Antonino "Nino" Magaddino was born to Giovanni and Giuseppa Ciaravino Magaddino in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, on June 18, 1897. His family was prominent in the local Mafia, and at the time of his birth the Magaddino's were engaged in an underworld feud with the Buccellato clan, also of Castellammare.
|Magaddino was arrested in 1916 for falsifying a passport.|
Nino Magaddino married Vincenza Vitale in Castellammare on Feb. 2, 1922. A short time later his brother Stefano, who had risen to command of a Mafia organization in western New York, called him to the U.S. to help manage regional bootlegging rackets. Nino Magaddino arrived in the U.S. aboard the S.S. Patria on Nov. 1, 1923. He immediately became Stefano's trusted aide.
Though Magaddino was on the other side of the Atlantic, he still managed to continue to get in trouble with Italian authorities. In June 1928, he was charged with violating immigration laws. In November of that year, he was charged with robbery, rape and extortion, in connection with events that took place years earlier. All those charges were dropped by 1931. In 1948, Magaddino was naturalized a citizen of the U.S. His wife and children traveled to the U.S. and joined him in Niagara Falls in 1950.
Following Prohibition, Magaddino moved into gambling ventures and also became involved in the family's funeral home business. Paul Palmeri, operator of the Panepinto & Palmeri Funeral Home since 1925, welcomed Nino Magaddino as a partner in 1939. When Palmeri moved to New Jersey in 1941, the funeral home business was taken over by the Magaddinos. Stefano's son Peter was installed as president, and Nino Magaddino became vice president.
During the 1940s and 1950s, Nino Magaddino supervised gambling rackets in the Niagara Falls region.
|Magaddino and Domenick D'Agostino|
appear before a grand jury in 1958.
When questioned by police, Magaddino said he was in Apalachin by accident. He insisted he was driving Montana to New York City for a business meeting, when car trouble forced them to drop by the home of his acquaintance Joseph Barbara for help.
A 1958 grand jury investigating Apalachin called Magaddino as a witness but learned nothing new from him. He refused to answer its questions, invoking the Fifth Amendment 24 times. He was subsequently indicted for conspiring to obstruct justice. The following year, federal agents attempting to serve Magaddino with papers stemming from the indictment could not locate him. He became the subject of a nationwide manhunt.
The charges against Magaddino were dropped in 1960, after an appeals court threw out obstruction convictions against other Apalachin attendees.
Nino Magaddino was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1969. He died April 13, 1971, at the age of 73.
|Magaddino gravesite, St. Joseph's Cemetery, Niagara Falls.|