Giuseppe Profaci “Joe” was born on October 2, 1897 in Sicily. His early life included a brief stint in a Sicilian prison for theft. In 1921, Joe immigrated to the United States. Making his way to Chicago, he tried to make a living on its tough streets. Finding no success, he ventured into New York, where he found himself prosperous as an “Olive Oil King”. Having the fortuitous friendship of Gambino family boss Vincent Mangano, he began to delve into the counterfeit currency enterprise. By 1928, Profaci was head of one of the largest crime rings in New York. Even after an arrest in 1928 for bootlegging, Profaci pushed forward with his business dealings.
Although Profaci was a hard crime boss, he did provide much needed employment in desperate communities with his success in the olive oil industry. However, he was known to evade taxes whenever possible in order to keep more than his share. In 1950, he was sued by the IRS but was never punished for his crimes. Profaci was also implicated in drug smuggling, but was never indicted due to lack of evidence. It seems as though Joe had a knack for slipping through the cracks.
In 1959, Joe was mixed up in a nasty murder hit that ended up in his own men revolting against him. A friend of Profaci, Frank Abbatemarco, was murdered under Profaci’s direction. He then ordered the man’s son murdered in order to not face the music, but Profaci was faced with a mutiny of sorts. His men, including Joe Gallo and brothers, ended up trying to take over the organization by refusing to do the job. After many murders and much mayhem, Gallo was sentenced to prison for ten years. Although Joe Profaci escaped being murdered and doing hard time, he soon had to face his maker. He died on June 7, 1962, following a very short stint with cancer. He is buried in Queens, New York.
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