Guiseppe Antonio Doto,
AKA: Joey A.; Joe Adone; Joe Arosa; James Arosa; Joe DeMio), 1902-72,
For three decades Joe Adonis was one of the most powerful crime
figures in America,
a member of the board of the national syndicate in New York, one
whose influence and status was equal to
"Lucky" Luciano, Vito Genovese, Carlo
Gambino and Louis "Lepke"
Through bootlegging, gambling, extortion, bribery, prostitution,
and murder, along with widespread investments in legitimate businesses,
Adonis became many times a millionaire.
Born on Nov. 22, 1902, in the small town of Montemarano,
Italy, near Naples,
Adonis immigrated to the U.S. in 1915, entering the country illegally.
In his criminal pursuits,
Adonis met another young thug with high ambitions, Charles "Lucky"
whom Adonis befriended and would later serve with unswerving loyalty.
Both youths involved themselves in petty rackets, especially prostitution,
pimping for a few whores while establishing cheap gambling dens.
He was forever combing his pomaded hair and primping before mirrors.
On one occasion, Luciano caught Adonis combing his dark thick hair
before a mirror and said:
"Who do you think you are, Rudolph Valentino?"
Adonis turned around with a snarl he had begun to perfect,
along with a whisper which slipped from the side of his mouth,
"For looks, that guy's a bum!"
Adonis served Frankie
Yale as an enforcer for his rackets in Brooklyn
and Luciano went to work for the then boss of bosses in New York,
Joe "The Boss" Masseria.
Adonis would spread his influence throughout the entire New York
so that most of the local politicians and high ranking police officials
in one way or another, on his payroll.
He shared his political influence with Luciano, Lansky, Siegel,
so that their many rackets were protected by the scores of bribed
Adonis was ordered to be deported to Italy by U.S. Attorney General
Herbert Brownell, Jr.,
on Aug. 5, 1953. He sailed for Italy in style, with many millions
and a swanky villa outside Milan waiting for him.
Adonis, alone, but living in wealth, was not again heard from until
At the time, Italian police making widespread arrests against all
known Mafia figures,
dragged Adonis from his posh Milan living quarters and took him
to a remote hillside location for questioning.
It was reported that he died of a heart attack during this unorthodox
What remained of the reportedly vast fortune Adonis had secreted
away on the continent was never revealed.