Frank Scalice

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Frank Scalice
Francesco Scalice

31 March, 1893
DiedJune 17, 1957 (aged 64)
The Bronx, New York City, United States
Cause of deathGunshot
Resting placeWoodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx
NationalitySicilian, Italian, American
Other namesDon Ciccio and Wacky
OccupationCrime boss, mobster, rum runner, racketeer
Known forBoss of the Gambino crime family

Frank Scalice[a] (born Francesco Scalice; Italian pronunciation: [franˈtʃesko skaˈliːtʃe]; March 31, 1893 – June 17, 1957) also known as "Don Ciccio" and "Wacky", was an Italian-American mobster active in New York City, who led the future Gambino crime family from 1930 to 1931 and was underboss from 1951 to 1957.

Early life[edit]

Scalice was born in Palermo, Sicily, in 1893 and later emigrated to the United States, settling in The Bronx. He operated his business from the Little Italy area in the Bronx. He also lived and raised his family in the City Island section of the Bronx. He was involved in many crimes and became Capo in the Brooklyn-based gang of Salvatore D'Aquila. After the murder of D'Aquila on October 10, 1928, the power in New York shifted to Joe Masseria's Manhattan-based gang.[1][2] The successor of D'Aquila, Manfredi Mineo, connected Masseria with the alliance and came into conflict with Scalice as a result.


On November 5, 1930, Mineo and his underboss, Stefano "Steve" Ferrigno, were murdered by Castellammarese Sicilians, led by Salvatore Maranzano.[3] Scalice became the new boss of the family and a strong ally and supporter of Maranzano in the Castellammarese War.

The Castellammarese War ended on April 15, 1931, when Masseria was killed.[4] Maranzano met with the New York bosses in May 1931 to work out a peace plan and organize the Five Families. Scalice was recognized as the Don of one of the families. However, after the murder of Maranzano on September 10, 1931,[5] new boss Lucky Luciano forced Scalice to resign as family boss. He was replaced with Vincent Mangano.[6]

On September 8, 1945, Scalice helped mobster Bugsy Siegel open the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Scalice later became involved in the casino business.


On June 17, 1957, Scalice was assassinated by two gunmen at a vegetable market in the Bronx.[7]

Scalice's funeral was held at the Scocozza Funeral Home in the Bronx. Police and federal agents attended the funeral and the Bronx District Attorney subpoenaed all the visitor records.[8] Scalice was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.[9]

After his death, Carlo Gambino became Anastasia's underboss.

His murder is believed to have been ordered by Anastasia himself, who had sentenced him to death because Scalice was believed to have sold Mangano family membership to the highest bidder, leading to untrustworthy and incapable members.[10]


  1. ^ Varese, Federico (1 February 2013). Mafias on the Move: How Organized Crime Conquers New Territories. Princeton University Press. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-691-15801-3. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  2. ^ Ferrara, Eric (26 June 2008). Gangsters, Murderers and Weirdos of the Lower East Side. p. 41. ISBN 978-1-4357-2507-2. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  3. ^ Nash, Jay Robert (1995). Bloodletters and badmen: a narrative encyclopedia of American criminals from the Pilgrims to the present. M. Evans and Co. p. 424. ISBN 978-0-87131-777-3. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  4. ^ Mayo, Mike (1 February 2008). American Murder: Criminals, Crimes and the Media. Visible Ink Press. p. 220. ISBN 978-1-57859-256-2. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  5. ^ New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. 10 July 1972. p. 38. ISSN 0028-7369. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  6. ^ Ehrlich, Paul R.; Ornstein, Robert E. (16 December 2010). Humanity on a Tightrope: Thoughts on Empathy, Family, and Big Changes for a Viable Future. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 54. ISBN 978-1-4422-0650-2. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Scalise Inquiry Begins" (PDF). New York Times. April 7, 1959. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
  8. ^ "Police Photograph Funeral of Scalice" (PDF). New York Times. June 23, 1957. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
  9. ^ Resting Places
  10. ^ La Cosa Nostra Database "Frank Scalise"


  1. ^ Also spelled Scalise.
American Mafia
Preceded by
Manfredi Mineo
Gambino crime family

Succeeded by
Vincent Mangano
Preceded by
Albert Anastasia
Gambino crime family

Succeeded by
Carlo Gambino