Paul Castellano Net Worth | Celebrity Net Worth

Paul Castellano Net Worth | Celebrity Net Worth

What was Paul Castellano’s Net Worth?

Paul Castellano was an American mafia boss who had a net worth equal to $20 million at the height of his power in the early 1980s. That’s the same as around $50 million today. Paul Castellano was born in Brooklyn, New York in June 1915 and passed away in December 1985. His nicknames included “The Howard Hughes of the Mob” and “Big Paulie”. He succeeded Carlo Gambino to become head of the Gambino crime family in New York. In 1985 he was assassinated in an unsanctioned hit by John Gotti.

Paul Castellano was a construction tycoon in New York City and a wholesale meat merchant. He has been portrayed in several films including by Richard C. Sarafian in the 1996 HBO movie “Gotti,” Abe Vigoda on the NBC TV movie “Witness to the Mob” in 1998, Sam Coppola in the 2001 TV movie “The Big Heist,” and Chazz Palminteri on the 2001 TNT TV movie “Boss of Bosses.” His nephew Richard S. Castellano starred in The Godfather movie. Paul Castellano passed away on December 16, 1985 at 70 years old from multiple gunshot wounds.

Wealth

Paul Castellano’s precise net worth is very difficult to pin down but, at the height his power in the early 80s, it’s estimated that he was worth at least $20 million. That’s the same as around $50 million after adjusting for inflation. In his book, Sammy “The Bull” Gravano would later admit that in a typical year mob bosses like Paul and John Gotti would earn $10-15 million.

In 1981, Castellano spent over a million dollars to build an extremely lavish 17-room mansion on Staten Island which later became known as The White House. The house has an Olympic-sized swimming pool, English garden and top-of-the-line Carrara marble throughout. In order to pay for his lavish lifestyle, Castellano began demanding 15% cuts of his capos’ earnings, up from the standard 10%. At the time many of his capos were struggling to make ends meet, so Paul’s lavish mansion plus the increase in monthly tribute sewed the seeds that would eventually cause him to be assassinated.

Early Life

Castellano was born on June 26, 1915 in Brooklyn, New York City. His parents were Giuseppe and Concetta Castellano, both Italian immigrants. Giuseppe was a butcher and a member of the Mangano crime family, which later developed into the Gambino crime family. When Castellano was in eighth grade, he dropped out of school in order to work as a butcher. He was arrested for the first time in 1934 when he was 19 years old for robbing a haberdasher. He served three months in jail, which helped increase his credibility and reputation with the mob.

Boss of Bosses

Castellano’s sister, Catherine, married one of their cousins, Carlo Gambino, in 1932. Gambino was a part of the Mangano crime family, as was Castellano after he became an official member in the 1940s. Castellano become a capo under boss Albert Anastasia. After Anastasia was killed, Castellano’s brother-in-law, Gambino, was elevated to boss.

In 1957, Castellano attended the Apalachin meeting in Apalachin, New York, a historic meeting of the American mob. After police raided the meeting, Castellano was one of over 60 high-ranking mobster that were arrested. He subsequently spent a year in prison on a contempt charge. Then, in January of 1960, he was sentenced to five years in prison for conspiracy to withhold information. However, his conviction was revered by an Appeals Court in November of 1960.

Over the course of his career, Castellano focused much of his time on establishing legitimate businesses. However, many of his businesses were strengthened do to his ties to the mob. During his early career, Castellano launched Dial Poultry, a poultry distribution business that supplied 300 butchers in New York City. He also was very involved in the construction concrete business. He was in charge of handing the Gambino family’s interest in the “Concrete Club,” a club of contractors selected by The Commission, the governing body of the Italian-American mafia, to handle large scale construction contracts. In return the, the selected contractors would provide The Commission with a kickback valued at two-percent of the overall contract.

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In October of 1976, Carlo Gambino died after appointing Castellano to succeed him over his underboss, Aniello Dellacroce. This effectively split the Gambino family into two separate factions – with some supporting Castellano and others supporting Dellacroce. Over the next few years, Castellano ordered the murders of a number of Gambino associates and capos, further dividing the family.

In 1978, Castellano made an agreement between the Gambino family and the Westies, an Irish-American gang from Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan. The agreement benefitted the Gambino family as they now had access to hitmen who were not directly connected to the family while the Westies wanted the Gambino family to provide them with protection from some of the other Italian mafia families in the area.

At the height of his power, Castellano built a large and lavish 17-room mansion in Staten Island. It was designed to resemble the White House and featured Carrara marble and in English garden. After completing the mansion, Castellano became somewhat of a recluse and rarely ventured outside the mansion. Instead, the capos of the family would visit the mansion to provide information and receive orders.

However, Castellano could not escape various problems with the law. In 1984, he was indicted on federal racketeering charges, which included several murder charges as well as extortion, narcotics trafficking, theft, and prostitution. He was released on $2 million bail. In February of 1985, he was again arrested on racketeering though was again released on $3 million bail. A few months later, he was indicted on loansharking charges and tax evasion, though again did not face any jail time.

The same year, John Gotti, the protégé of Dellacroce, became dissatisfied with Castellano’s leadership. Two weeks after Dellacroce died, he began orchestrating Castellano’s take-down. Castellano had further alienated himself from former allies by not attending Dellacroce’s wake, a massive insult to the Dellacroce family. In December of 1985, Castellano was driven to a prearranged meeting in Midtown Manhattan. A hit team waited there while Gotti observed the scene from across the street. When Castellano exited the car, one of the hitman ran up and shit him several times. Gotti then drove over to view Castellano’s body.

Two weeks following Castellano’s murder, Gotti was elected the new Gambino boss. Seven years later, Gotti was convicted of numerous racketeering charges, including the 1985 Castellano murder. He was sentenced to life in federal prison.

Given the prominent place of the Gambino crime family in the mob history, Castellano has been portrayed in films and television series numerous times before. He was portrayed by Richard C. Sarafian in the 1996 HBO film, “Gotti.” He was also portrayed in the television films, “Witness to the Mob, “The Big Heist,” and “Boss of Bosses.” He was also played by actor Donald John Volpenhein in the biopic, “Gotti,” in 2018 and was the subject of the Netflix documentary, “Fear City: New York vs The Mafia” in 2020.

Personal Life

In 1937, Castellano married his childhood sweetheart, Nina Manno. The couple had three sons and one daughter together. He also had an affair with live-in Colombian maid, Gloria Olarte.




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