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Joseph Bonanno, known as Joe Bananas, led one of the top New York crime families in the New York from the 1930s to the 1960s.
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Talese had worked with Bonanno’s son Bill on the 1971 Mafia saga Honor Thy Father.
In 1999, his life made the small screen in the Showtime miniseries, Bonanno: A Godfather’s Story. A series of actors played Bonanno at different ages, including Martin Landau played Bonanno, and the project was co-produced by Bill Bonanno.
Around this time, Bonanno suffered a stroke. His health continued to decline, and he died on May 11,
2002, in Tucson. Joseph Bonanno will be best remembered for the crime family he established—one that continues to this day.
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Bootleggers, smugglers, drug dealers, hit men—all these occupations are the provenance of mobsters, who operate in ethnic, family and business networks. Mobsters' real life crimes, and Hollywood's fascination with them, has earned them a special place in the American imagination. From Al Capone's Chicago crime ring to Bugsy Siegel's Las Vegas racket, these mobsters have made their names notorious from coast to coast.
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