Joe Adonis (Giuseppe Antonio Doto)

Joe Adonis

Joe Adonis

Organized Crime Figure. Born Giuseppe Antonio Doto in the small town of Montemarano, Italy, near Naples, to Michele and Maria Doto. In 1909, Joe and his family entered the United States at New York City. As a young man, Joe supported himself by stealing and picking pockets. While working on the streets, Joe became friends with future mob boss Charles “Lucky” Luciano and mobster Settimo Accardi, who were involved in illegal gambling. He developed a loyalty to Luciano that would last for decades. Joe also got married, he and his wife Joan had four children; Joseph Jr., Dolores, Anna, and Elizabeth. But, at the beginning 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. After the end of Prohibition, Joe extended his interests over waterfront rackets both in Brooklyn and New Jersey and became a power in syndicate gambling enterprises as well. Despite the fact he had moved up to multimillionaire class, Joe also masterminded a string of jewelry thefts. For a man in his position, it was foolhardy and an activity his bigwig associates viewed with considerable amusement. But Joe was a thief at heart and happiest when handling an old-fashioned heist. Despite a long and dishonorable career in crime, Joe avoided prison until 1951 when, in the aftermath of the Kefauver hearings, so much heat was generated that he was forced to plead guilty to violation of state gambling laws. He was hit with a two-year sentence. In 1956, pressed hard by the federal government and facing perjury charges, Joe agreed to accept a deportation order once his foreign birth was established. He lived out his days in lavish comfort in exile in Milan. In June 1971, the Italian Government forced Joe to leave his Milan residence and move to Serra de’ Conti, a small town near the Adriatic Sea. Joe was one of 115 suspected mobsters relocated to Serra de’ Conti after the assassination in May of the public prosecutor of Palermo, Sicily. In late November, 1971, Italian police forces transported Joe to a small hillside shack near Ancona, Italy for interrogation. During the lengthy questioning, Joe suffered a heart attack and was rushed to a regional hospital in Ancona, where he died several days later on November 26, 1971.

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  • November, 22, 1902
  • Montemarano, Italy


  • November, 26, 1971
  • Ancona, Italy

Cause of Death

  • Heart attack


  • Madonna Cemetery
  • Fort Lee,New Jersey

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