Frank Costello - Crime Boss, Family and Childhood

Home  ›  American  ›  Frank CostelloJanuary 26, 18911,095 views

0.0 based on 0 rates

Frank Costello's Personal Details

Frank Costello was an Italian-American gangster and crime boss

InformationDetail
BirthdayJanuary 26, 1891
Died onFebruary 18, 1973
NationalityAmerican
FamousCrime Boss, Criminals, Gangsters
SpousesLauretta Giegerman (m. 1918–1973)
SiblingsEdward Costello
Known asFrancesco Castiglia
Cause of deathHeart Attack
Birth PlaceCassano all'Ionio
Born CountryItaly
GenderMale
FatherLuigi Castiglia Costello
MotherMaria Saveria Aloise Costello
Sun SignAquarius
Born inCassano all'Ionio
Famous asCrime Boss
Died at Age82

// Famous Crime Boss

Frank Costello's photo

Who is Frank Costello?

Frank Costello, also known as the ‘Prime Minister of the Underworld,’ was an Italian-American gangster and crime boss. He was the head of the ‘Luciano Family,’ a very powerful crime family of New York. He was a close associate of the Sicilian boss Charlie ‘Lucky’ Luciano. Costello was politically quite influential and wielded immense power. He was born in Italy, and later migrated to the US, along with his family. He was initiated into the world of crime by his elder brother. Starting with petty crimes like theft, assault, and bootlegging, Costello moved on to work for powerful mafia families. He was involved in the rum-running business during the ‘Prohibition period’ and later established himself in the gambling business, and became the money-earner for the ‘Luciano Crime Family.’ He befriended many politicians and became a vital link between criminals and politicians. He was imprisoned for the contempt of the Senate, after he walked out of the ‘Kefauver Hearings.’ He survived an attempt on his life, and later retired from active crime. Even after his retirement from active crime, he continued to command respect in the underworld till his death at the age of 82. He was married to Lauretta Giegerman.

// Famous Criminals

Childhood & Early Life

Frank Costello was born Francesco Castiglia on January 26, 1891, at Cassano allo lonio in Cosenza, Calabria region of Italy. His father, Luigi Castiglia, later migrated to America and settled in the East Harlem part of New York, and ran an Italian grocery store. Young Costello, along with his mother, Maria, and elder brother Edward, joined him in 1895.

He got involved into petty criminal activities quite early, along with his elder brother. As he grew up, he became a part of the neighborhood Italian gang called ‘104th Street Gang’ and soon became its leader. He dealt in liquor to earn some quick money. He and his gang members were involved in theft, assault, and robberies.

Crimes

From 1908 to 1917, he was arrested several times for various crimes. In 1916, he changed his name to Frank Costello. Later that year, he was jailed for carrying a concealed weapon. Thereafter, he decided not to carry gun and turned towards organized crime.

After his marriage in 1918, he began working for the Morello crime family’s boss, Ciro Terranova. Around this time, he met and befriended a Sicilian Charlie ‘Lucky’ Luciano. The other members of the Luciano family did not approve of Lucky’s association with a non-Sicilian like Costello.

Luciano and Costello formed a group with other Italian-Americans and some Jewish partners, namely Bugsy Siegel, Vito Genovese, Meyer Lansky, and Gaetano Lucchese. Together they started running crime operations, such as extortion, gambling, theft, and narcotics. During the ‘Prohibition Period’ of 1920, they earned money by illegally selling liquor. These operations were financed by Arnold Rothstein.

In 1922, Costello, along with Luciano and others, joined the Mafia family of the Sicilian underworld boss, Joe Masseria. In 1924, he got involved with the rum-running operations, ‘The Combine,’ with Irish mafia don, Dwyer.

During the 1920s, Costello became a powerful figure in the crime world. He ran many gambling operations, including punch cards, bookmaking, casinos, and slot machines. He befriended many politicians and formed an important connection between the underworld and the Democratic Party’s organization, ‘Tammany Hall.’ This proved really beneficial for the crime world, as they could bribe or make a deal with the government officials, police, politicians, and judges. Between 1927 and 1929, Costello, Luciano and associates brought together other crime leaders from across the country and initiated the formation of a ‘National Crime Syndicate.’

The ‘Masseria Family’ was facing stiff competition from the relatively new ‘Maranzano Family,’ for the control over the local government. The ‘Maranzano Family’ was from ‘Catellammare del Golfo,’ Sicily, and was rapidly taking over the underworld operations in New York. Rivalry between the ‘Masseria’ and ‘Maranzano’ families created an underworld war, commonly referred as ‘Castellammarese War.’ It continued for almost two years and affected the underworld operations and profits.

'Luciano’ and others decided to get rid of the bosses of both the families. Masseria was killed in April, 1931, and Luciano took over as the head of the family, changing its name to ‘Luciano Family.’ Later, Maranzano, who declared himself as the ‘Boss of all bosses,’ was also shot dead in September, 1931. This is how the ‘Luciano Family’ became powerful in the New York underworld.

Costello earned a lot of money for the ‘Luciano Family’ as he controlled a gambling empire across the country. In 1934, Florello La Guardia, the Mayor of New York City, confiscated and destroyed thousands of Costello’s slot machines. Costello then started his gambling business in Louisiana and New Orleans.

In 1936, Luciano was arrested for running a prostitution ring and was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment. He appointed Vito Genovese as the new boss of the group from the jail itself. The following year, Genovese ran away to Naples, Italy, as he was accused in an old murder case. As a result of this, Luciano appointed Costello as the head of the ‘Luciano Family.’ He proved quite profitable for the family. He was well liked by the capos and the soldiers working for the gang. Costello was averse to drug trafficking. He was a sophisticated don, who preferred intellect to brawn.

In 1946, Genovese was acquitted of the murder charges, and upon his return to the US, he wanted to be reinstated as the boss of the ‘Luciano Family,’ but Costello did not step down and this resulted in a long drawn underworld battle for power between the two.

In 1950-1951, the US Senate carried out ‘Kefauver Hearings’ or the investigations into organized crime. These investigations were conducted by a committee headed by Senator Estes Kefauver. Costello was then considered as America’s top mafia boss, but craved for legitimate respectability.

Costello was convicted for contempt of the Senate as he walked out of the hearings. He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. After his release in 1954, he was sentenced to another 5 year term for tax evasion. He was, however, released on an appeal in 1957.

After his release, Genovese made an attempt on his life. Genovese’s driver Gigante shot Costello in the lobby of his apartment building. Costello survived the attack, but refused to identify Gigante as the shooter.

Genovese declared himself as the boss of the ‘Luciano Family’ and called it ‘Genovese family.’ Later Costello made peace with Genovese and retired from active crime. He was allowed to continue with his businesses and gambling setups. Even after stepping down, Costello commanded tremendous respect amongst the underworld.

He remained influential during the later years of his life too as his old associates valued his opinion and continued seeking his advice.

Personal Life

After his release from jail in 1917, he fell in love with a close friend’s sister, Lauretta Giegerman, and married her in 1918. They had no children.

In February 1973, he was admitted to a Manhattan hospital after a heart attack. On February 18, 1973, he died in the hospital. He was buried at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Queens.

// Famous Gangsters

Frank Costello biography timelines

  • // 26th Jan 1891 To 1895
    Frank Costello was born Francesco Castiglia on January 26, 1891, at Cassano allo lonio in Cosenza, Calabria region of Italy. His father, Luigi Castiglia, later migrated to America and settled in the East Harlem part of New York, and ran an Italian grocery store. Young Costello, along with his mother, Maria, and elder brother Edward, joined him in 1895.
  • // 1917 To 1918
    After his release from jail in 1917, he fell in love with a close friend’s sister, Lauretta Giegerman, and married her in 1918. They had no children.
  • // 1918
    After his marriage in 1918, he began working for the Morello crime family’s boss, Ciro Terranova. Around this time, he met and befriended a Sicilian Charlie ‘Lucky’ Luciano. The other members of the Luciano family did not approve of Lucky’s association with a non-Sicilian like Costello.
  • // 1920
    Luciano and Costello formed a group with other Italian-Americans and some Jewish partners, namely Bugsy Siegel, Vito Genovese, Meyer Lansky, and Gaetano Lucchese. Together they started running crime operations, such as extortion, gambling, theft, and narcotics. During the ‘Prohibition Period’ of 1920, they earned money by illegally selling liquor. These operations were financed by Arnold Rothstein.
  • // 1922 To 1924
    In 1922, Costello, along with Luciano and others, joined the Mafia family of the Sicilian underworld boss, Joe Masseria. In 1924, he got involved with the rum-running operations, ‘The Combine,’ with Irish mafia don, Dwyer.
  • // 1927 To 1929
    During the 1920s, Costello became a powerful figure in the crime world. He ran many gambling operations, including punch cards, bookmaking, casinos, and slot machines. He befriended many politicians and formed an important connection between the underworld and the Democratic Party’s organization, ‘Tammany Hall.’ This proved really beneficial for the crime world, as they could bribe or make a deal with the government officials, police, politicians, and judges. Between 1927 and 1929, Costello, Luciano and associates brought together other crime leaders from across the country and initiated the formation of a ‘National Crime Syndicate.’
  • // Apr 1931 To Sep 1931
    'Luciano’ and others decided to get rid of the bosses of both the families. Masseria was killed in April, 1931, and Luciano took over as the head of the family, changing its name to ‘Luciano Family.’ Later, Maranzano, who declared himself as the ‘Boss of all bosses,’ was also shot dead in September, 1931. This is how the ‘Luciano Family’ became powerful in the New York underworld.
  • // 1934
    Costello earned a lot of money for the ‘Luciano Family’ as he controlled a gambling empire across the country. In 1934, Florello La Guardia, the Mayor of New York City, confiscated and destroyed thousands of Costello’s slot machines. Costello then started his gambling business in Louisiana and New Orleans.
  • // 1936
    In 1936, Luciano was arrested for running a prostitution ring and was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment. He appointed Vito Genovese as the new boss of the group from the jail itself. The following year, Genovese ran away to Naples, Italy, as he was accused in an old murder case. As a result of this, Luciano appointed Costello as the head of the ‘Luciano Family.’ He proved quite profitable for the family. He was well liked by the capos and the soldiers working for the gang. Costello was averse to drug trafficking. He was a sophisticated don, who preferred intellect to brawn.
  • // 1946
    In 1946, Genovese was acquitted of the murder charges, and upon his return to the US, he wanted to be reinstated as the boss of the ‘Luciano Family,’ but Costello did not step down and this resulted in a long drawn underworld battle for power between the two.
  • // 1950 To 1951
    In 1950-1951, the US Senate carried out ‘Kefauver Hearings’ or the investigations into organized crime. These investigations were conducted by a committee headed by Senator Estes Kefauver. Costello was then considered as America’s top mafia boss, but craved for legitimate respectability.
  • // 1954 To 1957
    Costello was convicted for contempt of the Senate as he walked out of the hearings. He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. After his release in 1954, he was sentenced to another 5 year term for tax evasion. He was, however, released on an appeal in 1957.
  • // 18th Feb 1973
    In February 1973, he was admitted to a Manhattan hospital after a heart attack. On February 18, 1973, he died in the hospital. He was buried at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Queens.

// Famous American

Frank Costello's FAQ

  • What is Frank Costello birthday?

    Frank Costello was born at 1891-01-26

  • When was Frank Costello died?

    Frank Costello was died at 1973-02-18

  • Where was Frank Costello died?

    Frank Costello was died in Manhattan, New York City, New York

  • Which age was Frank Costello died?

    Frank Costello was died at age 82

  • Where is Frank Costello's birth place?

    Frank Costello was born in Cassano all'Ionio

  • What is Frank Costello nationalities?

    Frank Costello's nationalities is American

  • Who is Frank Costello spouses?

    Frank Costello's spouses is Lauretta Giegerman (m. 1918–1973)

  • Who is Frank Costello siblings?

    Frank Costello's siblings is Edward Costello

  • What is Frank Costello's cause of dead?

    Frank Costello dead because of Heart Attack

  • Who is Frank Costello's father?

    Frank Costello's father is Luigi Castiglia Costello

  • Who is Frank Costello's mother?

    Frank Costello's mother is Maria Saveria Aloise Costello

  • What is Frank Costello's sun sign?

    Frank Costello is Aquarius

  • How famous is Frank Costello?

    Frank Costello is famouse as Crime Boss