Stefano  La Sala

Stefano La Sala (1888 - abt. 1975)

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Stefano (Stephen) "Steve" La Sala aka LaSalle
Born in Corleone, Palermo, Sicilia, Italiamap
Ancestors ancestors
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died about [location unknown]
La_Sala-51 created 18 Feb 2017 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 226 times.

Categories: Corleone, Italia | Corleonesi Immigrants to New York | Gangsters | Lucchese crime family | Corleone Mafia Siblings | Genovese crime family.


Stefano la Sala is born 5 November 1888 in Corleone and baptized five days later. He is the son of Biagio la Sala and Vincenza Liggio. His godmother is Domenica Moscato, who is unmarried.[1] He is named after his paternal grandfather.

An article published in 1972 claims that Stefano was born into a mafia family.[2]

In Critchley's history: On p. 130 he writes that Stefano "Steve" LaSalle (real name LaSala) was probably born November 1889. On p. 280, he writes that Stefano La Sala was born November 1888 in Corleone, although his Declaration of Intention (Southern Dist. of NY No. 385787) gives November 1889 as correct.[3]

When he is eight years old, Stefano immigrates with his family on the SS Clive, arriving in New York on 26 May 1897:

1010 Maria Morello, 56? (b. 1841)
1011 Biagio La Sala, 44 (b. 1853), laborer
1012 Vincenza Ligio, 31 (b. 1866)
1013 Stefano la Sala, 8 (b. 1889)
1014 Domenico La Sala, 5 (b. 1892)
1015 Vi... La Sala, 3 (b. 1894) (a match for Vito, born in 1893)
1016 Antonio? La Sala, 1 yr 6 mos (b. 1895)
1017 ... La Sala, 7 (b. 1890) (age is a match for Calogero)[4]

Wagner et al identify Stefano as a native of Corleone, and a member of Giuseppe Morello's gang in New York City. (The Morello gang is later known as the Genovese crime family.) They report that LaSalle immigrates in 1897 with Maria Morello.[5] The sister of Giuseppe Morello, Maria was born in 1872: she is 25 years old in 1897. Critchley sets Maria's immigration in 1893[3]. Although it's possible and even likely that Giuseppe's sister would make multiple trips between Sicily and the US, her age is not a match for the 1897 Clive manifest.[4] I have not been able to identify the traveler with the La Sala family, based on her given age in this record. Cascio-10 14:30, 5 March 2017 (EST)

Stefano has brothers named Vito and Calogero who are named by Bill Feather[6] and Richard Wagner et al[5] as fellow members of Tommy Gagliano's gang in East Harlem. They both appear on this manifest.

In 1905, the La Sala family is living with several other families, according to the state census of the 21st ED, Block B, 32nd AD, in Manhattan, taken on 1 June.

Biagio, 49 (b. 1856), a laborer, his wife Vincenza, 44 (b. 1861), and their children Stefano, 16 (b. 1889), who is also a laborer, Charles, 15 (b. 1890), Domenico, 13 (b. 1892), Vito, 12 (b. 1893), Rosa, 9 (b. 1896), Lucia, 8 (b. 1897), and Frances, 4 (b. 1901), live with the Campiglia, Perricone, Polpo, Gentile, Cuomo, Onorato, Petrillo, Lamaritata, Raia, Russo, Anzalone, and Frolio families. The older children, other than Stefano, are in school and Frances is at home. Lucia and Frances were born in the US and the rest of the family were born in Italy. [7]

In a map of East Harlem, New York, 1900-20, included in Wagner et al's article on page 70, the authors indicate Stefano La Sala living on the corner of E 107th St. and 2nd Ave at this time.[5] The ED/AD of the 1905 state census, above, is a match for the corner named by Wagner et al. The Terranova-Morello family are not in the same household at this time.

According to Wagner et al, Stefano lives at 207 E 107th St in Manhattan on 15 November 1909, with Giuseppe Morello and his half-brothers Ciro and Nicolo'. This matches the location the authors indicate in the map of East Harlem on page 70.[5] Ciro married the previous April.

The 1910 census shows Giuseppe Morello living with extended family, including his mother, and his wife and children. None of the three, Ciro, Nicolo', or Stefano, lives in his household or appear on the adjacent census sheets.[8]

Steve is a high ranking associate of the Morello-Terranova gang during the Mafia-Camorra War, based on his inclusion in meetings, and as a reported target of the opposition.

On 24 June 1916, he attends a meeting with the Navy Street and Coney Island gangs, where he argues (by some accounts with Nick Terranova for the assassination of Joe DeMarco. On 20 July, "Louis the Wop, Nick Sassi, Steve LaSalle" and Ciro Terranova recruit Lefty Esposito to help them kill Joe DeMarco.[9][10] Other than the Terranova brothers, the key assassination targets of the Camorra include Steve LaSalle and Eugenio Ubriaco, and possibly also Joseph Verrazano. Arrested on 4 September 1916, Steve is "on remand at Raymond Street, Brooklyn"[3] on 7 September when Nick and Ubriaco, his bodyguard, are assassinated.

Based on his WWI draft card, it appears that Steve is incarcerated.

On his WWI draft registration card, Stephen La Salle, age 28, born 8 November 1889 in Corleone, gives his home address as 2130 Washington Ave, in the Bronx. However, it appears he resides at Sing Sing.

He is a resident alien, a plasterer by profession. He is employed by Sing Sing Prison, in Westchester County, NY. He is unmarried, and supports his mother, sister, and brother. The registrar's report dated 5 June 1917 describes Stephen as short, stout, and slightly balding, with brown eyes, and blond hair. The Precinct is stamped as "Sing Sing Prison."[11] There is no one matching this birthdate in the baptismal indices for Corleone.[12] According to their WWI draft cards, Stephen's brother, Dominick, is at the home address listed, employed by their brother, Victor, at a garage. Dominick also claims to be supporting their family. In the 1920 census, Steve's father, Biagio La Sala, is called Benjamin La Salle. He heads a household in the Bronx, matching the ED for 2130 Washington Ave near 181st St. E. The address is now a public school.

In the earliest available Google Earth images of the address (accessed 10 March 2017), from May 1959, 2130 Washington Ave was in a block otherwise occupied by Public School #59. It's not clear from the image whether there was a house at 2130 Washington, standing near the school, and the school has expanded its footprint over time. In current maps, the address is where a race track attached to a public school is now.

Steve is back in the Bronx, in his father's household, in 1920.

Benjamin, 68 (b. 1853) immigrated in 1897 with his family. His wife is Vinnie, 60 (b. 1861). Their children at home are Stephen, 31 (b. 1888), Charles (Calogero), 29 (b. 1890), Dominick, 27 (b. 1892), Victor, 25 (b. 1893), Frances, 19 (b. 1901), Rose, 14 (b. 1905), and Florence, 8 (b. 1912). The three daughters were born in New York. Dominick naturalized in 1918, and Victor in 1914. Benjamin and Vinnie are not employed. Stephen and Charles are house plasterers. Dominick works in ladies' hats on Long Island. Victor is a house bricklayer. Frances is a dressmaker employed at 485 E. 181st St.

Based on their surname, the neighbors may be related. Lenard Liggio, 57, a shoemaker, and his wife Beatrice, 47, immigrated in 1886 and 1888 respectively.[13]

In the 1920s, Lasala drifted away from the Morello gang and into the orbit of the Reina Family. "Serving under Reina, Tomasso Gagliano and Gaetano Lucchese consecutively, he ran a large numbers operation throughout the 1930-40's. He became a power in the garment industry, and lived in the Bronx."[14]

Stefano and his brother, Vito, are named in "The Valachi Papers" as running one of the major numbers rackets in New York City around 1930. (P. 131)[15]

I have looked for members of the LaSalle family in the 1930 census, in the same ED, 3-569, as they lived in 1920. (ED determined using the website on 8 March 2017.) 58 sheets, no match. Cascio-10 12:00, 8 March 2017 (EST)

Steve reportedly lives in a modest two-family home with his wife and son, a dentist. He owns a small garment factory.[16][2]

LaSalle is said to serve as underboss in the Lucchese crime family from around 1951 until 1972, first under Gaetano "Tommy" Lucchese, then his successors: "Eddie" Coco, and Carmine Tramunti.[17][16][18][14][5] After Gaetano Reina's death, the natural succession would have made Steve the new Don, but he accepts the new boss with resignation.[19][20] Critchley says that the highest rank LaSalle attains is consigliere.[3]

In the 1940 federal census of Cliffside Park, Bergen Co., NJ, enumerated on 12 April, Steve LaSala, age 51 (b. Nov 1888), is in a household alone. He is a plasterer contractor by profession (the same as his first cousin of the same name). He is Single (never married), born in Italy. He reports no income for the previous year, though he is currently employed.[21]

On his registration for WWII, Stephen La Sala of 755 Anderson Ave, Cliffside Pk, Bergen Co., NJ, age 53, born 6 November 1888 in Italy, gives Victor La Sala of Pershing Ave, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, as his contact person. Stephen is self employed.[22] Based on the birth date of Victor's WWII draft card, on which the address is a match for the above, Victor is Vito, Stephen's brother.

"Today, LaSalle, who is 83 (b. 1888-89) and almost blind, is still being watched."[2]

SSN 143-12-6152 belongs to Stephen Lasala, last residence 11374 Flushing, Queens, NY. Born 5 Nov 1888, died Nov 1975. His SSN was issued before 1951 in NJ.[23]

Stephen Lasala dies at age 87 in November 1975. His last residence was in Queens, NY. This record gives the same date of birth as his baptismal record, 5 November 1888. This record also indicates (incorrectly) that he was born in New Jersey.[24] Newton writes that LaSalle died in December 1974 in Brooklyn.[25]


  1. Baptism of Stephanus La Sala, record no. 581, 10 November 1888, "Italia, Palermo, Diocesi di Monreale, Registri Parrocchiali, 1531-1998," images, FamilySearch ( : 20 May 2014), Corleone > San Martino > image 385 of 398; Archivio di Arcidiocesi di Palermo (Palermo ArchDiocese Archives, Palermo).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Pileggi, Nicholas. "The Decline and Fall of the Mafia." LIFE. Published 3 March 1972. Google Books Accessed 7 March 2017. P. 44B
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 David Critchley. The Origin of Organized Crime in America: The New York City Mafia, 1891-1931. Routledge: New York, 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Manifest of the SS Clive arriving 26 May 1897 accessed on 18 February 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Wagner, Richard, Angelo Santino, and Lennert Van 't Riet. "The Early New York Mafia: An Alternative Theory." The Informer: May 2014. Accessed online 11 January 2016.
  6. Feather, Bill. "Bios. of early Lucchese members." LASALA STEFANO. 5 January 2016. Accessed 5 March 2017.
  7. New York State Census, 1905, database with images, FamilySearch ( : 26 November 2014), Domenico Lasalla in household of John B Campiglia, Manhattan, A.D. 32, E.D. 21, New York, New York; citing p. 89, line 42, county offices, New York.; FHL microfilm 1,433,115.
  8. "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 29 October 2015), Rocco Lupo in household of Angela Morello, Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 345, sheet 5A, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,375,028.
  9. Tuohy, John William. "Joe Petrosino's War on the Mafia." Accessed 7 March 2017.
  10. Black, Jon. "The Struggle for Control." Accessed 7 March 2017.
  11. "United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 14 May 2014), New York > image 1119 of 3100; citing NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  12. "Italia, Palermo, Diocesi di Monreale, Registri Parrocchiali, 1531-1998," images, FamilySearch ( : 20 May 2014), Corleone > San Martino > image 64 of 95; Archivio di Arcidiocesi di Palermo (Palermo ArchDiocese Archives, Palermo).
  13. "United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 14 December 2015), New York > Bronx > Bronx Assembly District 7 > image 3 of 41; citing NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  14. 14.0 14.1 Feather, Bill. "The Morello / Terranova Gang [1890-1920's]." 25 March 2016. Accessed 5 March 2017.
  15. Maas, Peter. The Valachi Papers. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1968. Print.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Stefano LaSalle. Mafia Wiki. Accessed 5 March 2017.
  17. Lucchese crime family. Wikipedia. Accessed 5 March 2017.
  18. thewestside. "Five families succession history." 30 January 2008. Accessed 5 March 2017.
  19. "Sottocapos Lucchese." Famiglia Lucchese. Accessed 5 March 2017.
  20. Newton, Michael. The Mafia at Apalachin, 1957. McFarland, 10 April 2012. P. 91.
  21. "United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 6 March 2017), Steve Lasala, Cliffside Park Borough, Bergen, New Jersey, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 2-26, sheet 10A, line 26, family 269, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 2305.
  22. "United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 7 April 2016), > image 4006 of 6334. Citing NARA microfilm publications M1936, M1937, M1939, M1951, M1962, M1964, M1986, M2090, and M2097 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  23. Number: 143-12-6152; Issue State: New Jersey; Issue Date: Before 1951. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2011. Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.
  24. "United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch ( : 20 May 2014), Stephen Lasala, Nov 1975; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  25. Newton, Michael. The Mafia at Apalachin, 1957. McFarland, 10 April 2012. P. 185.

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Stefano La Sala, aka Steve LaSalle
Stefano La Sala, aka Steve LaSalle


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