Charles Matranga (November, 1857 - October 28, 1943) also known as "Millionaire Charlie", was one of the first bosses of the New Orleans crime family
Matranga was born in Sicily in 1857 and taken to the United States as an infant, he eventually became the leader of of a gang that would later be called the New Orleans crime family.
In the 1880s, the Matranga and his brothers began moving in on the dock rackets of rival Mafia leader Joseph Provenzano and became partners with another mafioso named Joseph Macheca. By the late 1880s, authorities estimated that a Matranga-Macheca gang had strengthened itself by importing over 300 members of the Monreale, Sicily mafia clan. A war between the Matranga and Provenzano factions began within a year. New Orleans Police Chief David Hennessey actively supported the Provenzano side.
Matranga was among those charged with conspiracy in connection with the assassination of Hennessey in 1890. No convictions were obtained for any of the 19 defendants in the murder case (only nine stood trial), and the public apparently took matters into its own hands. Joseph Macheca was one of 11 suspects shot and hanged to death by vigilantes who stormed the prison on March 14, 1891.
Matranga was left unharmed, though he was widely known to be the chief of the local Mafia. He remained a power in the local underworld until the 1920s, and Sylvestro Carolla, known as "Silver Dollar Sam", took over the crime family. The Matrangas of New Orleans were allegedly related to Sam Matranga of the Matranga crime family in California that is the predecessor of the Los Angeles crime family, although no evidence exists that they cooperated together in their illegal activities.
Matranga died of natural causes on Oct. 28, 1943.
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