Strollo, Antonio (1899-1962)

b. New York, NY, June 14, 1899.
disappeared from Fort Lee, NJ, April 8, 1962.

A longtime leader in the Genovese Crime Family, Anthony "Tony Bender" Strollo oversaw rackets in Greenwich Village and on the East Side of Manhattan. Strollo was a longtime ally of Vito Genovese, but the two apparently had a serious falling out after Genovese was convicted on narcotics charges. The conflict proved fatal for Strollo.

Antonio Strollo was born in New York City on June 14, 1899, to Leone and Jennie Strollo, immigrants from Italy. He had two older siblings, brothers Samuel and Dominick. In the early 1900s, Leone Strollo was a laborer, and the family lived at 181 Thompson Street in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. The family address changed only slightly, to 177 Thompson Street, by 1920. At that time, Leone Strollo ran his own candy store and his sons Antonio and Dominick worked as teamsters / truck drivers.

Antonio Strollo appears to have been married just after 1920. He and a wife named Rose can be found in the 1930 U.S. Census in a Thompson Street apartment. Strollo still claimed to be working as a truck driver at the time, but he was already engaged in racketeering, likely as a part of the Giuseppe Masseria Mafia organization. The marriage with Rose did not survive long after 1930 (Rose's fate is uncertain as of this writing).

During the 1930-31 Castellammarese War, Strollo sided with Masseria, Charlie Luciano and Vito Genovese. Following the brief reign of Salvatore Maranzano, Strollo became a lieutenant in the Luciano organization and a key ally of Genovese. Joseph Valachi was one of the Mafiosi under the command of Strollo.

Strollo's business interests at the time included numerous night clubs and restaurants. He also oversaw rackets at Manhattan's West Side docks.

At the end of March 1932, Strollo married again. This time, his bride was Edna Goldenberg, a New York native. The couple traveled to Bermuda in the spring for a honeymoon, returning to New York on May 25. Their home for a time was 45 Christopher Street in the Village. The 1940 U.S. Census shows two daughters in the home.

Soon after, the Strollos relocated across the Hudson River in the area of Fort Lee, New Jersey. Strollo's racket territory increased, and he became a power on the Jersey City docks by the early 1950s. A political scandal was triggered when news got out of a March 14, 1952, meeting between Strollo and Jersey City Mayor John V. Kenny. Kenny tried for a time to deny the meeting, arranged by actor Phil Regan and held in Regan's suite at Manhattan's Warwick Hotel, but eventually acknowledged that it took place. Kenny said he met with Strollo in order to resolve some conflicts with labor along the docks.

Strollo is believed to have pushed Anthony Provenzano into leadership positions of Local 560 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Provenzano started his career in organized labor (and likely also in labor racketeering) as the Local 560 shop steward for the H.P. Welch Company. He eventually won election to the local presidency. Provenzano would become a strong ally and later a determined enemy of Teamsters President James R. Hoffa.

By the late 1950s, the New York Police Department reported that Strollo oversaw loan sharking, bookmaking and gambling activities in the Greenwich Village area and managed his underworld enterprises from a growing collection of nightclubs, bars and coffee houses.

As one of the last people to see Anthony "Little Augie Pisano" Carfano alive, Strollo was a leading suspect in the Carfano murder in September 1959. Strollo, Carfano, Mrs. Alan Drake and several others spent time together at the Copacabana and at Marino's Restaurant, 716 Lexington Avenue, before Carfano and Drake hurriedly left together, following a telephone call to Carfano at Marino's. Carfano and Drake were found shot to death in a car parked in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Federal narcotics charges resulted in hefty prison sentences for Vito Genovese, Joe Valachi and others around 1959. Strollo escaped punishment but was a likely participant in the narcotics offenses. When Valachi attempted to jump bail and leave the country, Strollo convinced him to return to New York City. Valachi may have provided information to federal authorities before this time, but his experiences in prison - particularly his sense that then-crime family boss Vito Genovese had branded him a traitor - led him to cooperate fully and enthusiastically with the Justice Department.

At almost the same moment that Genovese turned on Valachi, Genovese ordered that Strollo be eliminated. At about 10 p.m. on April 8, 1962, Strollo told his wife he needed to go out. She later reported to police that he drove off with an unknown associate in a 1961 Cadillac. Strollo was never seen or heard from again.

Strollo's rackets in the Genovese Crime Family were handed over to Pasquale "Patsy Ryan" Eboli, brother of Thomas Eboli.

Later in the year, the FBI monitored a conversation between Mafiosi Anthony Russo and Angelo "Gyp" DeCarlo. In that conversation, Russo told of an earlier talk he had with Ruggiero "Richie the Boot" Boiardo and Chicago Outfit boss Sam Giancana. Boiardo apparently was taking complete credit for the murder of Antonio Strollo and made no mention of an order from Vito Genovese.


  •  New York City Birth Records, Certificate no. 22743, June 14, 1899
  •  United States Census of 1900, New York State, New York County, Enumeration District 1062.
  •  United States Census of 1920, New York State, New York County, Ward 8, Assembly District 2, Enumeration District 204.
  •  New York State Census of 1925, Kings County, Assembly District 7, Election District 22.
  •  United States Census of 1930, New York State, New York County, Assembly District 2, Enumeration District 31-68.
  •  New York City Marriage Index, Certificate no. 7134, March 30, 1932.
  •  Passenger manifest of S.S. Monarch of Bermuda, departed from Hamilton, Bermuda, on May 23, 1932, arrived New York on May 25, 1932.
  •  United States Census of 1940, New York State, New York County, Assembly District 10, Enumeration District 31-884.
  •  Grutzner, Charles, "Kenny admitted lie to jury on talk with pier gangster; police got $108,000 bribe bid," New York Times, Dec. 18, 1952.
  •  Perlmutter, Emanuel, "New lead on Pisano slaying provided by racketeer friend," New York Times, Oct. 1, 1959, p. 30.
  •  "Pisano hurried to his death after mysterious phone call," New York Times, Oct. 2, 1959, p. 16.
  •  Hindes, Eugene J., "Salvatore Granello...," FBI report 92-3960-30, NARA no. 124-90066-10093, June 27, 1962, p. 44.
  •  Flynn, James P., "Crime conditions in the New York division," FBI report CR 62-9-34-692, NARA no. 124-10348-10068, Dec. 3, 1962, p. 21-22.
  •  Andrews, Leon F. Jr., "La Causa Nostra Buffalo Division," FBI report 92-6054-296, NARA no. 124-10200-10453, June 14, 1963, p. 24-27.
  •  "Sketches of gangland figures named by Valachi in Senate testimony," New York Times, Sept. 28, 1963, p. 6.
  •  Donnelly, Frank H., "Anthony Provenzano aka Tony Pro," FBI report 92-7195-2, NARA no. 124-10221-10186, Dec. 20, 1963, p. 6-7.
  •  Valachi, Joseph, "The Real Thing: Second Government: The Expose and Inside Doings of Cosa Nostra," Joseph Valachi Personal Papers, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, 1964, p. 370.
  •  Durkin, Paul G., "Harold Konigsberg," FBI report CR 9205177-161, NARA no. 124-10348-10067, Aug. 16, 1965, p. 135.
  •  "F.B.I.-taped conversation sheds light on 1962 gangland slaying of Strollo," New York Times, Jan. 8, 1970, p. 33.