Charles “Lucky” Luciano

Charles “Lucky” Luciano was the American Mafia's most powerful boss in the early 1930s. Born as Salvatore Lucania on November 11, 1896, in Sicily, Italy, he immigrated to New York City with his family in 1906. At the age of 10, he was involved in shoplifting and extortion. In his teens, Luciano teamed up with other young gangsters, including Meyer Lansky. By 1925, Luciano was a lieutenant for Joe Masseria, New York's leading crime boss.

Luciano recognized that even greater profits could be made if rival Mafia gangs and other organized crime groups formed cooperative relationships. When war broke out between rival New York City gangs in 1930 and 1931, Luciano saw an opportunity to realize his vision and, with the help of Meyer Lansky, arranged ...

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