Tom Dragna

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Tom Dragna
Tom Dragna mugshot.jpg
Born 1889
Corleone, Sicily, Italy
Died 1977
Los Angeles, United States
Nationality American
Known for Mobster

Tom Dragna (1889–1977) was a Sicilian-American bootlegger and mobster who became a member of the Los Angeles crime family. He is the brother of Jack Dragna and the father of Louis Tom Dragna. He remained an obscure figure until he was featured in The Last Mafioso: The Treacherous World of Jimmy Fratianno in 1981.

Early life[edit]

Dragna was born Gaetano Dragna in Corleone in Sicily in 1889. He was the middle child of Francesco Paolo Dragna and Anna Dragna. He had an older sister, Giuseppa, and a younger brother Iganzio. At the age of eight, they moved to New York City on November 18, 1898.[1]

Los Angeles[edit]

The two brothers, who now remnamed themselves Tom and Jack, respectively, then moved to Los Angeles. Unlike his brother, Tom became a naturalized citizen. While in California Tom married and fathered at least two children: Louis Tom Dragna and Frank Paul Dragna. He owned a ranch in West Puente Valley, California.[2] During the 1920s they were involved in bootlegging and were closely allied with Joseph Ardizzone. On multiple occasions, Dragna was arrested for violating the national prohibition law. After Ardizzone's disappearance in 1931, Jack became Boss of the Los Angeles crime family and named Tom his consigliere. Another close supporter of theirs, Girolamo "Momo" Adamo, was named underboss.

Consigliere[edit]

Dragna was a planner in some of the unsuccessful attempts on Mickey Cohen's life. Dragna was an expert at dynamite and set up the two bombs that were planted in Cohen's home. The first one didn't go off after the fuse failed to fully light. The second time, the bomb went off, but was placed near a safe, which shielded Cohen. In 1950, Dragna along with his son Louis, and two men named Frank Paul Dragna (his son and nephew, respectively) were arrested after Jack fled the state after being named in the California Crime Commission report as a member of a crime syndicate in Los Angeles. The four along with Girolamo "Momo" Adamo were taken into custody by authorities, who believed they were responsible for bombing Cohen's home or knew who was.[3] After being questioned, none of them were charged and they were released. Dragna bought a desert ranch outside of Las Vegas in 1951 in hopes of turning it into a casino.[4] Jack Dragna was unable to build a casino and his attempt almost led to his deportation.

According to the book The Last Mafioso, Dragna had the best aim with a gun in the crime family. As consigliere he was able to get his son Louis to become an official member of the L.A. family. When Jack Dragna died in 1956, Tom resigned from the criminal life when Frank DeSimone was named boss of the family. He still remained close to the crime family afterwards however. Dragna died in 1977.

References[edit]

  • Passenger Manifest for the S. S. Alsatia, 18 November 1898, available at Ellisisland.org.
  • Demaris, Ovid. ''The Last Mafioso: The Treacherous World of Jimmy Fratianno. Bantam Books, 1981. ISBN 0-553-27091-5

Notes[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
None
Los Angeles crime family
Consigliere

1931-1956
Succeeded by
Nick Licata