On this day the man widely considered the first Mafia boss of New Orleans, dies at his sister in laws home on Moss St., in New Orleans. Charles “Millionaire Charlie” Matranga, succumbs to natural causes at the age of 86, at approximately 12:15 am on the morning of Thursday, October 28, 1943.
Born in Monreale Sicily in 1857, he is brought to New Orleans, in 1858. Over the next three decades his family are players in the New Orleans Mafia struggles for domination over the city.
Matranga survives the lynching in the Orleans Parish Prison in 1891, (apparently with the aid of the man who was chiefly responsible for the organization of that lynching, William Parkerson,) and goes on to consolidate power in the years after. He retires in 1922, handing power over to Corrado Giacona.
His obituary listed him as a retired stevedore for the United Fruit Company, and for Standard Fruit & Steamship Company.
He was laid to rest on October 29, 1943 in Metairie Cemetery.
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"I'm always learning something new," he says. "Often when I think I have the whole story down on a subject, some new bit of info will pop up and lead off into another interesting direction."
Among the tales of pirates, voodoo priestesses, and vampires, New Orleans holds a long Mafia history. Most people will automatically think of Carlos Marcello, as the father of the New Orleans Mafia. Most people will also assume that the first Mafia family was in New York City. Even many locals don't know that New Orleans has Mafia roots predating the Civil War, giving their wonderful city the distinction of being home to the first Mafia family in the United States.
So let's explore the lesser known stories, facts, and even some OC fiction in a little space of the NCS Ron calls, the Crescent Corner.
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