York City, New York, U.S.|
|Date of death||1985-12-16 (aged 70)|
|Social Media||↗︎ Wikipedia|
Net Worth Details
Paul Castellano, the infamous American mafia boss, had a net worth of $20 million at the height of his power in the early 198s. Adjusted for inflation, this would be equivalent to around $50 million today. Known by his nicknames ‘The Howard Hughes of the Mob’ and ‘Big Paulie’, Castellano’s wealth came from various sources. He was a prominent construction tycoon in New York City and also had a thriving wholesale meat merchant business. However, his lavish lifestyle and increasing demands for a higher cut of his capos’ earnings played a significant role in his eventual downfall.
What is Paul Castellano known for?
Paul Castellano was a notorious figure in the American mafia world. Born in Brooklyn, New York in June 1915, Castellano rose to prominence as the head of the Gambino crime family in New York. He took over the mantle from Carlo Gambino and became one of the most influential and feared mafia bosses in history.
Early life and education
Castellano was born into an Italian immigrant family. His parents, Giuseppe and Concetta Castellano, were both of Italian descent. His father was a butcher and a member of the Mangano crime family, which later evolved into the Gambino crime family. Castellano dropped out of school in eighth grade to work as a butcher, setting the stage for his future involvement in the world of organized crime.
Castellano’s path to power began when his sister Catherine married Carlo Gambino, a member of the Mangano crime family. After officially becoming a member of the family in the 194s, Castellano became a capo under boss Albert Anastasia. When Anastasia was killed, Castellano’s brother-in-law Gambino took over as boss, solidifying Castellano’s position within the organization.
Castellano attended the infamous Apalachin meeting in 1957, which resulted in the arrests of over 60 high-ranking mobsters. Following a year in prison on a contempt charge, he focused his efforts on establishing legitimate businesses, such as Dial Poultry and various construction projects. His ties to the mob significantly strengthened his businesses and influence.
In 1976, after Gambino’s death, Castellano succeeded him as the boss of the Gambino family. This decision split the family into factions, with some supporting Castellano and others supporting Aniello Dellacroce, his underboss. Over the next few years, Castellano ordered several murders, further dividing the family.
Despite his efforts to create a legitimate façade, Castellano faced numerous encounters with the law. In 1984, he was indicted on federal racketeering charges, including murder, extortion, narcotics trafficking, theft, and prostitution. Although released on bail, he continuously found himself in legal trouble. It was during this tumultuous time that John Gotti, his protégé and future rival, became dissatisfied with Castellano’s leadership.
In December 1985, Castellano met his untimely demise in a prearranged meeting in Midtown Manhattan. As he exited his car, a hitman approached him and shot him multiple times. The orchestrator of the hit, John Gotti, observed the scene from across the street. This assassination paved the way for Gotti to assume leadership of the Gambino crime family. Seven years later, Gotti was convicted of various racketeering charges, including the murder of Castellano.
Paul Castellano’s notoriety extends well beyond the criminal underworld. His life and legacy have been the subject of numerous films and documentaries. In the 1996 HBO movie ‘Gotti,’ Castellano was portrayed by Richard C. Sarafian. Other portrayals include Abe Vigoda in the NBC TV movie ‘Witness to the Mob’ (1998), Sam Coppola in the TV movie ‘The Big Heist’ (2001), and Chazz Palminteri in the TNT TV movie ‘Boss of Bosses’ (2001). Even his nephew Richard S. Castellano had a role in ‘The Godfather’ movie.
Despite his criminal activities, Paul Castellano’s impact on popular culture is undeniable. The fascination with his life and the allure of the mafia continues to captivate audiences worldwide.