The Commission was one of Lucky Luciano’s most pioneering creations, and something that is still used in secret today (the last known meeting was in 1985 after the murder of Gambino boss Paul Castellano) and The Commission would generally come together in private every 5 years.
The Commission was formed in 1931 after the Castellammarese War had come to an end, and it was invented to put order and structure into the Mafia world replacing the Boss of all Bosses.
How It Worked
It was setup in the following way:
You would have a ruling committee that consisted of the heads of the Five Families, and the head of the Chicago Outfit, and it was a way of establishing a system to oversee all mob activities. It was the place where disputes would be settled and conflicts would be resolved amongst families.
So for example, if a mob boss position became available for whatever reason (usually resulting from a hit), then The Commission would come together to cast votes on who should take over the opening position. They also held the power of accepting new members (which needed to be approved by all families), once approved this member could become a made man.
Lucky was the chairman of the board of directors, and the other bosses that could each cast one vote on decision were made up of Vincent Mangano, Tommy Gagliano, Joseph Bonanno, Joe Profaci, Al Capone and Stefano Magaddino.
The first real test for The Commission came in 1935 when Dutch Schultz wanted Thomas Dewey (The special prosecutor who went on to become Governor of New York) murdered, however the board of directors thought this would bring too much heat to the Mafia and chose against the hit. Schultz questioned the authority of the Commission and in the end they ended up disposing of Schultz using the Murder Inc group which was run by Louis Buchalter and Albert Anastasia.
The Chairman of The Mob History
1931 – 1936 (5 years) – Charles “Lucky” Luciano
1936 – 1951 (15 years) – Vincent Mangano
1951 – 1957 (6 years) – Joe Bonanno, Joseph Profaci and Stefano Magaddino (Conservative)
Frank Costello, Albert Anastasia and Tommy Lucchese (Liberal)
1957 – 1959 (2 years) – Vito Genovese, Tommy Lucchese and Carlo Gambino
1959 – 1976 (17 years) – Carlo Gambino
1976 – 1985 (9 years) – Paul Castellano
Unofficial 1986–1992 (6 years) — John Gotti
Unofficial 1992–1997 (5 years) — Vincent Gigante
It gets a bit sketchy from 1997, but if you have any evidence that can add to this please contact us.