The Pittsburgh Press, January 1, 1953
December 19, 1901|
|Died||December 3, 1984
McCandless Township, Pennsylvania, U.S.
John Sebastian LaRocca (December 19, 1901 - December 3, 1984) was the Sicilian-born American boss of the Pittsburgh crime family from the 1950s until his death in 1984.
Born in Villarosa, Sicily, LaRocca and his family emigrated to the United States in 1910, settling in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. As a young man, LaRocca went to work in the coal mines. In 1922, at age 20, he was arrested for assaulting a young woman and sentenced to three years in prison.
In 1956, LaRocca succeeded longtime crime boss Frank Amato as head of criminal operations in Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania. LaRocca and 2 of his captains, Gabriel Mannarino and Michael James Genovese were among the 100+ Mafiosi that attended the legendary Apalachin Meeting in 1957.
LaRocca was considered by many to be the most successful of all Pittsburgh godfathers. He worked closely with several bosses including Carlo Gambino of NYC, Angelo Bruno of Philadelphia, Russell Bufalino of Pittston, Nick Civella of Kansas City and Santo Trafficante, Jr. of Tampa. LaRocca, Mannarino and Trafficante were partners in the Sans Souci hotel and gambling casino in Havana, Cuba. LaRocca remained boss until his death from natural causes on December 3, 1984, at age 82.
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- Pennsylvania Crime Commission. St. Davids, Pennsylvania: DIANE Publishing, 1984. ISBN 0-8182-0000-6
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