Angelo "The Gentle Don" Bruno (May 21, 1910 - March 21, 1980) was a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania mobster who ran the Philadelphia crime family for two decades. Bruno gained his nickname and reputation due to his preference for conciliation over violence.
1 Early Years
2 Family Leader
4 External links
 Early Years
Born in Villalba, Italy, Bruno emigrated to the United States in his teens and settled in Philadelphia. The son of a grocer, Bruno was a close associate of New York City boss Carlo Gambino. In 1959, he succeeded Joseph Ida as boss of the Philadelphia crime family. Bruno was a cousin of mobster John Simone who was a bootlegger and had convictions including assault and robbery.
Bruno was married to Sue Maranca and had two children. Bruno owned an extermination company in Trenton, New Jersey, an aluminum products company in Hialeah, Florida, and a stake in the Plaza Hotel in Havana, Cuba. Bruno's first arrest was in 1928 for reckless driving. Subsequent arrests included firearms violations, operating an illicit alcohol still, illegal gambling, and receiving stolen property.
Bruno's leadership of the family was regarded as successful. He avoided the intense media and law enforcement scrutiny and outbursts of violence that plagued other crime families. Bruno himself avoided lengthy prison terms despite several arrests; his longest term was two years for refusing to testify to a Grand Jury. In addition, Bruno did not allow his family to deal in narcotics, preferring more traditional Cosa Nostra operations like bookmaking and loansharking.
However, Bruno did allow members of the Gambino crime family to distribute heroin in Philadelphia for a share of the proceeds. This angered many members of his own family, who were barred from narcotics trafficking and wanted a share of the profits made from drug dealing. Bruno also came under fire for not allowing other families a share of the profits in increasingly lucrative Atlantic City Under the Cosa Nostra rules, Atlantic City was regarded as part of the Philadelphia family's domain and no other family could move in without Bruno's permission.
Before long, several factions within the family began conspiring to betray the aging Bruno. On March 21, 1980, the sixty-nine-year-old Angelo Bruno was killed by a shotgun blast in the back of the head as he sat in his car. It is believed that the killing was ordered by Anthony Caponigro (aka Tony Bananas), Bruno's consigliere. A few weeks after Bruno was murdered, Caponigro was found stuffed in a body bag in the trunk of a car in New York. About $300 in bills were jammed in his mouth and anus. It was alleged that the Mafia Commission ordered his murder because Caponigro had assassinated a family boss without their sanction.
After Caponigro's murder, Philip 'Chicken Man' Testa led the family for a brief period (one year), but was killed by a nail bomb at his home. Testa's death resulted from an attempt by Peter Casella, Testa's underboss, to become the boss of the Philadelphia family. Through shrewd insight, Nicodemo Scarfo, a violent rising mob figure and the boss in Atlantic City, took over Bruno's crime organization. However, the death of Bruno marked the decline of the Philadelphia family due to informants, infighting, and successful prosecutions of high-profile mobsters like Scarfo.