Mobster Joseph Gambino has died at the age of 84. He was the son of the “Boss of all Bosses” Carlo Gambino and a one-time partner in a multimillion-dollar mafia organization in the Garment District.
A Lucrative Trucking Business
Along with his older brother Thomas, Joseph Gambino oversaw a mob-controlled trucking business. For decades they had the monopoly on trucking business assigned to certain zones within the Manhattan business district. There was never any competitive bidding and the mafia made tens of millions of dollars by imposing a 7% mob tax on anything arriving on a Gambino-owned truck.
Losing it all, well, not quite all.
Thomas Gambino was in charge of the scam and Joseph was in charge of operations. In 1992 they both agreed to a plea bargain wherein they quit their trucking jobs and pay a $12 million fine. In return, neither one would serve any jail time.
It is estimated that they made approximately $22 million in profit.
They were also required to sell off most of their moving trucks. This signaled the end of the Gambino family’s control of the Garment District which started in the 1950s.
Back in 1991, celebrity fashion designer Bob Mackie gave Joseph’s wife Arlene a brand new wardrobe and gave dresses to a few of Joseph’s relatives for a family wedding. This was done as payment towards a loan provided to Mackie by the Gambino brothers a few years earlier.
Joseph and Thomas were sons of the powerful head of the crime family, Carlo Gambino. Carlo died in 1976 of natural causes at the age of 74. He became boss after the infamous 1957 assassination of Albert Anastasia whilst he was sat in a barber’s chair at the Park Sheraton Hotel.
Carlo Gambino’s brother-in-law Paul Castellano was given the reins though he was infamously shot and killed in 1985. It was just before Christmas in a hit arranged by John “Dapper Don” Gotti.
Since their guilty pleas, Joseph and Thomas stayed out of the spotlight even while during the 1990s and into the new millennium, the Gambino family fell on hard times.
Joseph Gambino, Philanthropist
The brothers weren’t all bad though. In 1991 they donated $1 million towards a state-of-the-art children’s cancer center on Long Island. They have also given generously to other cancer charities.