||New York| Anthony Strollo
Birth: June 18, 1899 - New York
Death: April 8, 1962 - New York
Anthony C. Strollo, also known under his alias "Tony Bender", was a New York mobster who served as a high ranking member in three of New York's "Five Families". Born in New York City, Strollo grew up on Monroe Street near the Manhattan Bridge. During Prohibition, Strollo gained a formidable reputation becoming involved in bootlegging and murder for hire before working for Giuseppe Masseria in the early to mid 1920's. However, as the Castellammarese War heated up, Bender would defect to Salvatore Maranzano and become a trusted lieutenant and gunman, also becoming acquainted with then-Maranzano lieutenant, Joseph Bonanno.
Following the death of Maranzano and his membership into the Luciano Family and the formation of the National Crime Syndicate, Bender would assume control of illegal gambling operations in New York's Greenwich Village as a lieutenant of Charles "Lucky" Luciano, under 2nd in command, Vito Genovese. It was during this time, suspicious of rival Michael "Little Apples" Reggione's growing influence, that he ordered Reggione's death and, on November 25, 1932, hitmen Joe Valachi and Peter Maione shot and killed Reggione with three gunshots to the head. Shortly after Luciano's incarceration in 1936, Strollo and capo Michael "Trigger Mike" Coppola stepped up to help new acting boss, Vito Genovese run the Luciano Family. Genovese fled to Italy in 1937 to avoid a murder indictment and Frank Costello became acting boss, keeping Strollo as a top capo and overseer of the Family's Greenwich Village rackets, successfully operating a string of Greenwich Village nightclubs including the popular Black Cat, the Hollywood, the 19th Hole and the Village Inn prior to WWII.
After Costello was removed from leadership in 1957 and log time Strollo ally, Vito Genovese came into power, Strollo oversaw drug trafficking operations for the Genovese Family and his boss. In the early 1950s, Strollo would order the deaths of Lucchese Family member and Luciano drug courier, Eugenio Giannini, killed by Joe Valachi, Fiore Siano, Joseph and Pasquale Pagano in East Harlem on September 20, 1952. Later suspected police informant Stephen Franse was strangled to death in Joe Valachi's Greenwich Village nightclub, the Lido on June 19, 1953 on Strollo's orders for boss Vito Genovese who also suspected Franse of sleeping with his wife, who Franse worked for.
Strollo would continue to run the Genovese Family's Greenwich Village rackets and drug trafficking operations after his boss, Vito Genovese would be sent to prison for 15 years on a trump up narcotics charge in 1959. There has been underworld gossip for years that prior to Genovese's conviction, Anthony "Tony Bender" Strollo did what he did best and switched his allegiance from one side to another, meeting with new boss, Carlo Gambino and pledging his loyalty to him, knowing Gambino was the up and coming underworld power in New York and would soon hold the position of defacto boss of bosses that Charles "Lucky" Luciano once held. Tony Bender Strollo disappeared from his residence in Fort Lee, New Jersey on April 8, 1962. Joe Valachi would later testify that Strollo has most likely been killed and his body disposed of, most likely on the orders of Vito Genovese, who may have suspected that Strollo had been a part of the plot to set him up and incarcerate him.
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