Salvatore Catalanotte

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Salvatore "Sam Sings in the Night" Catalanotte (February 15, 1894 – February 14, 1930) was an Italian-American mobster and boss of Detroit's Unione Siciliana from 1920 to 1930. "Sings in the night" is a translation of his last name.

Criminal career[edit]

Salvatore Catalanotte was born in Trapani, Sicily on February 15, 1894. He immigrated to Detroit, Michigan, in 1905 where he worked for the bootlegging Giannola brothers during the Vitale-Giannola War. Catalanotte survived several attempts on his life and emerged the "king of Little Sicily in Detroit". He lobbied for an uneasy alliance between the Eastside and Westside Mobs, which was renamed the Pascuzzi Combine. Catalanotte's unified crime syndicate demonstrated its influence by corrupting city and state officials while simultaneously ensuring protection for its racketeering operations. The Pascuzzi Combine is considered the precursor to the Detroit Partnership of La Cosa Nostra.


Catalanotte's reign came to an end after he died from pneumonia on February 14, 1930. As a sign of respect, every prominent member of Detroit's criminal underworld paid their respects at the Church of the Most Holy Family in Detroit. This was followed by a 1,200 car procession to his grave at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Detroit.


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