Skip to main content

Bonanno, Joseph 1905-2002

BONANNO, Joseph 1905-2002

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born January 18, 1905, in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, Italy; died of a heart ailment May 11, 2002, in Tucson, AZ. Mafia boss and author. Although he did not like the term "Mafia," Bonanno headed one of the original five family crime syndicates operating in New York City from the 1930s to the 1960s. His parents first brought him to the United States when Bonanno was three years old; the family returned to Sicily ten years later, but Bonanno came back to America illegally in 1924, quickly establishing himself as a mob leader. Although known to the police and FBI for his illegal activities, Bonanno escaped serious charges throughout his life and became a leader in "the Commission," a loose association of organized crime bosses in New York. His career in crime fell apart in the 1960s, however, when he led a power struggle that became known as "the Banana War" after his much-disliked nickname, "Joe Bananas." The result of his grab for power was thirteen murders, and Bonanno fled to Arizona, where he went into hiding. He wrote about his exploits in the 1983 autobiography A Man of Honor: The Autobiography of Joseph Bonanno, which many reviewers criticized as a self-serving book that reveals little about the Mafia. However, Rudolph Giuliani, the former New York mayor who in the 1980s was a federal prosecutor, found enough information in the book to bring its author to trial. Even so, Bonanno served little time in prison. From 1983 to 1984 he served an eight-month sentence for obstruction of justice, and then spent fourteen months in prison for contempt of court before going free again in 1986.

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

BOOKS

Sifakis, Carl, The Mafia Encyclopedia, second edition, Facts on File, 1999.

PERIODICALS

Los Angeles Times, May 12, 2002, p. B16.

New York Times, May 13, 2002, p. A15.

Washington Post, May 13, 2002, p. B4.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bonanno, Joseph 1905-2002." Contemporary Authors. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Bonanno, Joseph 1905-2002." Contemporary Authors. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 18, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/bonanno-joseph-1905-2002

"Bonanno, Joseph 1905-2002." Contemporary Authors. . Retrieved November 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/bonanno-joseph-1905-2002

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.