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Giuseppe Morello is born 2 May 1867 in Corleone and baptized the next day, named after his paternal grandfather. He is the son of Calogero "Carlo" Morello and Angelina Piazza. His godparents are Giorgio Campagna and Giovanna Vintaloro, a married couple.
Carlo dies, reportedly at age 36 (he is 32 years old) on 24 May 1872. His parents and wife all survive him.
The following year, Angelina remarries, to Bernardo Terranova, who is a member of the Corleonesi Mafia, called the "Fratuzzi," or "little brothers" in Sicilian.
From Mafia Wiki: "The Morello and Terranova children grew up together and Bernardo may have facilitated Giuseppe's early induction into the local cosca, or Mafia clan."
Crichley notes that Morello also had an uncle, Giuseppe Battaglia, who was a leader in the Corleonesi Mafia and who may have assisted in his nephew's passage. This relationship has not been confirmed through genealogical research. Battaglia's wife and Morello are third cousins. Cascio-10 15:10, 14 October 2016 (EDT)
In 1883, Giuseppe's godfather is murdered.
Giuseppe marries twice, first to Maria Rosa Marsalisi (called Marvalisi in some texts), daughter of the late Benedetto Marsalisi and Biagia d'Antoni, on 2 March 1889.
The couple have at least two children: Angela (1891) and Calogero (1892).
Angela, named after her paternal grandmother, dies at eleven months of age (b. Feb 1891) on 21 January 1892.
Giuseppe's sister, his mother and Bernardo and their children, all follow him to New York in March 1893. Also traveling with them on the SS Alsatia are his wife, Maria Rosa, and their son, Calogero, who is two months old.
The reunited Morello-Terranova family lives first in New York, then moves to Louisiana, and then Texas, doing agricultural work. While living in Bryan Texas, members of the family contract malaria.
Giuseppe "may well have been one of the earliest ‘mob’ bosses in America, forming a gang of criminal associates in New York around the end of the 19th century, which has since morphed into what is to-day known as The Genovese Crime Family."
Giuseppe's wife, Maria Rosa, dies in Corleone at age 35 (b. 1863) on the morning of 30 June 1898. The cause of her death is not known.
Later that month, Giuseppe's half-sister, Lucia, marries Nicolena's brother, Vincenzo.
Lena and Giuseppe have four children: a second daughter named Angelina (c. 1905), Carmela (c. 1909), a second son named Calogero (c. 1921), and Geraldine (c. 1924)
In the 1905 state census of New York, Giuseppe appears as "Joseph Terranova," reportedly age 30 (he is 38) with his wife, Lena, 21 (b. 1884), and two children: Calogero, 10 (b. 1895---actually, he is 13) and Angelina, five months (b. 1905), both born in the US. Joseph is reportedly a salesman. His close neighbors include the families of Sebastiano Cimino, James Lomonte, and Charles Lomonte. Charles and his brother, Tom, take over Morello's gang in 1911. James is their father. Sebastiano is Charles' father-in-law.
In the 1910 Census, Angela Morello, age 60, lives in Manhattan, Ward 12, with her daughter, Dora (Salvatrice), 28, son-in-law Nazzio Lupo, 31, granddaughters Nufria, 4, and Angelina, 2, Rocco Lupo, her grandson, born that year, her son Joe Morello, age 42, daughter in law Lena Morello, 26, grandson Charles, 15, born in Texas, granddaughters Angelina, 5, and Carmela, 1, son Vincent Terranova, 23, and daughter Rose Terranova, 17. Nufria, Angelina, and Rocco Lupo, and Angelina and Carmela Morello, were all born in New York. Angelina and her children and in-laws were all born in Italy.
In the 1910 federal census of the US penitentiary in South Bend, Fulton County, Georgia, Giuseppe Morello appears. He is 43, married twice, most recently for seven years. He immigrated in 1892. He works as a helper in the kitchen.
Morello first continues to lead his gang from prison via letter, but soon consents to have the gang managed in his absence by the Lo Monte brothers, Fortunato (also called Charles) and Tom. The brothers are killed in 1914 and 1915, respectively.
Giuseppe's first son, Calogero, called Charles, is killed in a gunfight in Harlem on 16 April 1912. Giuseppe's second son by this name, with Lena, is also called Charles.
In the 1920 federal census of the US penitentiary in South Bend, Fulton County, Georgia, several of the counterfeiters appear in sequence:
61. Giuseppe Calucchio (“Calicohio”), 68 (b. 1852). Calucchio is married, works as a nurse in the prison.
62. Giuseppe Morello, 53 (b. 1867), married, immigrated in 1899. Tailor.
63. Ignacio Lupo, 52 (b. 1868) (called “Sopo”), married, immigrated in 1900. Cook.
64. Giuseppe Palermo, 58 and single, one of the only Morello counterfeiters to become a naturalized citizen, in 1904. He is also a tailor.
65. Antonio Cecala, 45 (b. 1875), has no occupation.
Giuseppe and Lena's daughters also appear in the 1925 Census.
Joe Valachi calls Morello "a vicious Masseria enforcer."
Giuseppe is killed at the age of 63 along with associate Joseph Perriano on August 15, 1930, an early casualty of the Castellammarese War (1929-31) between the enterprises of Giuseppe Masseria, Morello's chief protector and ally, and a rival group led by Salvatore Maranzano and Joseph Bonanno. His address at the time of death is 1115 Arcadian Way, Palisades Park, New Jersey. His occupation is listed as "contractor". He is buried on 19 August 1930 in Calvary Cemetery. His wife Nicolina (Lena) survives him. In "The Valachi Papers," Maas calls Giuseppe "Peter" and reports his death in his office at at 362 E 116th St. Maas also gives his home address in Palisades Park. He under reports Morello's age at death as fifty.
Baptism of Josephum Morello, 3 May 1867
Death of Calogerus Morello, 24 May 1872
Death of Angela Morello, record no. 19, 21 January 1892
Death of Maria Rosa Marsalisi, record no. 159, 30 June 1898
Critchley, David. The Origin of Organized Crime in America: The New York City Mafia, 1891-1931. Routledge: New York, 2009.
The Definitive History of the Genovese Family. Accessed 17 November 2014.
Mafia Wiki entry: Giuseppe Morello. Accessed 17 November 2014.
Wikipedia entry: Ciro Terranova. Accessed 17 November 2014.
Wikipedia entry: Giuseppe Morello. Accessed 18 November 2014.
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