In the Mafia, family is the most sacred institution of all. In fact, it’s the most important thing in the world, more important than God, more important than wives and children, and certainly more important than any one member. In this article I want to introduce you to the most successful and well-known mob families in the history of American organized crime, the 5 families of New York. Although the members of the American arm of La Cosa Nostra have taken a bit of a legal drubbing over the last two decades, the 5 families of New York refuse to go away completely and are still believed to be up to their old tricks, albeit on a much smaller scale.
The 5 families of New York came together in 1931, after the bloody Castellammarese War highlighted the need for a new way to share the many spoils of underground activity without killing each other in the process. These powerful 5 families of New York formed a syndicate referred to as “The Commission” that would remain at the heart of organized crime in America for the next 75 years. Their influence is undisputed, and Meyer Lansky famously once called the 5 families “bigger than U.S. steel.”