Calogero Minacore (Marcello) was born in Tunis, North Africa, of Sicilian parents and arrived in Louisiana, just one year old, in 1911. From an early age he became involved in petty crime and had a series of arrests and a couple of spells in jail. Working under his brother-in-law Frank Todaro, Marcello rose through the ranks of the Carollo mob, being promoted to lieutenant within a few years. When Carollo was extradited to Sicily in 1947 Marcello was the obvious successor, spreading the syndicate's control of gambling throughout Louisiana. In the later 1950's, as boss of the Louisiana Mafia, he extended their operation into Texas and established an organized crime syndicate in Dallas.
As boss of the oldest Cosa Nostra family in America he was rewarded with immeasurable respect and certain privileges not afforded to other bosses within the Mafia families of America.
It is believed that even the incorruptible Huey P Long assisted Marcello with the introduction of the first slot machines in Louisiana.
Marcello kept a very low public profile and possibly paid off most of the police and judicial officials within the state, surrounding himself with the best lawyers available.
He was at the top of Robert F Kennedy's hit list on organized crime, when he became US Attorney General and was seized, handcuffed and flown to Guatemala. On the day of the assassination Marcello was in court fighting deportation.
He was dismissed by the Warren Commission in the investigation into the assassination of President John F Kennedy as an insignificant businessman.,
He has been linked to crime bosses Sam Giancana, Santo Trafficante, and Johnny Rosselli and the Teamsters' leader, Jimmy Hoffa in many of the assassination theories.
Lee Harvey Oswald grew up in New Orleans with connections, such as his uncle Charles Murret, to the gambling operations run by Marcello.
Jack Ruby had connections to Marcello through Joe Civello, the Campisi brothers and his own clubs in Dallas.
Much to the disgust of many of his contemporaries, throughout the last decades of the 20th century,, Marcello wound down his illegal operations and invested in land and sound legitimate businesses. This enabled his family to prosper without fear of imprisonment or reprisals.
He was possibly one of the most visionary crime bosses along with Charlie Luciano.
Towards the end of his life, Marcello served further jail sentences, before his death in his own home in 1993.