Calogero Rao

Calogero Rao (1889 - 1988)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Calogero "Caliddu, Charles" Rao
Born in Corleone, Palermo, Sicilia, Italiamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married (to before ) in New York, New York, United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Florida, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 17 Mar 2017
This page has been accessed 296 times.


Calogero Rao, son of Antonino Rao and Liboria Colletti, is born and baptized 3 January 1889 in Corleone. His godfather is Vincenzo Colletti, who is unmarried.[1]

Calogero Rao, born in 1889, immigrates at age ten as someone's nephew, according to the United States Italians to America Index. He arrives on the Chateau Yquem on 3 November 1899.[2]

In fact, he is traveling with his parents and siblings. The Rao family appears on the manifest of the Chateau Yquem, arriving on 3 November 1899 in the Port of New York. Antonino Rao, 39 (b. 1860), his wife Liboria, 32 (b. 1867), and their children Maria, 12 (b. 1887), Calogero, 10 (b. 1889), and Vincenzo, 1 (b. 1898), travel together from Corleone to New York, to join Antonino's brother, Angelo. Everyone on this manifest is listed as a laborer.[3][4]

Calogero appears on Bill Feather's list of known members of the Corleonesi Mafia active in New York. According to Feather, he is active from the 1910s-50s. He is identified with his years of birth (1889), death (1869), and immigration (1899). His brother, Vincenzo, is also mentioned as potentially active in organized crime.[5] Calogero is mentioned by name among Corleone natives who went to America and became gangsters.[6] A family source says that Calogero left Corleone a poor, illiterate peasant and returned from New York a well-connected gangster. "Everybody in town knew that Caliddu had become "un pezzu grossu"... a 'big slice'" Cascio-10 14:29, 7 September 2018 (UTC) Calogero is a soldier in the Lucchese crime family.

In the 1910 federal census of Manhattan, taken 26 April, Tony Rao, 50 (b. 1860), heads a household on 108th St with his wife of 25 years (m. 1885), Liboria, 40 (b. 1870), and children Charles, 21 (b. 1889), Mary, 22 (b. 1888), and Vincent, 12 (b. 1898). Also living with him are his brother in law, Samuel Gagliano, 27 (b. 1883---this is probably Simone, Liboria's half-brother), and his wife of four years (m. 1906), Tessie, 25 (b. 1885), marked as “daughter,” no children. Liboria has had 8 children, 3 living. All in the household were born in Italy and immigrated in 1899. Tony, Charles, and Samuel are building laborers, Mary is a cigar maker in a factory.[7]

In the civil record, Calogero Rao, age 22 (b. 1889 in Italy), son of Antonio Rao and "Tiboria Colletta", marries Maria Canzoneri ("Canzonere"), age 20 (b. 1891 in NYC), daughter of Giuseppe Canzoneri and Rosalia Rao, on 28 June 1911 in Manhattan.[8] They are first cousins.

A note added to Calogero's baptismal record says that he marries in New York at the Chiesa del Carmino on 28 January 1912 to Maria Canzoneri, daughter of Giuseppe Canzoneri and Rosalia Rao, also from Corleone.[1]

Calogero and Maria have at least three children: Antonio (1913), Liboria (1917), and Rosalia/Rose (1920).

Antonio is born 7 September 1913, named after his paternal grandfather.[9]

On 26 October 1914, Maria's brother, Leoluca, his two young children, and his second wife join Calogero and Maria at 231 E. 107th St., NYC.[10]

Antonio dies at age two on 6 August 1916 in Manhattan. His address is 231 E. 107th St. in New York, an address in East Harlem. Antonio is buried the following day in Calvary Cemetery.[9]

Liboria is born in New York on 16 May 1917, according to her 1920 immigration, a public record of residence, and a Social Security record of her death.

A WWI draft card matching Calogero's name and address has a slightly different birth date for him, 18 January 1889. He is 28 and still an alien resident. The name of the town he's from has been misspelled so it looks like "Caelonia," in Palermo province, Italy. He is the manager of a saloon at the same address ass his home, 231 E. 107th St, NYC. Rao is employed by Angelo Zelarno. He is married and supports his wife and a child: for this reason, he asks for exemption from the draft. The registrar describes Calogero as being short and stout with green eyes and black hair.[11]

Rosalia is born in New York on 15 July 1920. Liboria and Rosalia are named after their paternal and maternal grandmothers, respectively, as is traditional for the first and second born daughters.

Calogero has recently become a naturalized citizen when he applies for a passport in 1920. His wife, Maria, was born in Texas in 1892. Their children Liboria, age 3 (b. 1917), and Rosalia, two months (b. Jul 1920), were both born in New York. Calogero's birthdate is reported as 15 January 1889. He immigrated 4 November 1899 and has lived in New York City continuously for 21 years. He became naturalized on 15 September 1920 in NYC. The family still lives at 231 E. 107th St. Calogero is a driver by profession. He requests a passport for the family to visit his father in Italy for one year. He also plans to be in France and Switzerland en route to his destination aboard the Patria, leaving 29 September 1920.[12]

On the SS Providence, sailing from Palermo on 30 March 1924 and arriving in New York on 11 April, Calogero Rao, a US citizen, appears on line 16. He travels with two other US citizens of Italian birth, Salvatore Maranzano, 33 (b. 1891), married, docker, and Giuseppe d’Anna, 54 (b. 1870), married, brick layer. Calogero is 34 (b. 1890), married, a plasterer, born in Corleone, Italy. He leaves his wife, Marietta Rao, at 23 via Misericordia in Corleone. He is going to New York, NY. Calogero is joining his father, Antonio Rao at 231 E. 107th St., New York.[13]

On the SS Providence, Calogero Rao, 36 (b. 1890), wife Maria, 34 (b. 1892), and children Liboria, 9, and Rosalia, 5, appear together, sailing from Palermo on 24 June 1926 and arriving in the port of New York on 6 July. Calogero is a naturalized citizen, issued in the Supreme Court of New York on 15 September 1920. His address in New York is 225 E. 107th St, NYC. Maria is a US citizen by virtue of her husband’s filing. Liboria was born in New York on 16 May 1917 and Rosalia on 15 July 1920.[14]

Calogero is an unindicted co-conspirator in Tommaso Gagliano’s 1932 tax evasion trial. Gagliano is the head of the Lucchese crime family. Calogero and Tommaso are both natives of Corleone and distantly related through blood and marriage.

Calogero becomes a partner of Gaetano Lucchese, Gagliano's long-time lieutenant, in the early 1930s, when Gagliano becomes fatally ill with a heart condition and hands the family business to Lucchese.

Also at this time, Calogero and his brother, Vincenzo, become wealthy in the construction business.[15] Through his ownership of construction businesses, Calogero is an associate of Giuseppe Morello as well as of Tommy Gagliano.[16]

Liboria, called Betty, marries Alfred E. Santangelo by 1943, when their first child is born. This is confirmed in the dedication to Eileen Santangelo Hult's book, Twenty-One Texas Heroes: A Celebration of the Lone Star State. The author thanks her parents, Congressman Alfred Santangelo and Betty Santangelo, and her grandmother, Mary Canzoneri Rao, born in Houston, TX, on 27 August 1894.

Rosalia, called Rose, marries Alfred's youngest brother, George, on 20 June 1943.[17]

Calogero replaces Anthony “Little Augie” Carfano as head of the mob-backed Ace Lathing Company after Carfano is shot to death in Queens in 1959.[15]

Calogero dies 25 September 1988 in Florida, according to Eric Ferrara.[15]

Betty dies 15 March 1998 at age 81. Her last residence was in the Bronx.[18]

Rose dies at age 93 on 3 August 2013.[19]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Baptism of Calogerus Rao, record no. 11, 3 January 1889, "Italia, Palermo, Diocesi di Monreale, Registri Parrocchiali, 1531-1998," images, FamilySearch ( : 20 May 2014), Corleone > San Martino > image 5 of 427; Archivio di Arcidiocesi di Palermo (Palermo ArchDiocese Archives, Palermo).
  2. "United States Italians to America Index, 1855-1900," database, FamilySearch ( : 27 December 2014), Calogero Rao, 03 Nov 1899; citing Italians to America Passenger Data File, 1855-1900, Ship Chateau Yquem, departed from Naples, arrived in New York, New York, New York, United States, NAID identifier 1746097, National Archives at College Park, Maryland.
  3. Lines 17-21, Manifest of the Chateau Yquem, 3 Nov 1899; manifest accessed via on 17 March 2017.
  4. "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch ( : 6 December 2014), Calogero Rao, 03 Nov 1899; citing departure port Naples, arrival port New York, ship name Chateau Yquem, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  5. Feather, Bill. “Mafia Membership Charts.” Accessed 16 March 2017.
  6. Jones, Thom L. “La Primula Rossa: The story of Luciano Leggio (Part 1)” Published 10 February 2011.
  7. "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 24 June 2017), New York > New York > Manhattan Ward 12 > ED 407 > image 20 of 30; citing NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  8. "New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940," database, FamilySearch ( : 20 March 2015), Calogero Rao and Maria Canzonere, 28 Jun 1911; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,613,235.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949," database, FamilySearch ( : 20 March 2015), Calogero Rao in entry for Antonio Rao, 06 Aug 1916; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,322,394.
  10. "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 26 January 2018), Roll 2379, vol 5469-5472, 21 Oct 1914 > image 1079 of 1170; citing NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  11. "United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 December 2014), Calogero Rao, 1917-1918; citing New York City no 160, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,786,852.
  12. "United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 22 December 2014), (M1490) Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925 > image 664 of 781; citing NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.)
  13. "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 26 January 2018), Roll 3473, vol 7943-7944, 11 Apr 1924-14 Apr 1924 > image 127 of 803; citing NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  14. "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 2 October 2015), 3881 - vol 8764-8765, Jul 4, 1926 > image 806 of 904; citing NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Ferrara, Eric. Manhattan Mafia Guide: Hits, Homes & Headquarters. Arcadia Publishing, 2011.
  16. Critchley, David. The Origin of Organized Crime in America: The New York City Mafia, 1891-1931. 2008: Routledge.
  17. Dr. George Santangelo [Obituary]. Published in the The Journal News on Nov. 28, 2002. Accessed 10 September 2018.
  18. "United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch( : 20 May 2014), Betty L Santangelo, 15 Mar 1998; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  19. Rose Santangelo [Obituary]. Published in the The Journal News from Aug. 4 to Aug. 5, 2013 Accessed 10 September 2018.

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Sponsored Search by

No known carriers of Calogero's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 2
Calogero Rao in 1920 passport application photo
Calogero Rao in 1920 passport application photo

Alfred E. Santangelo and his in-laws
Alfred E. Santangelo and his in-laws


Sponsored Search by

Calogero is 25 degrees from Meriwether Lewis, 28 degrees from Alex Stronach and 27 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.