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clock Nov 1, 2006 7:11 pm US/Eastern

Pittsburgh Mob Boss Dies

(KDKA) PITTSBURGH Michael Genovese was one of the last links to a lost era - an old-school mob boss who the law never caught up with.

The head of the western Pennsylvania La Cosa Nostra is dead.

By all accounts, mob informants, FBI agents and the now-defunct Pennsylvania Crime Commission, Genovese was the don of the Pittsburgh mob.

An old-style mob boss who ran one of 24 original mafia families in the U.S. that trace their roots back to Sicily.

Gambling, narcotics, loan sharking, even murder were all linked to the Genovese mob.

But Geneovese was never indicted - never sent to prison.

Several of his underbosses - including Chuckie Porter, Lou Ruicci and other mob lieutenants - were all convicted in a federal trial in the 1990s.

But they never brought charges against the reputed mob boss.

Genovese is reported to have been suffering from bladder cancer and heart disease.

He was 87 years old and died in his sleep.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Pittsburgh declined comment on Genovese's death.

In the past, the U.S. Attorney has said that the mob trials of the 1990s severely weakened mafia influence in the Pittsburgh area.

(© MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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