Died Tucson, AZ, Jan. 1, 2008.
Born in Brooklyn and educated at the University of Arizona, Salvatore served in various leadership positions within the Bonanno organization and was groomed by his father to take over the Family. The relationship between the two men is the subject of Gay Talese's largely unreliable journalistic endeavor, "Honor Thy Father."
Much of the Family membership and all of the Mafia Commission objected to Salvatore succeeding his father, leading to a civil war in the Family in the late 1960s. A faction of the Family led by Commission-favored Gaspar DiGregorio allegedly ambushed the younger Bonanno and his supporters at a supposed nighttime peace conference on Troutman Street in Brooklyn.
DiGregorio's men opened up with rifles and shotguns. Bonanno's side returned fire. It was said that the two sides fired 100 rounds at each other.
The incident - the most exciting of Bill Bonanno's underworld career - was either a complete fabrication or grossly exaggerated. There was no report of a single injury occurring at Troutman Street.
Salvatore Bonanno was imprisoned several times, beginning with a contempt conviction in 1968. He served four years in the Terminal Island prison near Los Angeles after being convicted of using a stolen credit card.