Frankie Carbo

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Carbo mugshot
Carbo in 1959

Frankie Carbo (August 10, 1904 - November 9, 1976) was a Italian-American mobster who operated as a boxing promoter and as a member of Murder, Inc.

Carbo was born Paul Gianfranco Carbo on New York's Lower East Side. His father was from Manlleu, Catalonia. Carbo was sent to the New York State Reformatory for juvenile delinquents at the age of eleven. Over the next ten years, Carbo would frequently be in and out of prison on charges including assault and grand larceny.

When Carbo was arrested for the murder of a cab driver who had refused to pay protection money, he pleaded not guilty. Carbo claimed self-defense but eventually agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter in exchange for a reduced sentence of 2-4 years imprisonment. After serving 20 months, Carbo was released and began working as a hired gunman for various bootleg gangs during Prohibition.

In 1931, Carbo was charged with the murder of Philadelphia mobster Mickey Duffy in Atlantic City, but was eventually released. During the early 1930s, Carbo began working for Murder Inc. member Louis "Lepke" Buchalter before being charged with the deaths of two former Waxey Gordon bootleggers, Max Greenberg and Max Haskell. Although he was held by authorities for over 6 months, he was eventually released when witnesses refused to testify.

By the end of the decade, Carbo had been arrested 17 times (including 5 murder charges according to his police record) and was suspected in the 1939 west coast gangland slaying of police informant Harry "Big Greenie" Greenberg. While Brooklyn mobsters (and former Murder Inc. members) Abe "Kid Twist" Reles and Allie "Tick Tock" Tannenbaum agreed to testify against Carbo, Reles' apparent suicide by throwing himself through a window of the Half Moon Hotel in Coney Island would eventually cause the case to be dismissed.

During the 1940s, Carbo became involved in boxing. Operating through the International Boxing Club and a New York bookie operation, he was highly successful in fixing high profile boxing matches and eventually would become known throughout the underworld as the "Czar of Boxing". In 1947, it was rumored that Carbo had engineered the Bugsy Siegel hit.

Carbo was sentenced to Riker's Island for two years for managing boxers without a license. Following his release in 1960, Carbo was subpoenaed to appear before a Senate investigation committee and, in attempts to question his involvement in prize fighting, Carbo answered "I cannot be compelled to be a witness against myself." It was a statement he would repeat 25 times.

The following year, Carbo was charged with Frank (Blinky) Palermo of conspiracy and extortion of then NBA Welterweight Champion Don Jordan. After a three month trial, in which U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy served as prosecutor, Carbo was sentenced to 25 years in McNeil Island Federal Penitentiary. Granted early parole due to ill health, Carbo was released from prison and died in Miami Beach, Florida on November 9, 1976.

External Links

"Norris' Last Stand" By Gilbert Rogin, Sports Illustrated, December 19, 1960
La Cosa Nostra Database