Thomas "Tommy Ryan" Eboli (June 13, 1911 Scisciano, Italy - July 16, 1972 Crown Heights, Brooklyn) was a New York City mobster who eventually became the acting boss of the Genovese crime family.
Born Tommaso Eboli in Scisciano, near Naples, Italy, to Louis and Madalena Maddalone, Eboli stood 5'10, weighed 165 pounds, and had a tattoo on his right arm. Eboli was the brother of Genovese crime family capo Pasquale Eboli. To hide his Italian heritage, Eboli adapted the nickname "Tommy Ryan" from professional boxer Tommy Ryan. Eboli became a U.S. citizen on August 27, 1960. Eboli was married to Anna Ariola from Melrose Park, Illinois. Their children were Thomas Eboli Jr. and Chicago Outfit mobster Louis Eboli.
After separating from Ariola, Eboli entered a relationship with Mary Perello. She bore him two daughters, Madelena and Mary, and a son Saverio. Eboli and his second family lived in a high rise apartment building in Fort Lee, New Jersey that overlooked the Hudson River. However, just before his death, Eboli had purchased a home in Fair Lawn, New Jersey.
As a young man, Eboli worked as a professional boxer. In the early 1920s, during Prohibition, Eboli became a bootlegger for future crime boss Charles Luciano. By the early 1930s, Eboli had become the personal bodyguard for Luciano's underboss, Vito Genovese. Some sources claim that Eboli committed as many as 20 murders for the Genovese family. In 1933, Eboli was arrested on six counts of illegal gambling and disorderly conduct.
At some point during the 1930s or 1940's, Eboli became a boxing manager. One of his early boxing protegees was future Genovese family boss Vincent Gigante. On January 11, 1952, Eboli assaulted two officials during a professional boxing match at Manhattan's Madison Square Garden Arena. On that evening, Eboli was managing middleweight boxer Rocky Castellani, who was fighting Ernie (The Rock) Durando. After Durando knocked down Castellani in the 6th and 7th rounds, referee Ray Miller stopped the fight and awarded a technical knockout victory to Durando. At that point, an enraged Eboli entered the boxing ring and punched Miller. Later in Castellani's dressing room, Eboli kicked Al Weill, the boxing promoter. Sport writers later speculated that Eboli had expected his fighter to win due to an illegal arrangement with Weill.
On January 23, 1952, Eboli was indicted on two counts of assault from the boxing incident. On May 26, 1952, Eboli pleaded guilty to reduced charges and was later sentenced to 60 days in prison, his only incarceration during a life of crime. The New York State Athletic Commission also banned Eboli from boxing for life.
In 1957, Vito Genovese finally became boss, and Eboli became the Capo over the old Greenwich Village Crew. Eboli was said to own several tourist nightclubs and gay bars in Midtown Manhattan and Lower Manhattan. Eboli also controlled rackets on the Hudson River docks in Manhattan. Eboli was also the owner of Jet Music Corporation, a jukebox supplier. and Tryan Cigarette Vending Service, Inc.
On April 17, 1959, Genovese was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison, leaving Eboli as acting boss of the family. Gerardo Catena became underboss and Michele Miranda became consigliere. Anthony Strollo became Eboli's top aide. Some authors says that for the next ten years, family decisions were made collectively by a "Committee/Ruling Panel" that included Eboli, Catena, and capo Phillip Lombardo. Other authors state that Miranda, not Lombardo, was the third member of this panel.
On February 14, 1969, Vito Genovese died of natural causes in prison, leaving the Genovese family hierarchy in turmoil. Eboli was a logical successor, but his health had deteriorated that year plus he was under investigation. On July 28, 1969, Eboli suffered his third heart attack of that year. He was rushed to New York University Medical Center in Manhattan, where he eventually recovered. His previous heart attack occurred on July 17, two days after appearing before the New Jersey State Investigation Committee in hearings on organized crime. Eboli first suffered an attack in February 1969 at a New York State Investigation Commission meeting. However, both law enforcement and other mobsters believed that Eboli had faked some of these attacks.
After Genovese's death. Gerardo Catena became the new official boss. However, Catena was indicted and jailed in 1970. With Catena gone, Eboli now became the official boss of the Genovese family. However, Phillip Lombardo and Michele Miranda were really in charge and Eboli was just a front for law enforcement.
Eboli continued as the "front boss" of the family for the next two years. However, Eboli wanted to be the real head of the Genovese family. To further his advancement, Eboli borrowed $4 million from the Commission chairman and head of the rival Gambino crime family, Carlo Gambino to fund a new drug trafficking operation. However, law enforcement soon shut down Eboli's drug racket and arrested most of his crew, including alleged drug supplier Louis Cirillo. Gambino and his capo Paul Castellano allegedly came to Eboli to get their money back, but Eboli didn't have it. Gambino then allegedly ordered Eboli's murder due to lack of payment. However, many people believed that Gambino actually wanted to replace Eboli with Gambino ally Funzi Tieri. Some even believe that Gambino used the drug trafficking operation to set up Eboli.
On July 16, 1972, Eboli left his girlfriend's apartment in Crown Heights, Brooklyn around 1:00 A.M and walked to his Cadillac Deville. As Eboli sat in the parked car, a gunman (possibly Richard Kuklinski) in a passing truck shot him five times. Hit in the head and neck, Eboli died instantly. No one was ever charged in this murder.
Eboli was buried at George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, New Jersey. Aside from the Eboli family, the only attendees at the graveside were law enforcement.