DeSimone, Frank (1909-1967)

Born Pueblo, CO, July 17, 1909.

Died Los Angeles, CA, Aug. 4, 1967.

Frank DeSimone, an attorney residing in Downey, CA, became the Los Angeles Mafia boss after the 1957 death of Jack Dragna. His reign marked the beginning of a long decline for the crime family later referred to in the press as "the Mickey Mouse Mafia."

DeSimone was born in Pueblo, CO, to merchant Rosario DeSimone and his wife Rosalia. DiSimone's father was born in the farming community of Salaparuto, Sicily, far inland in the western province of Trapani. He entered the U.S. through New York in March 1905. He married Rosalia, who was an immigrant from Lucca Sicula, Sicily, in the province of Agrigento. Rosalia apparently had two children in a previous relationship in New Orleans before moving to Colorado in the mid-1900s. Frank DeSimone was the oldest of four children born to Rosario and Rosalia in Pueblo before the family's fall 1920 relocation to Downey, California, where Rosario returned to a farming life.

DeSimone interrupted his early law practice to enlist in the Army in 1942.

One of DeSimone's earliest acts as crime boss was attendance at the ill-fated 1957 Mafia convention in Apalachin, NY. Los Angeles Mafioso Simone Scozzari, with whom DeSimone is often confused, also attended that convention. Both men were included among the attendees convicted of obstructing justice by refusing to reveal the purpose of the Apalachin meeting. The convictions were later overturned.

DeSimone died of natural causes on Aug. 4, 1967, leaving the Los Angeles Family to Nicolo Licata.

In September 1973, federal investigators unearthed links between the late Frank DeSimone and the management of the United States National Bank in southern California. The New York Times noted that the bank was run by multimillionaire C. Arnholt Smith, a close personal friend of U.S. President Richard Nixon.

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