The 1970s Mob Wars
July 10, 1972

June 28, 1971: Joe Colombo Shot! The mob leader and founder of the Italian-American Civil Rights League, is killed before thousands at a rally, thereby undercutting his statement: “Mafia—what’s the Mafia? There is no Mafia."

April 7, 1972: "Crazy Joey" Gallo Slain! The Colombo family gang leader is shot three times while eating with his new wife and her daughter at Umberto's Clam House on Mulberry Street. Gallo's the third mob execution that week.

July 12, 1979: Carmine Galante's Eye Shot Out!
The Bonanno boss Carmine Galante — who had knocked off eight top mobsters the previous year — is murdered in Joe and Mary's Italian Restaurant in Brooklyn. The Post runs a gruesome photo of the dead mobster with a cigar still smoldering in his mouth under the headline "GREED."

December 16, 1985: Big Paul Castellano Whacked! Neanderthal clotheshorse John Gotti whacks technocrat and Gambino-crime boss Paulie in front of the steakhouse Sparks in the last of the great mob public passion plays. "'Castellano was so out of touch,' one federal agent said, 'that when the shooters approached him outside of Sparks, he probably didn't know whether it was a hit or a hello.'" (Trivia alert: Sparks was certified by Gael Greene as the city's best steakhouse in the issue of New York that appeared on newsstands that very day. Extra Bite >>>

Meanwhile, at the box office....
1969: Mario Puzo's The Godfather is published. 67 weeks on the Best Seller list.

1972: Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather is released.

Related Stories
Dumb Dumb's Bullets: John Gotti had Paul Castellano whacked outside Sparks steak house. Then Gotti's stupidity killed the mob. (Jack Newfield in New York Magazine's 35th Anniversary Issue)