Joseph Rosato – “Palisades Joe”

By The Other Guy | April 18, 2020


Joseph (Joe Palisades) Rosato – aka Giuseppe Rosato (TN) was born on April 4, 1904 in the Palermo suburbs in Sicily. In 1920, he immigrated to the United States and settled in East Harlem.

After getting married, he and his wife Rosalie (nee Lucchese), relocated to an upscale apartment at 34-31 81st Street in the Jackson Heights section of Queens to be near Rose’s mother and brothers in the adjoining town of Corona, in its “Little Italy” section.

The Rosatos also maintained a winter retreat down in Miami, Florida that he and Rose visited seasonally.

He and his wife Rose would have no children, but maintained a close, happy marriage for decades.

“Joe Palisades” stood at 5-foot 7-inches tall and weighed a solid 175 pounds., with salt and pepper hair and dark brown eyes.

Rosato often had an expression that seemed like a perpetual tight-grimaced smile.


FBI # 4165533, NYCPD # B-8732


During the 1963 McClellan Hearings probing organized crime, Rosato was named by informer Joseph Valachi as a top “capo regime” in the Lucchese Family of East Harlem.

Senate investigators named Rosato “a powerful and feared mafia leader”. He is reputed to have held that lofty position for decades, from at least the early 1950s, and to have kept a capo status position even after the death of his mentor and in-law Lucchese.

Lucchese Family – circa 1963 (note Joseph Rosato as a caporegime)

Rosato was said to have been primarily active in the NYC garment rackets, where he used his trucking firm office as a base of operations. He kept a steady hand in floating dice games, policy, bookmaking, labor extortion and shylocking. He oversaw a large regime of the borgata on Lucchese’s behalf.

Joe Palisades held ownership (in partnership with Lucchese) in a large garment trucking firm in New York’s “garment district” for decades known as S & R Trucking Co., located at 460 W. 35th Street, Manhattan, N.Y.

Side Note: At the time, police alleged S & R was the only “non-union” trucking firm in New York City’s garment center.


Rosato had a very limited but serious (three) arrest record starting in 1928:

Gaetano “Tommy Brown” Lucchese

• July 18, 1928 – homicide by gun. This arrest was for the January 18th murder in East Harlem of fellow hoodlum Louis Cerasulo. Rosato was arrested with his future brother-in-law Tommy Lucchese and their associate John Guido for shooting Cerasulo on the street in broad daylight in front of numerous witnesses.

The suspects were released when the witnesses (Cerasulo’s wife and mother) could not make a positive identification of the shooters. Police alleged the killing was over the spoils and control of the Harlem “chicken market” extortion and protection rackets

….These charges were dismissed six days later on 7-24-28.

• December 12, 1940 – WWII (alien) registration

• 1955 – disorderly conduct (dice game)

• December 13, 1957 – (inquiry) obstruction of justice


He came to public prominence on November 14, 1957 with his attendance at the infamous Apalachin Meeting in Upstate New York. Rosato was one of 62 top mafiosi across the United States that were detained by NYS troopers.

All those detained were later indicted for obstruction of justice for hampering the federal investigation by refusing to answer questions before an empaneled grand jury. But the convictions were all later overturned on appeal.


Joseph Rosato numbered among his close associates:

• Gaetano (Tommy Brown) Lucchese – Family Boss, brother-in-law and close partner of Rosato.

Paul “Paulie Ham” Correale

• Joseph (Joe Brown) Lucchese – capo and another brother-in-law, with whom he partnered with in several dice games, and a horse-betting operation.

• Joseph (Joey Narrow) Laratro – Corona, Queens-based capo.

• Donato (Danny Narrow) Laratro – Corona-Jackson Heights-based gambler. Brother to Joey, and a personal friend to Rosato.

• Vincent (Jimmy Brown) Lucchese – another brother-in-law active with Rosato in bookmaking.

• Nunzio (Frank) Arra – close affiliate and soldier serving in Rosato’s crew. Arra handled a numbers business for Rosato. They went back together decades, to their days infiltrating the Harlem poultry market protection rackets.

• Samuel (Big Sam) Cavalieri – Harlem based soldier serving under Rosato who later rose to capo. Active in East Harlem policy operations.

Joseph “Joe Stretch” Stracci

• Paul (Paulie Ham) Correale – soldier in Rosato’s crew who became a top figure in the Family. Highly respected.

Stefano (Steve) LaSalle – longtime Lucchese underboss. Top boss of the policy/numbers racket with his brother Vito.

• Harry Stromberg – garment center power broker and leader of the Jewish mob who worked closely with Rosato.

• Joseph (Joe Stretch) Stracci – iconic soldier in the Genovese mob. Top garment center racketeer.

• Natale (Joe Diamond) Evola – Bonanno capo and garment trucking racketeer who worked in tandem with Rosato.

• Vincent Rao – longtime Lucchese consigliere. One of the biggest shylocks in the city. Vincey started the famed “Rao’s” on E. 114th Street that’s all the rage among savvy NYC dining aficionados nowadays.

Antonio “Tony Ducks” Corallo

• Vincent (Jimmy Doyle) Plumeri – notorious garment racketeer and Lucchese capo.

• Frank (Frankie Bell) Campanello – soldier serving under Joe Lucchese’s Corona, Queens regime who was a close personal friend, dining and socializing with the wives.

• Donato (Dempsey) Laietta – soldier under the Corona, Queens regime who specialized in floating dice games and numbers.

• Anthony (Tony Ducks) Corallo – key capo who would later rise to boss the entire borgata. Top labor racketeer…a notorious hoodlum.

…many of the men mentioned above were closely affiliated with his garment rackets operations.


“Joe Palisades” in a younger photo

Despite the exposure he suffered after the Apalachin debacle, Rosato was able to maintain the low key profile he craved during his mob career, and yet was still revered and sought out by various members for advice and counsel.

A good example of this was in the early-1980s. Brooklyn-based soldier Joseph (Joe Reese) Schiavo visited him, asking Rosato to use his influence to help Schiavo’s cousin-in-law Alphonse D’Arco gain induction to the Lucchese mob. Almost 80-years-old and still highly respected.

No exact dod was available, but Giuseppe (Joe Palisades) Rosato was believed to have died in the late 1980s.

His was a mafioso career of wealth, excess and success…. never serving a day in jail, unless you count the 6 days in the jug he spent awaiting his dismissal of the 1928 murder arrest.

A mere inconvenience at best!


Back to The Genovese Family

The Gambino Family

The Bonanno Family

The Colombo Family

The Lucchese Family

The DeCavalcante Family

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