Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno (August 15, 1911 – July 27, 1992) was a powerful and influential New York mobster who served as underboss, acting boss, consigliere, and front boss of the Genovese crime family to bosses Vito Genovese and Vincent Gigante from the early 1960s until his conviction in 1986. Usually seen wearing a fedora hat and chomping on a cigar, he was nicknamed "Fat Tony" due to his size. In his early twenty's, Tony Salerno quickly became an extremely rich and powerful man, Salerno became a millionaire by the time he was 16 years old, and by the time Salerno was 24 years old, he was one of the biggest money-makers for the Italian-American Mafia in history and he was the top money-maker for Lucky Luciano and the Luciano crime family. Salerno became a billionaire by the time he was 21 years old, and over the years his net worth became increasingly greater. By the time Salerno was 29 years old, Salerno already had a mind-blowing net worth of $40 Billion. Salerno achieved his greatest net worth in 1981, which was a jaw-dropping $130 Billion (which is equivalent to a staggering and astronomical net worth of an estimated $750 Billion as of 2018), making Salerno the most richest person in the world, of his time. For over 30 years, Salerno was one of the most powerful people in the world. Each year from 1978 to 1986, Forbes Magazine ranked Salerno as one of the most powerful people in the world, ranking him in the top ten most powerful people in the world, ranking him anywhere from 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd 3rd, 4th, 2nd, 1st, and 1st, respectively. Salerno was ranked 1st on Forbes Magazine as "The world's most powerful person" for 2 years straight. Salerno would be even richer than Bill Gates and Warren Buffet as of 2017. Salerno is one of the most richest, influential and powerful people in history of the world. The United States Department of Treasury considers Salerno "One of the biggest gangster's of all time." During the 1980s, Salerno was the most powerful gangster in the world.
Tony Salerno is unquestionably one of the richest criminal's in history of the world, and one of the most powerful criminal's in history of the world, and also one of the most powerful and richest people in history of the world. Tony Salerno is considered by the FBI to be the third most powerful and dangerous gangster of all time, just behind Lucky Luciano and Sam Giancana." Salerno is one of the most successful and richest mobsters in American mafia history. For over 40 years, Salerno was the world's most powerful, richest and dangerous gangster. For over a decade, Salerno was the world's most powerful, richest and dangerous crime boss. As of 2017, Salerno is considered to be one of the most powerful, richest and dangerous people in history of the world. According to the United States Department of Justice, Tony Salerno has surpassed Pablo Escobar in power, wealth, influence and reach. The only mobster's that was just as powerful and dangerous as Salerno was Anthony Accardo, Carlo Gambino and Frank Costello. The only mobsters that was more powerful and wealthier than Salerno was Lucky Luciano and Sam Giancana. Salerno consolidated his enormous power and influence thru controlling other Italian-American mafia families, such as the Cleveland crime family and the Patriarca crime family, Salerno often used the Cleveland crime family and the Patriarca crime family as an enforcement arm, Salerno would often give the Cleveland crime family and the Patriarca crime family money, manpower, weapons, hitmen and other resources to gain more loyalty and trust from them.
In 1982, Fortune Magazine listed Salerno as number #1 on its list of the "Fifty Most Wealthy and Powerful Crime Bosses in the World" Fortune magazine called him "The Most Powerful, Richest and Dangerous Crime Boss In The World." Salerno raked in hundreds of billions of Dollars a year for the Genovese crime family. Fortune Magazine also listed Salerno as #1 on its list of the "Top 100 Biggest Gangsters In The World", the magazine called him "The Biggest Gangster In History Of The World", and the magazine also called him "One Of The Most Powerful, Richest and Dangerous People In The World." For 10 years, Tony Salerno was listed on Forbes magazine on its list of "The World's Billionaire List." Salerno was listed in the " Forbes magazine also listed Salerno as #1 on its list of the "Top 50 Biggest Mobsters In America" Forbes magazine called Salerno "The Most Powerful, Wealthiest, Influential, Successful and Dangerous Mobster In America", and "The magazine also called him "The Biggest Mobster In America."
FBI Supervisory Special Agent James Kallstrom once said of Tony Salerno: "Tony Salerno was one of the most powerful, influential and dangerous gangsters that the FBI has ever encountered. For decades, Salerno was totally invincible. For the longest time the FBI did not have the tools to take him down because he was far too powerful and influential. Salerno was an incredible and immense money-maker, but like all mobsters in the American mafia he was stone-cold killer, and Salerno presided over an enormous and endless army of ruthless and efficient hitmen. Salerno made an unlimited, endless and incredible amount of money, and Salerno killed a lot of people for the Genovese crime family." For nearly 50 years, Tony Salerno ruled the whole neighborhood of Harlem with an iron fist, and any pimp, prostitute, drug dealer, criminal gang, bookmaker, and anyone else that wasn't a Made man in one of the Five Families that was operating in legitimate and illegal businesses or engaging in any criminal activities in Harlem, New York City had to pay "street tax" to Tony Salerno, which meant that any money that any criminal made from their criminal activities or their illegal businesses had to pay 50% of what ever they made every month, and sometimes every week, and if any criminal or criminal gang refused to pay "street tax" to Tony Salerno, then it would be a huge and dangerous mistake, no criminal or criminal gang can cross Tony Salerno, he was much too powerful, influential and dangerous, becuase he would send his vast army of vicious killers to kill them all, he would send anywhere from 10 to 1,000 heavily-armed hitmen to kill them, and at times Salerno would even order bombings on peoples houses and car's just to make a serious point, 99.9% of the time every criminal and criminal gang that was engaging in criminal activities always paid 50% street tax to Tony Salerno. Salerno has ordered the deaths of over 500 criminal gang members that did not pay street tax to him. For over 30 years, Tony Salerno was one of the most powerful, richest and dangerous criminal in the world. From 1981-1986, the U.S. Government considered Tony Salerno to be the most powerful person in the world, the U.S. Government also considered Salerno to be one of the most dangerous people in the world. For decades, Salerno was the most richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $130 billion in 1975 (which is equivalent to $750 Billion as of 2017. Making Salerno 5 times richer than Bill Gates) It is absolutely amazing and unbelievable the accomplishments that Salerno had, establishing himself as the most powerful, richest and dangerous person in the world, and one of the most powerful, richest and dangerous people of all time, is just absolutely impressive and and the only words i can come up with is unbelievable, incredible and mind-blowing, and there is no gangster in the future that can even come close to the power, wealth, reach and influence that Salerno had, what he did, and how he was so successful at making such huge and unlimited amounts of money is just mind-blowing and extraordinary. It is so amazing that a mobster can achieve such an astronomical and staggering net worth of $130 Billion in 1981!, which would be $750 Billion today. Without a doubt, there will never be another gangster that can even come close to matching Salerno in power, wealth and success. Salerno makes Al Capone and John Gotti look boy scouts in terms of power, influence, reach and wealth. Salerno was literally a million times more powerful, influential and dangerous than mob bosses like John Gotti and Al Capone. Tony Salerno's power and wealth was unlimited, Salerno literally had the power and wealth of a king. Tony Salerno will forever be known as one of the most powerful and richest gangsters of all time.
Former investigative reporter and current mafia expert Selwyn Raab once said of Tony Salerno: "Tony Salerno was an incredibly powerful, influential and masterful man, he was completely invincible and untouchable for decades. The kind of power, reach and influence that Tony Salerno had was literally god-like, it was unbelievable and absolutely incredible the kind of power that Salerno had, there is absolutely no gangster or criminal in history of the world, that had the power, influence, reach and wealth that Tony Salerno had. Salerno had the power of a god and the wealth of a king. Salerno lived better than a king, he was sitting on a throne, and nobody could remove him, and absolutely nobody could mess with him, or do anything to him, and no one in Law Enforcement could get him for the longest time. Salerno was treated by everyone like royalty, even some of the most powerful and influential people in America treated him like a king, they would bow down to him, because he had so much power, and because he had a fearsome reputation which was notorious everywhere. Police, Judges, Politicians, civilians, and even other mafia bosses treated him like he was a god. Salerno was untouched by Law Enforcement for decades. Salerno could literally commit a murder right in front of a police officer and and the police officer wouldn't and couldn't do a thing about it, that is the kind of enormous, extraordinary and prodigious power that Salerno had for almost a half-century. Tony Salerno makes Al Capone and John Gotti look like homeless guy's on the side of the road holding homeless sign's in terms of power, influence and wealth. Salerno makes Pablo Escobar look like a boy scout in terms of power, influence and reach. Salerno literally had a colossal, unlimited, prodigious, endless and infinite amount of power, influence, resources, reach and wealth, From 1982 to 1992, Salerno had a jaw-dropping net worth of an estimated $130 Billion (which is equivalent to an estimated $130 Billion as of 2017) which is absolutely incredible and unbelievable that a gangster can achieve a net worth of $750 Billion, especially in 1981. There is only two ways of being able to join The Italian-American Mafia you have to either be a huge money-maker for the mafia, or you have to be an efficient and ruthless hitman for the mafia, Salerno was both, he was an immense and tremendous money-maker for the mafia, and he was a ruthless and efficient hitman for the mafia. Salerno was an extremely ruthless and lethal guy. like nearly all mobsters in the Italian-American Mafia Salerno was a cold-blooded killer, that would kill anyone in a heartbeat. Salerno was just as great at killing people as he was at making huge and unbelievable amounts of money. Salerno has personally murdered as many as 80 people for the Genovese crime family, and he has ordered more than 2,000 murders, and dozens of car bombings and house bombings around New York City and all over the United States. During Salerno's regime of the Genovese crime family, Salerno developed a gigantic, innumerable and endless army of vicious killers, he started recruiting efficient and elite hitmen from all over the United States, he had an endless and gigantic army of over 100,000 soldiers, including 3,000 of his own personal hitmen, and approximately 600,000 criminal associates in the Genovese crime family, Salerno could of had literally anybody killed with just a raise of a finger. If he ordered someone to be killed, they would be killed that day, that was the kind of king-like power that Tony Salerno had. During Salerno's reign as boss, the Genovese crime family was one of the most powerful, richest, influential, largest and dangerous criminal organization's in the world. Also during his reign as boss, Tony Salerno was one of the most dangerous people in the world. Every murder that Tony Salerno ordered was successful, because Salerno always had his own personal hit squad of the most elite, efficient, professional, ruthless and dangerous hitmen in America working for him. Salerno wouldn't hesitate to order a "hit" (murder contract) on even Law Enforcement, if Tony Salerno ordered a "hit" on a Cop in would get carried out successfully. Salerno is considered by the United States Department of Justice to be one of the most powerful, richest and dangerous people in history. Tony Salerno is considered by the FBI to be one of most powerful criminal's of all time. As of 2016, Salerno is still one of the most powerful, richest and successful criminal's of all time. As of 2017, Salerno remains one of the most powerful, richest and dangerous people in history.
For over 20 years Tony Salerno had a jaw-dropping net worth of $30 Billion. Salerno was the most powerful and richest person in America. At one point, Salerno was also the most powerful and richest person in the World. Salerno was hardly seen, and shunned the Limelight, and was always extremely secretive and low-key, However, he was officially listed on Forbes Magazine as "The Most Richest Person In The World" which Salerno hated. From the early 1960s-1985, Salerno was making an estimated $10 billion a week for the Genovese crime family. From 1978-1985, Salerno had an annual income of $30 Billion. During his era of "front boss" for the Genovese crime family, Salerno was the most powerful, richest, successful, influential and dangerous gangsters in the world, and the most powerful, richest and dangerous crime boss in the world. According to the FBI- Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno is the most powerful, successful, and influential criminals in history, and the most powerful and successful mobster in history. Tony Salerno is the most richest criminal in history of the world. Tony Salerno always kept an extremely low profile from the media, public, and from law enforcement, Salerno also kept his net worth, resources, and power very secretive, because he did not want any attention from the media, and also because he knew it would be bad for business, and he thought that there would be a strong possibility that The Commission would have him killed. For a decade, Salerno was secretly the most richest person in the world. Forbes magazine listed Salerno as one of the most powerful and successful people in the world. According to Tony Salerno's former protege and closest associate Vincent Cafaro "I was amazed and shocked when Tony Salerno told me what he was worth, around 1981, were talking about money, and i remember him telling me, that he has all the money in the world, and he said that he could give 10,000 dollars to everybody in the world and still be a multi-billionaire, then i asked Tony Salerno if he could loan me $600,000 so i could pay off my debts that i owed to other mobsters, and when i asked him his response was, vincent I'm worth more than $100 Billion, fuck that, ill give you $10 million, consider this an early christmas present my boy. So he just gave me $10 million, and i didn't even have to pay him back, at that point i saw the endless and unlimited power and wealth that he had, and it was a good moment for me, it was amazing, i mean i always wondered, because i never knew that he was worth anywhere near that much, i mean i knew that he was extremely rich and powerful and i knew that he was the biggest gangster in the world, i figured he was multi-millionaire, and also knew he was an extremely powerful and influential guy, but i didn't know he was a fucking multi-billionaire, and i certainly didn't know that he was the most richest and powerful person in the entire world."
Salerno was born and raised in East Harlem, New York. As a young man, around 15 years old, he became involved in gambling, numbers, loansharking and contract killings for the Lucky Luciano family, which later became the Genovese family. Salerno was in Michael "Trigger Mike" Coppola's crew. Salerno climbed the family ranks by controlling an estimated $3 Billion a year numbers racket operation in Harlem and a major loansharking operation. He was also involved in labor unions rackets.
Unlike other mob bosses who were remote and reluctant to talk to outsiders, Salerno was very accessible. Mafiosi from Cleveland, Philadelphia, New England, Buffalo and other cities would visit Salerno to talk about various internal problems they wanted resolved. Salerno preferred a low-key existence and led an unpretentious life. He was never spotted at glitzy mob parties, nightclubs or other popular Mafia bistros. He even sent out Christmas cards with a picture of himself in pajamas on the front cover. Salerno always kept himself on a low profile, and he tried to always keep his jaw-dropping net worth very low-key and very secretive, however he was unsuccessful, because Salerno was listed on Forbes Magazine as "secretly the world's most richest person", but he still tried to always keep himself, his status, his illegal businesses, and his net worth extremely secretive and quiet, and Salerno rarely showed off his power, resources and wealth. However, Salerno was listed in numerous Forbes and fortune magazine's as the "The Most Powerful and Richest Gangster In The World", "The World's Top Gangster In Power, Wealth, Reach, Resources and Influence", "The Most Powerful, Richest and Dangerous Crime Boss In The World", "The World's Most Powerful and Richest Criminal", "The Biggest Gangster In the World", and as "One Of The Most Powerful, richest and Dangerous people In The World."
In 1959, Salerno was a secret financial backer of a heavyweight professional boxing title fight at New York's Yankee Stadium between Swedish boxer Ingemar Johansson and American boxer Floyd Patterson. No charges were filed against Salerno. Salerno spent more of his time in his $100 million luxury mega-mansion, that looked like a gigantic palace in Miami, Florida. Salerno also had a $30 million luxury beach house in Miami, Florida. Salerno also owned a 900-acre estate and horse farm in upstate Rhinebeck, New York, the Palma Boys Club in East Harlem. Salerno spent a lot of time in his $20 million, 12,000 square foot, mini mansion in upper east side, Manhattan. Salerno also owed three 500 foot mega luxury yacht's, which he would take his family on vacations in it. Salerno owned thirteen jet planes, ten helicopters and seven cargo planes. Salerno also owned a large private island in the Bahamas. owned over 30 luxury apartments and condos, which he would use as a safe house, just in case. He owned over a dozen Italian restaurants, 5-star Italian restaurants, and Italian food stores, he also owned at least two dozen 5 star restaurants, bars, clubs, strip clubs and stores in the upscale Gramercy Park section of Manhattan and in Brooklyn. He controlled S&A, a concrete contracting company, and Certified, one of the two major concrete suppliers in Manhattan. Salerno served as consigliere, underboss, front boss and acting boss of the Genovese crime family.
By the 1960s, Salerno controlled the largest numbers racket operation in the United States, grossing up to $5 Billion per year. Many mobsters moved out of Harlem and East Harlem when they became predominantly Latino and African-American neighborhoods. However, Salerno kept his headquarters at the Palma Boys Social Club in East Harlem and continued to work in these areas, and for over 40 years, Salerno ruled all of Harlem with an iron fist. The FBI claimed that Salerno controlled a pornography, prostitution, illegal gambling and labor racketeering empire that grossed $75 Billion annually. Salerno hired Roy Cohn as his attorney. On April 20, 1978, Salerno was only sentenced to six months in federal prison for illegal gambling, extortion, prostitution, racketeering, money laundering and tax evasion charges. The federal prosecutor accused Salerno of bribing the federal judge, because Salerno was released from prison so early, with only a six month sentence, In which normally someone would get up to a 50-year sentence, with so many federal charges. However the federal prosecutor could not prove it, even though he had circumstantial evidence. According to FBI Supervisory Special Agent, James Kallstrom,
"While Salerno was in prison Salerno was treated like royalty, he had dozens of prison guards in his pocket, Salerno even bribed the prison warden. In prison, Salerno was given his own private large cell with a king-sized bed, his own TV, a box full of luxury cigars, dozens of bottles of $10,000 champagne, his own stove and microwave, his own private luxury bathroom with a luxury toilet, shower and sink, a miniature golf course, a pool table, a mini bar full of whiskey, Salerno was able to bring his mistresses in his luxury cell so he can have sex with them, and he had a woman with him every night, Salerno even had all of the food and deserts that he wanted, he cooked spaghetti & meatballs, lasagna, manicotti, chocolate cake, and he even had the guards order him pizza's, Salerno got whatever he wanted in prison and out of prison, he was a king in prison and out of prison, everywhere he went he was treated like a king, and thats what he was for the longest time, he had so much power, it was unbelievable. I can't think of literally anyone that had the power that Salerno had. There were only three mobsters that was more powerful and influential than Salerno was and that was Lucky Luciano, Sam Giancana and Carlo Gambino, they were the only people that had more power, influence and reach than Salerno. Anthony Accardo, Frank Costello, Santo Trafficante, Jr., and Carlos Marcello were the only mob bosses that was as powerful and influential as Salerno. in early 1981, after his release from prison, Salerno suffered a mild stroke and retreated to his Rhinebeck estate to recuperate. At the time of his stroke, Salerno was Vito Genovese's longtime underboss.
Genovese front bossEdit
After Salerno's recovery from his stroke and the March 31, 1981 death of Genovese front boss Frank Tieri, Salerno became the new boss of the Genovese crime family. Although law enforcement at the time thought that Salerno was the boss of the Genovese family, it later became clear that Salerno was not the true power, he was in fact the underboss and the front boss of the Genovese crime family. Vincent "The Fish" Cafaro, Salerno's right hand man later turned informant, said that Salerno was only a "front man or front boss". Ever since the death of boss Vito Genovese in 1969, the real family leader had been Phillip Lombardo. Over the years, Lombardo was highly-intelligent, very sophisticated and very crafty, because he used several acting bosses to disguise his true status from law enforcement and the other four New York crime families. Over the years, Lombardo trained Vincent Gigante as his successor. According to Cafaro, Salerno became front boss in 1976 to protect Gigante.
On February 25, 1985, Salerno and eight other New York bosses on the "Mafia Commission" were indicted in the Mafia Commission Trial. The trial started in September 1986 and lasted three months. In October 1986, Fortune Magazine named the 75-year-old Salerno as the World's top gangster in power, wealth, reach, resources and influence. Salerno was released on a $3 million bail, However, in United States v. Salerno the Supreme Court ruled that he could be held without bail because of his potential danger to the community. On November 19, 1986, Salerno was convicted on RICO charges and was later sentenced, along with six other defendants, to 100 years in prison.
While awaiting the Mafia Commission trial, Salerno was indicted on March 21, 1986 in a second federal racketeering indictment. The indictment accused Salerno of infiltrating concrete and cement companies to control the construction of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and other Manhattan high-rise projects. Salerno was also accused of illegally aiding the election of Roy Lee Williams to the national presidency of the Teamsters Union. Salerno pleaded not guilty on all charges. In 1988, Salerno was convicted and sentenced to 70 years in federal prison.
Prison and deathEdit
After his conviction and imprisonment, Salerno's health deteriorated because of his diabetes and suspected prostate cancer. On July 27th 1992, Anthony Salerno died of a stroke at the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri. He died alone at age 81 without family members allowed at his bedside. Salerno was buried at Saint Raymond's Cemetery in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx in New York.
In popular cultureEdit
- In the 2011 gangster movie Kill the Irishman, Salerno was portrayed by Paul Sorvino. The film depicts Salerno's role in the gangland war between the Cleveland crime family and Irish Mob boss Danny Greene.