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Joe Colombo
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    (December 14, 1914-October 1, 1978)
    Leader of the Colombo crime family
    Founded the Italian-American Civil Rights League (June 29, 1970)
    Shot by Jerome A. Johnson
    He got ahead in the Mafia through opportunism.
    He was given leadership of the family after he ratted out the planned assassinations of Carlo Gambino and Tommy Lucchese.
    He protested the government stereotyping all Italians as being involved in the Mafia while he was a crime family boss.
    He loved publicity while other mob bosses shunned it.
    He was killed after he refused Carlo Gambino's order to dismantle the Italian-American Civil Rights League by spitting in Gambino's face.
    Some conspiracy theorists claim he was assassinated by the government for his pro-Italian activities.
    He was a realty salesman.
    His killer Jerome A. Johnson was shot dead by an unidentified man who then escaped.
    As a result of the assassination attempt, he lingered in a coma for seven years.
    His father was also killed by the Mafia (1928).
    He forced his men to hold down legitimate jobs.
    His first 'Italian Unity Day' was attended by 50,000 Italians, including several members of Congress.

Credit: Captain Howdy

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