Rosario DeSimone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Rosario DeSimone
Born (1873-12-11)December 11, 1873
Salaparuta, Sicily, Italy
Died July 15, 1946(1946-07-15) (aged 72)
Downey, California
Residence Downey, California
Nationality Italian
Other names The Chief
Known for Mob Activity
Spouse(s) Rosalie DeSimone
Children Leon DeSimone
Frank DeSimone
Joe DeSimone
Relatives Grandchildren: Thomas DeSimone, Robert DeSimone, Anthony DeSimone, and Joseph DeSimone.

Rosario DeSimone (December 11, 1873 – July 15, 1946), was the head of an Italian crime family during the 1920s to 1940s that was the predecessor to the Los Angeles crime family of the American Mafia. Rosario was the father of the future California mob boss, Frank DeSimone. Not to be confused with the Chicago Italian Timothy Rosario DeSimone.


DeSimone was born in Salaparuta, Sicily, in Italy, on December 11, 1873. He initially settled in New Orleans before moving to Pueblo, Colorado. In Pueblo he was part of that city's Mafia organization, and was evidently well-respected. He became a close ally of Vito Di Giorgio in Los Angeles. Upon Di Giorgio's death in Chicago in 1922, DeSimone took power. His empire spanned over Los Angeles County. His rule in Los Angeles was brief, and he stepped down around 1925. He later became a legitimate businessman who settled in Downey, California. Rosario died of natural causes in 1946.


DeSimone married and fathered several children. His son by his first wife, Leon DeSimone, graduated from Stanford University and became a successful Los Angeles surgeon. DeSimone fathered two sons by his second wife Rosalia Cordo. Frank DeSimone, his second son, became a criminal attorney and later don of the crime family, reigning from 1956 to 1967. His third son, Joseph, became a dentist. His first and third sons had no interest in leading a life of crime. DeSimone also had two daughters, Josephine and Towina.

Several of Rosario's other descendants also became involved in the Mafia. They include his grandsons Thomas DeSimone, Robert DeSimone, Anthony DeSimone, and Joseph DeSimone. Others include his granddaughter Dolores DeSimone and relatives Franky DeSimone, Ralph DeSimone, Phil DeSimone, and James DeSimone.


  • Gentile, Nick, with Felice Chilanti. Vita Di Capomafia. Rome: Editori Riuniti, 1963.
  • Warner, Richard N. "The First Mafia Boss of Los Angeles? The Mystery of Vito Di Giorgio, 1880-1922." On The Spot Journal (Summer 2008), 46-54.
  • Los Angeles Times obituary for Rosario DeSimone, July 17, 1946
American Mafia
Preceded by
Vito Di Giorgio
Los Angeles crime family Boss
Succeeded by
Joseph Ardizzone