Aniello Migliore, who died on September 11, 2019, was one of the few remaining mobsters from the golden age of the Mafia. Migliore, a long-time member of the Lucchese Crime Family in New York city, had lived to see it all, from the infamous Appalachin meeting in upstate New York (or at least the aftermath of it) to the rise and fall of the American Mafia throughout the 1980s and 1990’s. Even in his final years, with the New York Mafia a mere shadow of its former self, the elder Migliore allegedly remained active in organized crime. His resilience, no doubt, came from spending his entire life in notorious criminal organizations that were in constant conflict with the law and the American public.
The Second Generation
Unlike many of the founding members of the Five Families who emigrated to the United States at the turn of the century, Migliore was born in Queens, in 1933, and grew up at the height of the Mafia’s power in New York. When he was a teenager, Joseph Lorato, a Capo in the Lucchese Crime Family, recruited him to do basic tasks on the streets. Migliore proved to be a reliable and talented prospect, and even as a young man rose quickly through the ranks. By the time he was 21 years old, the young Migliore was a Lucchese soldier responsible for running major gambling and other illicit operations for the Mob; the rackets made him a wealthy man and an invaluable member of the Lucchese organization, and he continued to rise up through the ranks.
The young Migliore’s competence and earning ability also earned him the trust and admiration of the Lucchese Family leadership. He was trusted enough to even serve Tommy Lucchese’s driver from time to time when the Family Boss had important meetings and errands to attend to. In 1957, Aniello Migliore is reputed to have driven Lucchese and underboss Steve LaSalle to the infamous Appalachin Meeting – the aborted attempt by to unify multiple Mafia and other organized crime networks together in an unprecedented secret upstate New York meeting – and was involved in a car accident the following day in Binghamton New York.
From Soldier to Capo
By the 1970’s Aniello Migliore had risen from a foot soldier
to a powerful Capo in the Lucchese Family. His expressed lack of
ambition for leadership, coupled with his knack for making money in the rackets,
made him an indispensable member of the Family leadership. He continued to
serve as a driver and close confidante of the Lucchese Family boss of the time
Anthony Corrallo. He was often seen behind the wheel of Corallo’s flashy Jaguar,
driving the boss from meeting to meeting in New York.
While Migliore spent a lot of time with Corallo, he excelled at making money for the Lucchese family in the construction rackets. He owned a marble and stone business in Queens and was deeply involved in labor unions and the construction rackets. He oversaw the Lucchese racketeering efforts that ensured the Family won major construction contracts and siphoned off significant funds for the projects into the Mb’s coffers; thanks to Aniello Migliore’s efforts, the Lucchese Family allegedly profited illicitly from legitimate projects like the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Trump Plaza.
While Migliore had numerous run-ins with law enforcement throughout his career, his involvement with the Mob’s construction rackets finally brought him into the crosshairs of the FBI and New York Prosecutors. In 1986 he was indicted on a wide variety of charges, including bid rigging, and was later convicted. He drew a severe prison sentence, which seemingly ended his career in organized crime. However, 1991 his conviction was overturned, and Aniello Migliore was back on the streets soon afterwards.
Months after his release from prison, Migliore was enjoying a birthday dinner with a family friend at the Tesoro Restaurant in Long Island when he severely wounded in an assassination attempt, the alleged result of a Lucchese Family internal power struggle. The Lucchese Capo sustained shotgun blasts to the neck and torso after the gunman fired at him through the restaurant’s window. While his wounds were severe, Migliore nonetheless survived. However, soon afterwards he was back in prison again, a result of his previous appeal being overturned; Migliore remained behind bars until several years later in 1997.
The Final Act
After his brush with death and his second prison stretch,
Aniello Migliore kept a much lower profile. By the 2000s, the New York Mob had
been decimated and the power of the Five Families was a shadow of its former
past. New laws, relentless prosecutors like New York’s Rudy Giuliani, and a
string of Mafia turncoats and informants had finally brought the Mafia to heel.
However, even if the Mafia was down, it wasn’t completely out, and Aniello
Migliore was still a part of it.
Throughout the 2000s Migliore was allegedly part of an organized crime panel overseeing the remainder of the Lucchese Family rackets in East Harlem and the Bronx. By the late 2010s, further pressure on the Mob and Migliore’s advancing age caused him to step back even further from the spotlight, although, as one of the remaining original Mafiosos still active in New York, he retained a certain level of notoriety all the way to the end and was widely respected in Mafia circles. The elderly gangster, who was 85 years old, died on September 11, 2019.
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