Phyllis Sinatra Gambino got into the spotlight as the daughter of the notorious Italian-American crime boss Carlo Gambino of the Gambino crime family. Sinatra’s father took over the leadership of the Commission of the American Mafia in 1959 until he died in 1976. Despite being part of organized crime for over r50 years, Gambino only served 22 months in prison for a tax evasion charge.
Read on to learn more about Phyllis Sinatra, her siblings, and her father’s life in crime.
Phyllis Sinatra Gambino Bio
She was born Phyllis Gambino on 24 August 1927 to Carlo Gambino and Catherine Gambino. Her family lived a modest lifestyle despite her father being one of the wealthiest crime bosses. Details of her upbringing are unknown. It is also unclear what she pursued career-wise. She lived a modest life until her demise. Phyllis died on 19 February 2007.
Phyllis Sinatra Gambino Siblings
Phyllis was the only girl child of Gambino’s four children. Her brothers are Thomas Gambino, Joseph Gambino, and Carlo Gambino. Thomas followed his father’s lead, becoming a mobster. Joseph was a millionaire businessman. Carlo Gambino Jr.’s whereabouts are unknown.
Phyllis Sinatra Gambino’s Parents
Phyllis Sinatra’s mother, Catherine Castellano, was born in September 1907 to Concetta Cassata and Giuseppe “Joseph” Castellano. She married her cousin Carlo Gambino in 1932 and had four children; one daughter and three sons. She died in August 1971.
Carlo Gambino, Sinatra’s father, was born in Palermo, Sicily, the Kingdom of Italy, on 24 August 1902. His parents, Tommaso Gambino and Felice Castellano, were Italian immigrants. He had two brothers, Gaspare Gambino and Paolo Gambino. His family belonged to a Sicilian Mafia gang from Passo di Rigano. He immigrated to the United States in 1921 and joined his cousins in New York City, working for his uncle’s trucking firm.
Gambino settled in Brooklyn and also owned a summer home on Long Island. He married his cousin Catherine Castellano in 1932 and raised four children.
Gambino was part of a criminal organization headed by Joe Masseria. Salvatore Manzano succeeded Joe “the Boss,” followed by Philip, Vincent Mangano, and Albert Anastacia. Following Anastacia’s death, allegedly by Gambino with Vito Genovese’s approval, Gambino took over The Commission’s leadership.
The gang’s criminal operations under Gambino’s leadership included hijacking, gambling, trafficking, loansharking, and labor racketeering. Gambino hated drugs, and he thought heroin and cocaine would attract attention to the gang. Whoever dealt drugs in his family would be punished by death. The Gambino family had 500 soldiers and over 1,000 associates in the 1960s.
In his 50 years of crime, Gambino served only 22 months in prison between 1937 and 1938. He was charged with tax evasion.
Gambino died in his home in Massapequa on 15 October 1976, aged 74. He died of natural causes, although he had a history of heart disease. He left his crime family in the hands of Castellano.
Several films and television series have been based on Gambino’s dealings, like the 1996 TV film Gotti, the 2011 film Boss of Bosses, the 2015 mini-series The Making of the Mob: New York, and the 2022 TV series The Offer.
The Gambino crime family is a big name in the streets of New York, United States, and being born in that family does attract attention to you. Phyllis Sinatra did a commendable job keeping on the low throughout her life.