Frank Brancato

Frank Brancato (born 1897 - died 1973) known as "Little Frank", Brancato was the underboss of the Cleveland crime family. He was responsible for bringing Irish mobster Danny Greene into the rackets. Greene would later challenge the Cleveland crime family for control of the local rackets in a gangwar that almost led to the total destruction of the Cleveland family.

Biography

Brancato was born in Sicily, Italy. He left his home in the early 1900s for America. He first settled in New York where he worked as a longshoreman and moved to Cleveland, Ohio in the early 1920s where he would rise up in ranks to become Cleveland's Street boss to many men in the organization. During the early 1930's, Brancato was a known bootlegger who had been charged with several murders in a brutal and deadly turf war over the profitable "Corn Sugar Wars" between the two strong and powerful rival Mafia families; the Porrello's and the Lonardo's. Brancato became acting underboss for the John Scalish regime by the mid-1950s. For many years, FBI agents were under direct orders from the Director, J. Edgar Hoover himself; to observe Brancato’s activities and attempt to collect information that would lead to a criminal conviction and his deportation. Throughout the 1950's and 60's Brancato derived much of his illegal earnings from gambling and loansharking, but by the mid-1960s he was making a move to become a power within the garbage hauling industry. Brancato used Danny Greene and other Irish-American gangsters to act as errand boys and muscle to enforce the Mafia's influence during the 1960s over the garbage-hauling contracts and other rackets.

He was allegedly promoted to consigliere in 1972 and died a year later of natural causes in December 1973.

The complete story on Frank Brancatos life can be found in the book, Brancato; Mafia Street Boss.

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