Paul Castellano (Costantino Paul Castellano)

Paul Castellano

Paul Castellano

Castellano was born in Brooklyn on June 26th, 1915. His father was a butcher who also operated an Italian gambling game for the locals. Paul was late Mafia boss Carlo Gambino’s younger cousin, and his sister, Catherine, was Gambino’s wife. Castellano operated several lucrative meat businesses in the 1950s and his control over the meat and poultry industry would continue until his death. By his ascension to the Gambino crime family throne in 1976, he was a national expert on labor unions and business/union contracts. By late 1976, Carlo Gambino had led his crime family in New York for 19 years and his health was beginning to seriously fail him. He decided to appoint as his replacement not his popular underboss Aniello (Neil) Dellacroce, but his cousin and close friend Paul Castellano. Castellano’s tenure, which lasted until he was murdered in December 1985, was steady and very rewarding at first – he lived in a large Staten Island mansion and kept a very low profile. However, by the mid-1980s he was under indictment from various law-enforcement agencies and was also having problems with certain blue-collar crews, especially that of one John Gotti. Gotti and Castellano shared a mutual dislike for each other, but the gentlemanly Castellano underestimated the ruthlessness of the violent Gambino captain from Queens. On December 16, 1985, on John Gotti’s orders, Castellano and his new underboss, Thomas Bilotti, were murdered outside Sparks Steak House on 46th street in Manhattan.

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  • June, 26, 1915
  • Brooklyn, New York


  • December, 16, 1985
  • Manhattan, New York

Cause of Death

  • Murdered


  • Moravian Cemetery
  • Staten Island, New York

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