Louis Volpe

Louis Volpe (1901-1987) was a soldier in the Pittsburgh crime family and one of the eight Volpe brothers who were powerful racketeers in Turtle creek Valley during Prohibition.


Unlike his brothers Arthur Volpe and John Volpe, Louis was and remained more a background player in mob activities and tried not to call attention to himself or his operations. Louis was once convicted of bootlegging charges and was imprisoned during the gangland murder of his three brothers John, Arthur and James Volpe.

Louis was reportedly visiting the inmate library when a late-edition newspaper arrived. Louis "blanched slightly" upon learning of his brothers' demise, reported the Sun-Telegraph. Then Louis returned to his cell. Otherwise he showed no emotion. Later, Louis would request permission to attend his brothers' funerals. Louis was once charged with "malicious mischief" for throwing bricks through the windows of homes and businesses of independent political candidates who dared to try to pry loose the Volpe family's political grip on the town of Wilmerding.

Louis attracted a lot of heat after the deaths of his brothers. He had faced charges for allegedly assaulting a man who refused to allow his storeroom to be used as a liquor warehouse, and for threatening another man for the same reason. He and his brother Joseph remained in jail on the latter charges because they couldn't come up with bail money, a situation unimaginable a few years earlier when he and his brothers were a powerful mafia clan and flush with cash.

Louis would later become a prominent member of the Pittsburgh family and was even considered a top candidate to become underboss upon the death of Joseph Pecora, but by then was himself old and in poor health. In the 1960s, Louis was involved in more legitimate businesses like supplying cigarettes for vending machines. He also acquired an interest in the Rainbow Garden Amusement Park in White Oak. Louis remained a soldier in the Pittsburgh family until his death of kidney failure on June 5, 1987.

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