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In The Godfather
Forlenza is the Mafia boss of Cleveland. The Godfather establishes that the Forlenza crime family has many high-ranking Jewish associates, something rare in Mafia families — hence the Don's derisive nickname. His organization is the most powerful of strictly gambling-based crime families in the U.S.
In The Godfather Returns
Vincent Forlenza is a minor character in The Godfather, but one of the main antagonists of The Godfather Returns. The latter novel established his backstory; he is an immigrant from Sicily who establishes himself in the underworld by running numbers for other gangsters, and then killing them and assuming their territories. By the 1940s he is a force to be reckoned with, quietly expanding his empire throughout Ohio until no one stands in his way.
At around this time he employs Fausto Geraci, Sr. as a driver/associate and becomes godfather to his son, Nick.
In 1957, he conspires with Nick Geraci to kill Sal Narducci, Michael Corleone and Hyman Roth, thereby weakening the Corleone family's gambling operation in Cuba, and strengthening the Chicago mob. Geraci personally executes Narducci while he is in hiding in Rome.
In 1961, Michael learns of Forlenza's plan and devises one of his own to kill him. As part of a sweeping revenge, when Forlenza has a heart attack at his home, Michael sends a fake ambulance to pick him up. The ambulance then drives him to the Cleveland docks, where Michael's men chain Forlenza to an old tugboat boat and sink it to the bottom of Lake Erie.
Forlenza is succeeded by his former caporegime, Frank "The Greek" Greco.
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