Richard Boiardo

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Richard Boiardo (né Ruggerio Boiardo,[1] December (some sources say November[2]) 8, 1890 – October 24, 1984), also known as "Richie the Boot", was a caporegime in the Genovese crime family who ran mob operations in the Newark, New Jersey area.

Early life[edit]

Born in Naples, Italy, Boiardo's family immigrated to the Newark area in 1910. His first criminal activity involved bookmaking while he worked as a milkman.

Career[edit]

Boiardo eventually controlled criminal activities in the First Ward section of Newark. During the Prohibition era, Boiardo fought with Jewish mobster Abner "Longy" Zwillman for control of criminal rackets in Newark. Despite this animosity, the two mobsters were brought together, allegedly orchestrated by Charles "Lucky" Luciano, and made peace with each other. (Other reports say Al Capone orchestrated their truce.[3][4])

In the early 1930s,[5] Boiardo was ambushed and seriously wounded with 12 buckshot pellet wounds. At the time, the press suspected Zwillman was responsible, but later evidence pointed to the members of another rival gang led by the Mazzocchi brothers, whom the Boot subsequently had murdered.[6] In the 1930s, Boiardo became a made man, or full member of the new Luciano crime family established by Lucky Luciano. In 1957, this family became the Genovese family under boss Vito Genovese. With Zwillman's death in 1959, Boiardo became the undisputed mob boss of Newark.

Boiardo also owned residences in Havana, Cuba and Florida, where he had majority gambling interests in the early hotel/casinos.[citation needed]

Death[edit]

Boiardo died of natural causes on October 29, 1984 aged 93, and was interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington, New Jersey.[7]

Popular culture[edit]

  • David Chase, the creator of the HBO TV series The Sopranos, said the Soprano family was based on the Boiardo crime family and the DeCavalcante crime family, and their crews.[8]
  • Richard Linnett's biography of Boiardo, In The Godfather Garden: The Long Life and Times of Richie the Boot Boiardo (2013), is based on archival material, classified and unclassified FBI and police files, interviews with Boiardo's family and friends, and the personal recollections of the Boot's grandson Roger Hanos.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Malanga, Steven (April 4, 2007). "Unglamorous Mobsters: As a 1988 HBO documentary reveals, the real Sopranos were brutal—and banal". City Journal. 
  2. ^ "Ruggiero Boiardo - Newark "Godfather" FBI Files". Paperless Archives. 
  3. ^ Malanga, Steven (April 4, 2007). "Unglamorous Mobsters: As a 1988 HBO documentary reveals, the real Sopranos were brutal—and banal". City Journal. 
  4. ^ "Ruggiero Boiardo - Newark "Godfather" FBI Files". Paperless Archives. 
  5. ^ "Ruggiero Boiardo - Newark "Godfather" FBI Files". Paperless Archives. 
  6. ^ Immerso, Michael & Baglivo, Angelo (Moderator) (September 15, 2008). "Crime Bosses of Newark: A Panel Discussion about "Richie the Boot" Boiardo andLongie Zwillman". The Newark History Society & The Newark Historical Society. 
  7. ^ "Obituary". The Observer. October 29, 2003. p. 3. 
  8. ^ Malanga, Steven (April 8, 2007). "Brutal and Grisly Truth of Garden State's Real 'Sopranos'". New York Post. Retrieved May 19, 2008. 
  9. ^ Linnett, Richard (March 2013). In The Godfather Garden: The Long Life and Times of Richie the Boot Boiardo. Rutgers University Press. Retrieved June 11, 2016. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bureau of Narcotics, U.S. Treasury Department (2007). Mafia: the Government's Secret File on Organized Crime. HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-136385-5. 

Further reading[edit]