1946 in organized crime
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- Vincent Gigante retires from boxing and becomes involved in organized crime.
- Joseph Ida succeeds Joseph Bruno as leader of the Philadelphia crime family.
- Thomas Buffa, a drug traffiker and associate of Tony Lopiparo, is killed in Lodi, California.
- January - Lucky Luciano is pardoned and released from jail by New York Governor Thomas Dewey, as part of an arrangement for Luciano providing intelligence during World War II, and deported to Sicily.
- February 2–9 - Shortly before his deportation, federal authorities transfer Luciano from Great Meadow Prison to Ellis Island where he remains until boarding the Laura Keene for Sicily.
- June 24 - James M. Ragen is ambushed while stopped at Pershing Road and seriously wounded in the arms and legs by a shotgun blast from syndicate gunman, including William Block. Although beginning to recover from his wounds, he died from mercury poisoning on August 15. Although David "Yiddles" Miller, a West Side illegal gambling racketeer and former member of Ragen's Colts along with Ragen, is indicted for his murder, the case is nolprossed.
- July - A conference is held by the National Crime Syndicate in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
- October - A conference is held in Havana, Cuba which is attended by syndicate leaders including Meyer Lansky and Luciano.
- December 22 - The Havana Conference is held by the National Crime Syndicate, where the rivalry between Luciano and Vito Genovese is discussed (resulting in Luciano being elected Capo Di Tutti Cappi), as well discussions on the matter of Benjamin Siegel following the losses of the Las Vegas casino The Flamingo.
Arts and literature
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- James Eppolito, Gambino crime family member
- Gene Gotti, member of the Gambino crime family
- January 3 - Antonio Rotolo, future boss of the Pagliarelli clan
- January 8 - Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, Mexican drug lord and head of the Guadalajara Cartel
- February 23 - Louis Daidone "Louis Bagels", Lucchese crime family, acting boss
- June 24 - William D'Elia, current leader of the Bufalino crime family
- December 21 - Jimmy Coonan, co-leader of the Westies