Vincenzo "Vincent" Corleone, born Vincenzo Mancini, later Don Vincenzo Corleone is a fictional character from the novel and movie series The Godfather, where he was the illegitimate son of Sonny Corleone and Lucy Mancini. Vincenzo succeeded Michael Corleone as boss of the Corleone family.
Vincent was the illegitimate son of Sonny Corleone and Lucy Mancini who was born after Sonny's death. During his childhood he lived with his mother in Arizona and later Newark, New Jersey, before moving back to New York City. He was the grandson of Jimmy Mancini, a longtime member of the Corleone crime family. Although he was very close to his aunt, Connie, he was never treated as a real member of the Corleone family and wasn't given access to the family's criminal empire. He was known as a frequenter at the Palazzo Azzurro casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He ran a nightclub in Manhattan, that served as his base of operations.
Rivalry with Joey Zasa
Joey Zasa, who headed the Corleone family in New York, offered Vincent a position in the muscle end of his family. Vincent accepted and began working for Zasa as an enforcer, despite Michael's offer to give him a job in the legitimate world. He and Zasa swiftly became enemies, particularly due to Zasa's barely masked disdain for Michael and the old ways.
Despite this, Vincent endeared himself to his uncle in 1979 by trying to protect him from rival mafiosi. The aging Don took the hot-headed, irrational and violent young man under his wing in an effort to redeem both Vincent and himself.
Vincent frequently asked Michael if he wanted to get rid of Zasa to the point of annoyance.
Rise in the family
Vincent saved Michael from an assassination attempt orchestrated by Zasa. With his experience on the streets, he got suspicious when Zasa and Don Altobello abruptly left the conference room, and immediately sensed a hit was underway when he felt it vibrate from the helicopter. Later that night, Michael suffered a severe diabetic stroke and was sent to the hospital. Believing that Zasa would likely take another run at Michael, Vincent got clearance from Connie to take out Zasa, and personally killed him at a street festival in Little Italy. This greatly angered Michael, even though Vincent used the same logic that Michael used to justify killing Virgil Sollozzo 34 years earlier.
Vincent's irrepressible violent streak often angered Michael, but not nearly as much as his burgeoning romance with Michael's daughter (and Vincent's cousin) Mary. Remembering how his enemies inadvertently killed his first wife, Apollonia, Michael feared Mary would be endangered the deeper Vincent became involved in Corleone family business. This did, however, become useful to Michael, when he realized that Altobello had turned against him. Vincent was to ask Altobello's help in running away with Mary and starting his own family. After carefully avoiding Altobello's trap by refusing to hurt Michael himself, Vincent was introduced to the mastermind behind Michael's recent troubles, Don Licio Lucchesi.
The new Don
Despite their personal differences, Michael appointed Vincent the new Don and head of the Corleone family in 1980, allowing him to change his name to Vincent Corleone. In return for being elevated, Vincent had to end his relationship with Mary.
His time spent with Michael had made him into a new man--much wiser, patient, and aware of his status as the new Don. However, he still had a violent streak, as evidenced in his first act as Don--with Michael's tacit blessing, he ordered the deaths of Gilday, Keinszig and Lucchesi in one mass slaughter. The same night the romance ended, however, Mary was killed in an assassination attempt on Michael. Vincent quickly and ruthlessly killed the assassin responsible, Mosca. With a heavy heart, Vincent then began his tenure as Don Corleone.