Joseph Piranio was born in Corleone, Sicily and became the boss of the Dallas crime family upon his brother Carlo's death in 1930. Piranio as long associated with crime figures. He owned a cigar store during the 1920s and later a contracting business. According to "Chronological History of La Cosa Nostra in the United States" - "Organized Crime: 25 Years After Valachi", Hearings, U.S. Senate, 100th Congress, 2nd Session - U.S. Government Printing Office, 1988 and other sources he was the leader of the Mafia in Dallas from 1930 until his death. He ruled the crime family for approximately 26 years.
Piranio died by committing suicide at his home in 1956 by a gunshot wound in the right temple. He was succeeded as boss by Dallas mafioso Frank Ianni.