Frank Nitti

Francesco Raffaele Nitto (January 27, 1886 – March 19, 1943), commonly known as Frank Nitti, and nicknamed "The Enforcer", was an Italian-American gangster. One of Al Capone's top henchmen, Nitti was in charge of all money flowing through the operation. Nitti later succeeded Capone as boss of the Chicago Outfit.

Francesco Raffaele Nitto
BornJanuary 27, 1886[1]
DiedMarch 19, 1943 (aged 57)
OccupationOrganized crime
Spouse(s)Rosa "Rose" Levitt Nitto (1918–1928; divorced)
Anna Ronga Nitto (1928–1940; her death)
Ursula Sue Nitto (1940–1940; her death)
Annette Caravetta Nitto (1942–1943; his death)[1]
Criminal chargeTax evasion
Penalty18-month sentence

Early life and Prohibition

Francesco Raffaele Nitto was born in the small town of Angri, province of Salerno, Campania, Italy.[1] He was the second child of Luigi and Rosina (Fezza) Nitto[1] and a first cousin of Al Capone.[2] His father died in 1888, when Frank was two years old, and within a year his mother married Francesco Dolendo. Although two children were born to the couple, neither survived—leaving Francesco and his older sister, Giovannina, the only children. Francesco Dolendo emigrated to the United States in July 1890, and the rest of the family followed in June 1893 when Nitti was seven. The family settled at 113 Navy Street, Brooklyn, New York City. Little Francesco attended public school and worked odd jobs after school to support the family. His 15-year-old sister married a 24-year-old man, and his mother gave birth to his half-brother Raphael, in 1894, and another child, Gennaro, in 1896. He quit school after the seventh grade, and worked as a pinsetter, factory worker, and barber. Al Capone's family lived nearby, and Nitti was friends with Capone's older brothers and their criminal gang (the Navy Street Boys).[1]

A worsening relationship with Dolendo urged him to leave home when he was 14 in 1900 to work in various local factories. Around 1910, at the age of 24, he left Brooklyn. The next several years of his life are poorly documented, and little can be ascertained. He may have worked in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn around 1911. He probably moved to Chicago around 1913, working as a barber and making the acquaintance of gangsters Alex Louis Greenberg and Dean O'Banion. He married Chicagoan Rosa (Rose) Levitt in Dallas, Texas, on October 18, 1917.[1] The couple's movements after their marriage remain uncertain. He is known to have become a partner in the Galveston crime syndicate run by "Johnny" Jack Nounes.[3] He is reported to have stolen a large sum of money from Nounes and fellow mobster Dutch Voight, after which Nitti fled to Chicago. By 1918, Nitti had settled there at 914 South Halsted Street. Nitti quickly renewed his contacts with Greenberg and O'Banion, becoming a jewel thief, liquor smuggler, and fence. Through his liquor smuggling activities, Nitti came to the attention of Chicago crime boss Johnny "Papa Johnny" Torrio and Torrio's newly arrived soldier, Al Capone.[1]

Under Torrio's successor Al Capone, Nitti's reputation soared. Nitti ran Capone's liquor smuggling and distribution operation, importing whisky from Canada and selling it through a network of speakeasies around Chicago. Nitti was one of Capone's top lieutenants, trusted for his leadership skills and business acumen. Because Nitti's ancestry was from the same town as Capone's, he was able to help Capone penetrate the Sicilian and Camorra underworld in a way Capone alone never could.[4] Capone thought so highly of Nitti that when he went to prison in 1929, he named Nitti as a member of a triumvirate that ran the mob in his place. Nitti was head of operations, with Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik as head of administration and Tony "Joe Batters" Accardo as head of enforcement. Despite his nickname ("The Enforcer"), Nitti used Mafia soldiers and others to commit violence rather than do it himself. In earlier days, Nitti had been one of Capone's trusted personal bodyguards, but as he rose in the organization, Nitti's business instinct dictated that he must personally avoid the "dirty work", for which hitmen were paid.

Frank and Rose Nitti divorced in 1928, and shortly thereafter he married Anna Ronga Nitti, daughter of a mob doctor and former neighbor of the Nittis in the 1920s.[1] The couple adopted a son, Joe.[5]

The Outfit under Nitti

In 1931, both 45-year-old Frank Nitti and 32-year-old Al Capone were convicted of tax evasion and sent to prison; however, Nitti received an 18-month sentence, while Capone was sent away for 11 years. Nitti was not a troublesome prisoner, but found the year-and-a-half confinement in a cell difficult because of the closed-in space. When Nitti was released in 1932, he took his place as the new boss of the Capone Gang.[1]

While some revisionist historians claim that Nitti was a mere "front boss" while others, namely Paul "The Waiter" Ricca, were the "real" bosses of the Chicago Outfit,[6] both contemporary and modern accounts confirm that Capone's successor was indeed Frank Nitti. According to Nitti biographer Mars Eghigian, Nitti's age, brilliance, and reputation in the underworld made him Capone's personal choice for successor, rather than younger, less experienced mobsters such as Ricca or Murray Humphreys. In actuality, Paul Ricca was merely the acting boss of the Chicago Outfit for a six-month period between Capone's October 1931 imprisonment and Frank Nitti's April 1932 release. With the recently released Nitti paranoid about violating his federal parole, Ricca was acting in the capacity of emissary that same month when he was arrested with Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, and other mobsters by Chicago police and prominently photographed. This picture would cause some to incorrectly infer that Paul Ricca was the new boss of the Chicago mob.[1]

With Nitti calling the shots, the Chicago Outfit branched out from prostitution and gambling into other areas, including control of labor unions (which led to the extortion of many businesses). On December 19, 1932, a team of Chicago police, headed by Detective Sergeants Harry Lang and Harry Miller, raided Nitti's office in Room 554, at 221 N. LaSalle Street in Chicago. Lang shot Nitti three times in the back and neck. He then shot himself (a minor flesh wound) to make the shooting look like self-defense, claiming that Nitti had shot him first. Court testimony later insisted that the murder attempt was personally ordered by newly elected Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, who supposedly wanted to eliminate the Chicago Outfit in favor of gangsters who answered to him.[6] Nitti survived the shooting and, in February 1933, was acquitted of attempted murder. During that same trial, Miller testified that Lang received $15,000 to kill Nitti. Another uniformed officer who was present at the shooting testified that Nitti was shot while unarmed. Harry Lang and Harry Miller were both fired from the police force and each fined US$100 for simple assault. Two months later, Cermak was shot and killed by Giuseppe Zangara, a Calabrian immigrant. At the time, Cermak was talking to President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt. Most historians believe, corroborated by Zangara's own comments and a note left behind at his room, that he intended to kill Roosevelt but missed and hit Cermak instead.

Further marriages

Anna Nitto died on Nov. 19, 1940, in Mercy Hospital, Chicago, from an unspecified internal ailment.[7] Nitti married Annette (Toni) Caravetta on May 14, 1942; she was widowed almost a year later when he committed suicide.

Death

In 1943, many top members of the Chicago Outfit were indicted for extorting the Hollywood film industry. Among those prosecuted were Nitti, Phil D'Andrea, Louis "Little New York" Campagna, Nick Circella, Charles "Cherry Nose" Gioe, Ralph Pierce, Ricca, and John "Handsome Johnny" Roselli. The Outfit was accused of trying to extort money from some of the largest movie studios, including Columbia Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures, RKO Pictures, and 20th Century Fox. The studios had cooperated with The Outfit to avoid union trouble (unrest itself stirred up by the mob). At a meeting of Outfit leaders at Nitti's home, Ricca blamed Nitti for the indictments. Ricca said that since this had been Nitti's scheme and that of the FBI informant (Willie Bioff) one of Nitti's trusted associates, Nitti should go to prison. A severe claustrophobe as a result of his first prison term, Nitti dreaded the idea of another prison confinement. It was also rumored that he was suffering from terminal cancer at this time. For these or possibly other reasons, he ultimately decided to take his own life.[8]

The day before his scheduled grand jury appearance, Nitti had breakfast with his wife in their home at 712 Selborne Road in Riverside, Illinois. When his wife left for church, Nitti told her he planned to take a walk, then began to drink heavily. He then loaded a .32 caliber revolver, put it in his coat pocket, and walked five blocks to a local railroad yard. Conductor William F. Seebauer and switchmen L.M. Barnett and E.H. Moran were riding in the caboose, backing their train slowly southward over an ungated Cermak Road. The workers spotted an oblivious Nitti walking on the track away from them and shouted a warning. Nitti walked off the tracks, staggering towards the fence. Two shots rang out. The workers thought Nitti was shooting at them, then realized he was trying to shoot himself in the head. The first shot fired by Nitti's unsteady hand missed and passed through his fedora. The second bullet slammed into the right side of his jaw and exited through the top of his head, taking a lock of his hair with it and leaving the tuft protruding from the hole in the crown of the fedora. The final, fatal bullet entered behind Nitti's right ear and lodged in the top of his skull. Police Chief Allen Rose of North Riverside, rushing to the scene with a sergeant and several beat patrolmen, recognized Nitti immediately. An autopsy by William McNalley, coroner's toxicologist, showed that Nitti's blood alcohol level was 0.23. A coroner's jury ruled the following day that Nitti "committed suicide while temporarily insane and in a despondent frame of mind".[9]

Frank Nitti died on March 19, 1943, at the age of 57.[10] Nitti is buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois. Controversy has persisted regarding the interment of a suicide in a Catholic cemetery. Nitti's grave can be found to the left of the main Roosevelt Road entrance, about 50 feet (15 m) from the gate. It is marked "Nitto". To the right of the gate is the family plot containing the grave of Al Capone, marked by a 6-foot (180 cm) white monument stone. Straight up from the gate are the graves of Dean O'Banion and Hymie Weiss, both North Side Gang members who were killed by the Chicago Outfit under Capone.

The Nitto name

While the name Frank Nitti has become infamous in American criminal history, the man himself never at any point in his life referred to himself as anything other than his birth name of Frank Nitto; only the police, media, and fringe mobsters called him Nitti.[1]

In popular culture

Films

Frank Nitti has been portrayed numerous times in television and motion pictures:

In the 1983 film Easy Money, the Frank Nitti is the name of a kind of pizza ordered to Rodney Dangerfield's character's house.

Music

  • Mentioned by Sacramento rapper Brotha Lynch Hung in his song "Xcaliber."
  • Mentioned by hip-hop group Group Home on their 1995 track "Up Against Tha Wall"
  • Mentioned by hip-hop group M.O.P. in their track "How About Some Hardcore."
  • Mentioned by Rapper Kool G Rap on "It's a Shame"
  • Referenced by Harlem rapper Big L on "Lifestyles ov da Poor & Dangerous" "We stormed the city, shooting sh-t up like Frank Nitti, We robbed kids and split the dough fitty-fitty"

Sports

Ice hockey goaltender Antero Niittymäki has used an image of Nitti on his helmet due to the similarity of their names.[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Eghigian, Mars. After Capone: The Life and World of Chicago Mob Boss Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti. Naperville, Ill.: Cumberland House Publishing, 2006. ISBN 1-58182-454-8
  2. ^ Binder, John J (2003). The Chicago Outfit. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-2326-7.
  3. ^ Cartwright, Gary (1998). Galveston: a history of the island. New York: Macmillan. p. 210. ISBN 0-87565-190-9.
  4. ^ Boatman, Tabitha Nicole (August 2014). ISLAND EMPIRE: THE INFLUENCE OF THE MACEO FAMILY IN GALVESTON (PDF) (Report). University of North Texas. p. 59.
  5. ^ Ewing, Steve and Lundstrom, John B. Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Butch O'Hare. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 2004. ISBN 1-59114-249-0
  6. ^ a b Sifakis, Carl (1987). The Mafia Encyclopedia. New York City: Facts on File. ISBN 0816018561.
  7. ^ Mrs. Anna Nitto, Frank Nitti's wife, dies at 38, Chicago Daily Tribune, Nov. 20, 1940, p. 14
  8. ^ Mannion, James. 101 Things You Didn't Know About the Mafia. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-59337-267-5.
  9. ^ Koziol, Ronald; Baumann, Edward (1987-06-29). "How Frank Nitti Met His Fate". Chicago Tribune, 29 June 1987. Retrieved from http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1987-06-29/features/8702170754_1_frank-nitti-crime-syndicate-pulled/2.
  10. ^ "Gang Leader Nitti Kills Himself In Chicago After Indictment Here." New York Times. March 20, 1943.
  11. ^ Panaccio, Tim. "NHL to Weigh Punishment for Thrashers' Boulton." Philadelphia Inquirer. October 23, 2005.

Further reading

  • Binder, John J. The Chicago Outfit. Arcadia Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0-7385-2326-7
  • Humble, Ronald D. Frank Nitti: The True Story of Chicago's Notorious Enforcer. Barricade Books, 2007. ISBN 978-1-56980-342-4
  • Eghigian Jr., Mars (2005). After Capone: The Life and World of Chicago Mob Boss Frank The Enforcer" Nitti. Cumberland House Publishing. ISBN 978-1581824544.

External links

American Mafia
Preceded by
Al Capone
Chicago Outfit Boss
1931-1943
Succeeded by
Paul Ricca
Angri

Angri is a town and comune in the province of Salerno, Campania, southern Italy. It is around 11 miles (18 km) northwest of the town of Salerno.

Billy Drago

William Eugen Burrows, Jr. (born November 30, 1945), known professionally by his stage name Billy Drago, is an American television and film actor. Frequently cast in the role of villain, Drago's films have included Clint Eastwood's western Pale Rider and Brian De Palma's The Untouchables.

Bruce Gordon

Bruce Gordon may refer to:

Bruce Gordon (musician) (born 1968), Canadian bassist and member of I Mother Earth

Bruce L. Gordon (born 1963), American philosopher and Intelligent Design proponent

Bruce S. Gordon (born 1946), American business executive and former NAACP president

Bruce Gordon (actor/director), South African actor and director of 1919's The First Men in the Moon

Bruce Gordon (actor) (1916–2011), American character actor best known for playing Frank Nitti on The Untouchables

Bruce Gordon (businessman) (born 1929), owner of Australian regional television broadcaster WIN Television

Bruce Gordon (historian), professor of ecclesiastical history

Bruce Gordon, a fictional character and the current host of the DC Comics supervillain Eclipso

Bruce Gordon (actor)

Bruce Gordon (February 1, 1916 – January 20, 2011) was an American actor best known for playing gangster Frank Nitti in the ABC television series The Untouchables. His acting career ranged over a half century and included stage, movies, and a varied number of roles on the small screen.

Cook County Jail

The Cook County Jail, located on 96 acres (39 hectares) in Cook County, Illinois, is the largest single site jail in the United States. Located at 2700 South California Avenue in the city of Chicago, it houses about 6500 prisoners and employs 3900 law enforcement officials and 7000 civilian employees.

The jail has held several well-known and infamous criminals, including Tony Accardo, Frank Nitti, Larry Hoover, Jeff Fort, Richard Speck, John Wayne Gacy and the Chicago Seven.

It was one of three sites in which executions were carried out by electrocution in Illinois. Between 1928 and 1962, the electric chair was used 67 times at the jail, including the state's last electrocution of James Duke on August 24, 1962. The state's other electrocutions were carried out at the Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill and at the Menard Correctional Center in Chester.

Frank n Dank

Frank n Dank (real names Frank Bush, and Derrick Harvey) are an American hip hop group from Detroit, Michigan. They also go by the names Frank Nitt (previously known as Frank Nitty, which is a reference to the 1930s crime boss Frank Nitti) and Dankery Harv. They are mainly known for their many collaborations with the late J Dilla. Known for their party-driven, tongue-in-cheek raps, the duo first came to public attention as guests on producer J Dilla's album, Welcome 2 Detroit in 2001. Prior to this, they had been performing in their hometown, Detroit, since the mid-1990s and had released the 12"s "Everybody Get Up!" and "Me and My Man" between "Love (A Thing of the Past)", both produced by J Dilla.

The group signed a recording deal with MCA Records, but their 2003 album, 48 Hours, was at first rejected by the label, reworked with new production and resubmitted by the group, and finally shelved by the label altogether. Bootlegs of the reworked version eventually surfaced on the underground. The album was entirely produced by J Dilla, who uses very few samples throughout the album, instead choosing to concoct synth-driven beats for the MCs to rhyme over. It is believed that the original version of 48 Hours was more sample based, and that this may have been a factor in it being rejected by MCA, due to sample clearances.Frank n Dank released their follow-up albums, Xtended Play in 2004, and Xtended Play Version 3.13 in 2006. The album Xtended Play Version 3.13 contained production by J Dilla (who died before its release), and other Detroit producers. The song "MCA" details their uphill climb in the music industry.

Que D featured on Frank n Dank's European Vacation CD and DVD released on July 24, 2007.

Frank N Dank teamed up with Ralph "Young RJ" Rice to form a group called The FDR Project under their new record label For da Record, both utilizing the first initial of each of their names; Frank, Dank and RJ. The first project slated for production on For Da Record is a DVD titled Frank n Dank & J Dilla's European Vacation, which will come packaged with an 8 tracks EP featuring work from the members of The F.D.R. Project. The DVD and EP will include the last performances from J Dilla and Frank n Dank. The highly anticipated Frank n Dank’s European Vacation was released in 2007.

Giuseppe Zangara

Giuseppe "Joe" Zangara (September 7, 1900 – March 20, 1933) was an Italian immigrant and naturalized citizen of the United States who attempted to assassinate then-President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 15, 1933. During a night speech by Roosevelt in Miami, Florida, Zangara fired five shots with a handgun he had purchased a couple of days before. He missed his target and instead injured five bystanders, mortally wounding Anton Cermak, the Mayor of Chicago.

Johnny Jack Nounes

Johnny Jack Nounes, also known as the "Beau Brummell of Galveston", was an organized crime boss in Galveston, Texas, United States, during the early 1900s. He, with one-armed George Musey, led the Downtown Gang, one of the two gangs which controlled most of the Galveston Crime Syndicate until the early 1930s. They fought for control of the island against the rival Beach Gang led by Ollie Quinn and Dutch Voight. As the prohibition era began, his gang came to be one of the dominant forces in the Galveston Crime Syndicate. Galveston became the main port of entry for liquor supply in Texas and many parts of the Midwest.

Nounes' flamboyance attracted the attention of federal authorities, leading to his conviction in 1924 and sentencing to Leavenworth Penitentiary. His prison term was short but only two years after being released he was again sentenced to prison after being caught with a shipment of liquor in Seabrook. Frank Nitti, a business partner of Nounes, would go on to become the "enforcer" for Al Capone's crime organization in Chicago as well as the future boss of the Chicago Outfit.

List of The Untouchables (1959 TV series) episodes

This is a list of episodes for the 1959–63 television series The Untouchables, starring Robert Stack as Eliot Ness.

Low-angle shot

In cinematography, a low-angle shot, is a shot from a camera angle positioned low on the vertical axis, anywhere below the eye line, looking up. Sometimes, it is even directly below the subject's feet. Psychologically, the effect of the low-angle shot is that it makes the subject look strong and powerful.

Manhattan Brewing Company of Chicago

The Manhattan Brewing Company was a brewery founded in Chicago, United States in 1893 which had associations with Al Capone and organized crime during and after prohibition. Manhattan later changed its name to the Canadian Ace Brewing Company and operated as such through the 1950s and 1960s until closing in 1968.

Nitti

Nitti may refer to:

Nitti (producer), American rapper and producer

Frank Nitti (1896–1943), American mobster in Al Capone's gang

Nitti: The Enforcer, 1988 biopic of Frank Nitti

Francesco Saverio Nitti (1868–1953), Italian prime minister, economist and politician

Francesco Fausto Nitti (1899–1974), Italian anti-fascist journalist

Nitto

Nitto or Nittō or variant may refer to:

Nitto Denko, corporation producing insulators, tapes, films, LCDs

Nitto Tire, tyre company bought by Toyo

Nitto Records, Japanese record company

Nittō Aviation, predecessor to Japan Domestic Airlines

Nitto, Japanese model manufacturer, see List of model car brandsPeopleFrank Nitti, aka Francesco Raffaele Nitto (1886–1943), a mafia enforcer

The Scarface Mob

The Scarface Mob is an American feature film directed by Phil Karlson and starring Robert Stack. It consists of the pilot episodes for the TV series The Untouchables (1959) that originally screened as a two-part installment of Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse in April 1959. The episodes were cut together and released in 1962.

The Untouchables (1959 TV series)

The Untouchables is an American crime drama that ran from 1959 to 1963 on the ABC Television Network, produced by Desilu Productions. Based on the memoir of the same name by Eliot Ness and Oscar Fraley, it fictionalized Ness's experiences as a Prohibition agent, fighting crime in Chicago in the 1930s with the help of a special team of agents handpicked for their courage, moral character, and incorruptibility, nicknamed the Untouchables. The book was later made into a film in 1987 (also called The Untouchables) by Brian De Palma, with a script by David Mamet, and a second, less-successful TV series in 1993.

A dynamic, hard-hitting action drama, and a landmark television crime series, The Untouchables won series star Robert Stack an Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series in 1960.

The Untouchables (film)

The Untouchables is a 1987 American gangster film directed by Brian De Palma, produced by Art Linson, written by David Mamet, and based on the book of the same name (1957). The film stars Kevin Costner, Charles Martin Smith, Andy Garcia, Robert De Niro, and Sean Connery, and follows Eliot Ness (Costner) as he forms the Untouchables team to bring Al Capone (De Niro) to justice during Prohibition. The Grammy Award-winning score was composed by Ennio Morricone and features period music by Duke Ellington.The Untouchables premiered on June 2, 1987 in New York City, and went into general release on June 3, 1987 in the United States. The film grossed $106.2 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics. It was nominated for four Academy Awards; Connery won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Triplemanía V-A

Triplemanía V-A was the first part of the fifth Triplemanía professional wrestling show promoted by AAA. 1997 was fourth year to feature the "Triplemanía Series" of shows with two, referred to as V-A and V-B, where this was the first of the series. The show took place on June 13, 1997 in Tijuana, Mexico. The Main event featured a Six-man "Lucha Libre rules" tag team match between the teams of Perro Aguayo, Tinieblas Jr. and Canek and Jake Roberts, Killer, and Gorgeous George III.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.