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Salvatore Maranzano (played by Giampiero Judica) is a New York City crime boss and the Mafia's former "boss of bosses". He engages in a gang war with his main rival Joe Masseria for control of the city's illegal underworld. He is based on the historical figure of the same name.



As most other prominent mafiosi of his time, Maranzano hailed from Castellammare del Golfo in Sicily, and arrived in the United States shortly following the end of the First World War. An educated criminal who studied the Roman Empire, Maranzano established his gang with its base of power in Brooklyn and the Bronx, but soon grew to have higher ambitions and sought the title of "boss of bosses" of the New York Mafia; in 1930, he started a war with his rival and main obstacle in his course of achieving absolute power, Joe Masseria, and the conflict carried on for a long time, resulting in several deaths and business being halted on both sides. Hoping to end hostilities and return to functioning as usual, Masseria's cunning lieutenant Lucky Luciano made a truce with Maranzano behind his boss' back, agreeing to give him up and change allegiances to Maranzano. ("Golden Days for Boys and Girls")

Season 5[]

Salvatore Maranzano Calling for Luciano to Come Forward Golden Days for Boys and Girls

Maranzano celebrating his victory over Masseria. ("Golden Days for Boys and Girls")

Luciano converses with Masseria at an Italian restaurant, waiting endlessly for the hitmen arranged to kill him to arrive. After some time hearing Masseria's tirade, he excuses himself to use the bathroom, at which point Tonino Sandrelli and Benny Siegel enter the establishment and, after making short conversation with Masseria, shoot him to death while he's sitting at his table, with Luciano solemnly declaring, "The fight is over" as he stands over Masseria's corpse. Maranzano later hosts a celebratory dinner with all prominent racketeers of New York present to go over the new marching orders now that he has been crowned as boss of the city, and gleefully makes a speech about his newly achieved power while quoting Marcus Aurelius, finally concluding how everyone present will soon get rich, which inspires a round of applause. Before ending his remarks, he states how they owe much to their new friend Luciano, who walks among the crowd of gangsters and bows down before Maranzano, addressing him as "Don Salvatore". Pleased with his protégé's show of respect, Maranzano grants him a knife, which Luciano grabs and after proudly saying, "To us, and only to us" in Italian, proceeds to cut his hand with it. Maranzano's men all stand in line and do the same, sharing their blood with that of Luciano and symbolically marking the beginning of a new era. ("Golden Days for Boys and Girls")

Lucky Luciano Salvatore Maranzano Tonino Sandrelli Serving Coffee The Good Listener

Maranzano, Lucky Luciano and Tonino Sandrelli meeting with Nucky Thompson. ("The Good Listener")

Meanwhile, Nucky Thompson survives a near assassination attempt in Havana, which he suspects came from Luciano on the orders of Maranzano since he encountered his close friend Meyer Lansky and spoke with him before it occurred. ("Golden Days for Boys and Girls") In reality, Luciano and Lansky are acting independently from Maranzano trying to kill Nucky with the help of Johnny Torrio, who Nucky goes to seeking advice. Torrio suggests he sit down with Maranzano in a meeting he will broker to feel him out and attempt to discover the truth. The two go to Maranzano's café in the Bronx where the boss reflects on his killing of Masseria, explaining that he forced his hand no matter how many times he tried appealing to reason, telling Nucky that he knows of their prior history through Torrio. Unimpressed, Nucky bluntly asks why Maranzano would have him killed, which he unequivocally denies doing. After the subject of Lansky's presence in Cuba is raised, Luciano interjects and claims that the two of them haven't had any contact in months since "friendships end", "And new ones are forged", as Maranzano adds. At that point, Nucky notices Tonino serving his new boss some coffee, surprised at his change of allegiances, though Maranzano doesn't give it too much thought and calls him a "good boy" before reassuring Nucky that he has nothing to fear from him. After the meeting ends, Nucky asks Torrio what he thought, to which he cryptically responds to "Believe whatever it is gets you out of this mess". However, at a later meeting with him, Nucky gets Tonino to confess about Luciano and Lansky's plot, before having him killed for causing the death of his mistress Billie Kent ("The Good Listener")

Salvatore Maranzano Meeting With Nucky King of Norway

Maranzano meets with Nucky to discuss Luciano's treachery. ("King of Norway")

Valentin Narcisse refuses Maranzano's proposal to maintain the arrangement he had under Masseria and continue selling heroin to them. In response, Luciano has Siegel break into one of Narcisse's brothels and reap chaos in the place, killing a pimp and several prostitutes. ("What Jesus Said") Nucky, who still doesn't know of Torrio's role in the conspiracy against him, agrees to have another meeting with him and Maranzano to tell him about Luciano's treachery. At his café, Maranzano praises Nucky, stating that he is bold enough to come sit with him without an intermediary present as Torrio hasn't arrived yet. Although he admits to being disappointed in his protégé when Nucky asks to get rid of him, he decides not to take any action since he expects to be targeted being at the top, saying that he does not take such things personally. When Nucky questions what could be more personal than a man attempting to kill you, he brings up Fides, the Roman goddess of trust and the Empire's foundation, though Nucky half-sarcastically responds that trust didn't account for much given that Caesar got stabbed in the back. Despite all the problems Luciano poses, Maranzano insists he prefers to deal exclusively with Italians. When the two of them see a car pull up, expecting it to be Torrio, armed hitmen begin machine-gunning Maranzano's establishment, forcing them to duck and take cover. Maranzano crawls through the floor, pushing his subordinates away in the hopes of saving himself. Most of his men present are killed, though he and Nucky ultimately survive mostly unscathed, realizing Torrio plotted their demise. ("King of Norway")

Salvatore Maranzano Shot Dead Friendless Child

Maranzano is shot in the head by Eli Thompson. ("Friendless Child")

The attack kicks off an all-out war between Nucky and Luciano, which Maranzano does nothing to prevent. The conflict proves devastating for both sides, with Nucky losing 19 of his men, 12 trucks and nearly a million dollars in revenue. Maranzano's strategy proves ineffective as his restraint does nothing to halt Luciano's efforts. Meeting him at Mickey Doyle's club, Nucky reprimands Maranzano and protests about his current situation. The mulish boss counsels seeking help from Al Capone in Chicago, but Nucky laments that he has cut him off entirely and there is nobody left to support him. Unable to solve his problems, Maranzano simply promises to provide Nucky with more men to guard his trucks and kill Luciano if he lays sight on him. During a truce in the warfare, Nucky and Luciano are about to come to blows when Nucky bows down before the latter and tells him he is willing to put an end to hostilities by neutralizing his biggest threat, Maranzano; Luciano accepts. The next day, Nucky's brother Eli and several of his men walk into Maranzano's office in the New York Central Building pretending to arrest him. After closing the door behind them, one of the men stabs Maranzano in the stomach; though he tries to fight him off, the rest surround him and repeatedly attack him with knives to the back. He tumbles around through his office, trying to call for help through the door to no avail. With his final breath, he uselessly attempts to defend himself with a figurine of a Roman general in his desk, before collapsing to the ground, with Eli finishing him off with a shot to the head. After Maranzano's end, the old rule of the "Mustache Petes" dies with him and Luciano crowns himself as new king of the city. ("Friendless Child")


Maranzano was a thoughtful and superficially cunning mob boss, priding himself on his cultural knowledge of the Roman Empire and its various figures. He had the intelligence to both establish his crime empire and sway Luciano to his side so he would betray Masseria, rewarding him afterwards by accepting him into his family. However, much of his reflective and forward-thinking front was merely a facade, and Maranzano was highly short-sighted when it came to spotting present and future threats. He neglected to deal with Luciano after he began presenting problems for him, despite knowing that he had already double-crossed his longtime boss and thus could never be fully trusted. Aside from that, his perception of Italians as a united front and inabilty to see any of his compatriots as possible threats led to his downfall, as Luciano caused problems for Nucky thus encouraging him to get rid of Luciano's problem, Maranzano.


Memorable Quotes[]


Season five appearances
Golden Days for Boys and Girls The Good Listener What Jesus Said Cuanto
King of Norway Devil You Know Friendless Child Eldorado