Gangsters

Gangsters might be criminals in the eyes of law, but when it comes to their mass appeal they are no less than celebrities! The aura of mystery that shrouds gangsters imparts a tinge of glamour to them and whets our interest to learn more about these elusive figures. Jesse Woodson James, probably one of the most notorious gangsters of the later part of the 19th century, continues to be one of the most iconic American outlaw, bank and train robber, and gang leader. He not only enjoyed celebrity status in life, but also became a legendary figure of the Wild West after his death. Chinese mobster Du Yuesheng was another gangster who was elevated to celebrity status and is often depicted in popular culture despite media on Du and his exploits being officially banned in China. Gangsters have been operating all over the world from the past several centuries. Paul Carbone, Auguste Ricord, and Lucien Sarti are among the most notorious gangsters of European origins. Even though most of the gangsters are men, female mobsters like Sandra Ávila Beltrán, Claudia Ochoa Felix, and Rosetta Cutolo prove that women should not be underestimated! Read on to know about the most notorious gangsters of all time!

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Rank the Most Wicked Gangsters

 1 Pablo Escobar

Pablo Escobar.
14
Famous As: Colombian Drug Lord
Birthdate: December 1, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rionegro
Died: December 2, 1993

A notorious Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar was the founder and leader of the infamous Medellín Cartel. His drug cartel monopolized the cocaine trade into the United States and he became one of the wealthiest criminals ever in history. Dubbed "The King of Cocaine", he left behind a controversial legacy upon his death at the age of 44.

 2 Al Capone

Al Capone.
7
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: January 17, 1899
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: January 25, 1947

Al Capone, also known by the nickname Scarface, was one of the most notorious American gangsters who controlled the organised crime in Chicago between 1925 and 1931. He was known for violence and cruelty in eliminating rival gang members, the most infamous incident being the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. His life inspired numerous books and films.

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 3 Velupillai Prabhakaran

Velupillai Prabhakaran.
5
Birthdate: November 26, 1954
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Valvettithurai
Died: May 19, 2009

 4 Ronald Kray

Ronald Kray.
6
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: October 24, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hoxton, London, England
Died: March 17, 1995

Ronald Kray was a British criminal involved in organized crime in the East End of London in the 1950s and 1960s. Along with his twin brother, Reggie, he ran a gang that was notorious for committing murders, armed robberies, and arson among other criminal activities. The brothers were arrested in 1968 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

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 5 Dawood Ibrahim

Dawood Ibrahim.
5
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: December 27, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Khed Ratnagiri, Bombay State

A mobster and drug dealer most wanted by India, Dawood Ibrahim heads the organized crime syndicate popularluy known as D-Company. He was named No.3 on The World's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives by the FBI in 2011. He is wanted on the charges of terrorism, murder, targeted killing, extortion, and drug trafficking among other crimes.

 6 Lucky Luciano

Lucky Luciano.
1
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: November 11, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lercara Friddi, Italy
Died: January 26, 1962

An Italian-born gangster, Lucky Luciano is regarded as the father of modern organized crime in the US; he served as the first boss of the Genovese crime family. He also played a key role in the rise of the National Crime Syndicate. His life and style inspired several films, television series, and books. His eponymous biopic was released in 1973.

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 7 Michael Franzese

Michael Franzese.
5
Famous As: Crime Boss
Birthdate: May 27, 1951
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn

Michael Franzese's story of being an influential member of the Colombo crime family to becoming a motivational speaker and writer inspired several works of art, including Martin Scorsese's 1990 film Goodfellas where he was played by actor Joseph Bono. In 1986, he was named in Fortune magazine's list of Fifty Most Wealthy and Powerful Mafia Bosses.

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 8 Meyer Lansky

Meyer Lansky.
2
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: July 4, 1902
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Grodno, Belarus
Died: January 15, 1983
Meyer Lansky, or the "Mob's Accountant,” was key to the formation of the National Crime Syndicate along with Charles "Lucky" Luciano. A member of the Jewish mob, he built a worldwide gambling empire that included casinos in Las Vegas. Hyman Roth from The Godfather Part II was based on him.
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 9 Henry Hill

Henry Hill.
2
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: June 11, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: June 12, 2012
Henry Hill was a mobster from New York’s Lucchese crime family, who later testified against his former associates. His life inspired the book Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family and the film Goodfellas. He was associated with crimes such as gambling, drug trafficking, and high-profile robberies at the JFK Airport.

 10 Frank Lucas

Frank Lucas.
1
Famous As: Drug Trafficker
Birthdate: September 9, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: La Grange, North Carolina, United States
Died: May 30, 2019
Frank Lucas was a notorious drug trafficker from the 1960s and the 1970s. Legends state that he bought drugs from the "Golden Triangle" and smuggled them into the U.S. using the coffins of servicemen. His 70-year prison sentence was commuted to a 5-year sentence, after he became an informant.

 11 Ned Kelly

Ned Kelly.
1
Famous As: Bushranger
Birthdate: May 31, 1855
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Beveridge, Australia
Died: November 11, 1880

The Robin Hood of Australia for many and villain for others, Ned Kelly become immortal not just for his murderous confrontation with the police, but also for his reported last words “such is life”. The bushranger and outlaw remains a cult figure in Australia even a century after his execution. His sympathizers considered his as a champion of the poor.

 12 Bugsy Siegel

Bugsy Siegel.
0
Famous As: Mobster
Birthdate: February 28, 1906
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York
Died: June 20, 1947

Notorious mobster Bugsy Siegel held significant influence within the Italian-American Mafia and was regarded as a “celebrity gangster.” Good-looking and charismatic, he was an enigmatic figure. He played a key role in the development of the Las Vegas Strip. Noted for his prowess with guns, he met a grisly end when he was shot dead in 1947.

 13 Vincent Gigante

Vincent Gigante
0
Famous As: Mobster
Birthdate: March 29, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: December 19, 2005

 14 Veerappan

Veerappan
8
Famous As: Indian criminal
Birthdate: January 18, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gopinatham, Mysore State, India
Died: October 18, 2004

 15 Frank Costello

Frank Costello.
1
Famous As: Crime Boss
Birthdate: January 26, 1891
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cassano all'Ionio
Died: February 18, 1973

Frank Costello was an Italian-American kingpin of the famous Luciano crime family. After serving as a trusted consigliere for the Luciano crime family under Lucky Luciano, Costello became acting boss in 1937 when underboss Genovese fled to Italy, while Luciano was imprisoned. However, he retired in 1957 to avoid an altercation with Genovese, who wanted to rule the crime family.

 16 Joe Gallo

Joe Gallo.
2
Famous As: Mobster
Birthdate: April 7, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: April 7, 1972

Italian-American gangster Joe Gallo, nicknamed "Crazy Joe,” was part of New York’s Colombo crime family. Initially an associate of the Profaci crime family, Gallo was later involved in the First Colombo War. He was suspected of launching an attack on Joseph Colombo and was shot dead on his 43rd birthday.

 17 Haji Mastan

Haji Mastan.
7
Famous As: Gangster, Smuggler
Birthdate: March 1, 1926
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Panaikulam, Ramanathapuram District (Madras Presidency now Tamil Nadu), British India
Died: May 9, 1994
Mastan Mirza, or Haji Mastan, was an Indian mafia boss. He ruled the Mumbai crime sector for more than 2 decades, along with Karim Lala. He invested in the smuggling syndicate of Mumbai and also financed films and real-estate projects. He was known for his love for the color white.

 18 Carlo Gambino

Carlo Gambino.
0
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: August 24, 1902
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Palermo, Sicily, Kingdom of Italy
Died: October 15, 1976

Carlo Gambino was an Italian-American kingpin of the famous Gambino crime family. He took over the Commission of the Mafia after the incarceration of Vito Genovese in 1959. Although he was involved in organized crime for more than five decades, he was imprisoned for only 22 months for a tax evasion charge. Carlo Gambino is often portrayed in crime films.

 19 Stanley Williams

Stanley Tookie Williams
2
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: December 29, 1953
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Died: December 13, 2005

 20 Vito Genovese

Vito Genovese.
1
Famous As: Mobster
Birthdate: November 21, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Risigliano, Tufino, Italy
Died: February 14, 1969
Italian-born American mafia leader Vito Genovese was an associate of Lucky Luciano. Genovese was part of the Castellammarese War and was instrumental in the rise of organized crime in the U.S. He later led the Luciano crime family, which became known as the Genovese crime family.

 21 Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo

Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo.
3
Famous As: Drug Lord
Birthdate: August 1, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Badiraguato Municipality

Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo is a convicted Mexican drug lord. He led a now-defunct criminal group called the Guadalajara Cartel alongside Rafael Caro Quintero and Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo. In 1982, the Drug Enforcement Administration indicted him in a money laundering operation, but he fled back to Mexico where he was finally arrested in 1985.

 22 Anthony Spilotro

Anthony Spilotro.
1
Famous As: Mobster
Birthdate: May 19, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: June 14, 1986
Anthony Spilotro, or Tony the Ant, was a gangster who was part of the Chicago Outfit. He led the Hole in the Wall Gang, which he had created in Las Vegas, and also managed the illegal casino business of the Outfit. He ended up being murdered by his opponents.

 23 Mickey Cohen

Mickey Cohen.
0
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: September 4, 1913
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City
Died: July 29, 1976

Mickey Cohen was a gangster who became involved with the Chicago Outfit before running multiple businesses like casinos, nightclubs, gas stations, and floral shops. His association with the underworld and his violent methods make him a popular choice for gangster character in crime films; he has been portrayed by popular actors in films like Bugsy, L.A. Confidential, and Gangster Squad.

 24 Dutch Schultz

Dutch Schultz.
1
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: August 6, 1901
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States
Died: October 24, 1935
American mobster Dutch Schultz had a difficult childhood and grew up to control the New York-based bootlegging and the numbers racket businesses. He was threatened by mobster Lucky Luciano’s gang and also faced two tax evasion trials. His attempt to kill prosecutor Thomas Dewey got him murdered by the Commission.

 25 Salvatore Maranzano

Salvatore Maranzano.
0
Famous As: Mafia Boss
Birthdate: July 31, 1886
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, Italy
Died: September 10, 1931
Italian crime lord Salvatore Maranzano was associated with the organized crime sector of Castellammare del Golfo of Sicily. A Cosa Nostra leader, he later joined the Bonanno Crime Family of New York. He initiated the Castellammarese War and formed New York’s Five Families. Lucky Luciano got him murdered.

 26 Albert Anastasia

Albert Anastasia.
0
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: September 26, 1902
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Parghelia, Calabria, Italy
Died: October 25, 1957
Italian-American mobster Umberto "Albert" Anastasia, or Anastasio, co-founded the American Mafia and later co-established Murder, Inc. Nicknamed The One-Man Army, he later became the boss of the Gambino crime family and also began controlling the New York waterfront. He was killed on the orders of Carlo Gambino and Vito Genovese.

 27 John Franzese

John Franzese.
1
Famous As: Crime Boss
Birthdate: February 6, 1917
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Naples

John Franzese was a mobster who served as the underboss of the infamous Colombo crime family from 1963 to 1967. In 2005, he once again became the underboss of the crime family until he was convicted in 2011. Franzese was 100 years old at the time of his release; he was the only centenarian in federal custody at that time.

 28 Danny Greene

Danny Greene.
0
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: November 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cleveland
Died: October 6, 1977

Mobster Danny Greene was an associate of Cleveland-based gangster John Nardi in the 1970s’ gang war, in which they set off car bombs. Greene served as the president of the International Longshoremen's Association and also had his own gang, named the Celtic Club. He was assassinated in a car-bomb attack.

 29 Carmine Persico

Carmine Persico.
1
Famous As: Boss of the Colombo Crime Family
Birthdate: August 8, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn
Died: March 7, 2019

Gangster and mafia boss Carmine Persico, also known as The Snake, Junior, and Immortal, led the New York-based Colombo crime family for a long time. He had been convicted for a number of crimes, including racketeering and loan-sharking and was serving a 139-year sentence when he died in 2019.

 30 Anthony Salerno

Anthony Salerno
0
Famous As: Mobster
Birthdate: August 15, 1911
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: July 27, 1992

 31 Sam Giancana

Sam Giancana.
2
Famous As: Mobster
Birthdate: June 15, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: June 19, 1975

Sam Giancana was an American gangster. From 1957 to 1966, Giancana was the boss of the Chicago Outfit. He played a major role in the Central Intelligence Agency's plot to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro as the CIA sought his help in their bid to assassinate Castro. Over the years, Giancana has been depicted in films, TV series, and literature.

 32 Joseph Bonanno

Joseph Bonanno.
1
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: January 18, 1905
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Castellammare del Golfo, Italy
Died: May 11, 2002

Italian-American crime boss Joseph Bonanno was the leader of the Bonanno crime family for almost four decades. Introduced to organized crime as a child, he proceeded to become one of the youngest-ever bosses of a crime family at just 26. He successfully evaded arrest for many decades. He lived a long life and became a writer in his later years.  

 33 Frank Nitti

Frank Nitti.
1
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: January 27, 1886
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Angri, province of Salerno, Campania, Italy
Died: March 19, 1943

Frank Nitti was an Italian born-American mobster and one of Al Capone's main henchmen. Renowned for his leadership skills, Nitti succeeded Al Capone to become the boss of the Chicago Outfit. His life and work inspired the 1988 biopic Nitti: The Enforcer.

 34 Paul Vario

Paul Vario.
3
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: July 9, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Died: May 3, 1988
Paul Vario was an American gangster belonging to the New York-based Vario Crew of the Lucchese crime family. He and his brothers owned a number of legitimate businesses, including a restaurant, which served as a cover for their illegal dealings. He was eventually convicted of fraud and extortion.

 35 Roy DeMeo

Roy DeMeo.
0
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: September 7, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York
Died: January 10, 1983

Roy DeMeo was an Italian-American gangster in the Gambino crime family of New York City. He was the leader of the DeMeo crew, a gang notorious for committing a series of brutal murders. He was involved in various illegal endeavors and was a silent partner in a peep show/prostitution establishment. His bullet-ridden body was found under mysterious circumstances in 1983. 

 36 Johnny Torrio

Johnny Torrio.
2
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: January 20, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Irsina
Died: April 16, 1957

 37 Joseph Colombo

Joseph Colombo.
0
Famous As: Mafia Boss
Birthdate: June 16, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: May 22, 1978

 38 Carmine Galante

Carmine Galante.
0
Famous As: Drug Trafficker
Birthdate: February 21, 1910
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: East Harlem, New York, United States
Died: July 12, 1979

 39 Angelo Bruno

Angelo Bruno.
0
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: May 21, 1910
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Villalba, Sicily, Italy
Died: March 21, 1980

Sicilian-American mobster Angelo Bruno led the Philadelphia crime family for 20 years. He was known as The Gentle Don or The Docile Don due to his dislike for violence. He was killed by a shotgun blast in his car, and his murder caused a mob war for 4 years.

 40 Anthony Provenzano

Anthony Provenzano.
2
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: May 7, 1917
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lower East Side, New York, United States
Died: December 12, 1988
Anthony Provenzano, better known as Tony Pro, was a caporegime of the New Jersey faction of the Genovese crime family. He was close to Jimmy Hoffa, the director of the labor union Teamsters Union. The 2019  Martin Scorsese movie The Irishman featured actor Stephen Graham in Provenzano’s role. 

 41 Ma Barker

Ma Barker.
1
Famous As: Matriarch of the Barker Family
Birthdate: October 8, 1873
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ash Grove, Missouri, United States
Died: January 16, 1935

 42 Virginia Hill

Virginia Hill.
1
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: August 26, 1916
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lipscomb, Alabama
Died: March 24, 1966

Virginia Hill was an American woman best remembered for her association with the Chicago Outfit crime organization. She served as the outfit's courier, passing important messages between mobsters, during the mid-1930s. She became the subject of a 1974 TV film. Her relationship with mobster Bugsy Siegel was dramatized in the 1991 movie Bugsy, where she was portrayed by Annette Bening.

 43 Joe Masseria

Joe Masseria.
1
Famous As: Mafia Boss
Birthdate: January 17, 1887
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sicily
Died: April 15, 1931

Joe Masseria was an Italian-American Mafia boss who controlled the Genovese crime family from 1922 to 1931. He was killed in the Castellammarese War, which was fought for control over illegal activities in New York City. Since his death, Joe Masseria has been portrayed in several films like The Valachi Papers, Lucky Luciano, Mobsters, and Lansky.

 44 Tony Accardo

Tony Accardo.
0
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: April 28, 1906
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: May 22, 1992

 45 Sundance Kid

Sundance Kid
0
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: 1867 AD
Birthplace: Mont Clare, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: November 7, 1908

 46 Nicodemo Scarfo

Nicodemo Scarfo.
1
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: March 8, 1929
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: January 13, 2017

 47 Joseph Massino

Joseph Massino
0
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: January 10, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, USA

 48 Aniello Dellacroce

Aniello Dellacroce.
0
Famous As: Gangster
Birthdate: March 15, 1914
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 2, 1985

 49 Željko Ražnatović

Željko Ražnatović
1
Famous As: Military commander
Birthdate: April 17, 1952
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brežice
Died: January 15, 2000

 50 Frank Capone

Frank Capone.
3
Famous As: Mobster, Gangster
Birthdate: July 16, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York
Died: April 1, 1924
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