Gangsters

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

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!
Rank the Most Wicked Gangsters
 1 
Pablo Escobar
(Colombian Drug Lord)
Pablo Escobar
159
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
(Gangster, Co-Founder & Boss of the 'Chicago Outfit' Crime Family)
Al Capone
56
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.

 3 
Lucky Luciano
(Father of the Modern Organized Crime in the United States)
Lucky Luciano
26
Birthdate: November 24, 1897
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
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.

Recommended Lists:
 4 
John Dillinger
(American Gangster and Bank Robber)
John Dillinger
38
Birthdate: June 22, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Died: July 22, 1934

A gangster of the Great Depression era, John Dillinger led a group known as the "Dillinger Gang". His gang was accused of robbing 24 banks and four police stations. He was a master evader and escaped the police’s attempts to capture him many times. He was finally shot to death by the authorities in 1934.

Recommended Lists:
 5 
Ned Kelly
(Bushranger)
Ned Kelly
47
Birthdate: 1854
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
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.

 6 
Ronald Kray
(Gangster Involved in Organised Crime in the East End of London, England, from the late 1950s to 1967)
Ronald Kray
31
Birthdate: October 24, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Haggerston, 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.

Recommended Lists:
 7 
Dawood Ibrahim
(Criminal)
Dawood Ibrahim
66
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.

 8 
Henry Hill
(American Mobster Who was Associated with the Lucchese Crime Family)
Henry Hill
29
Birthdate: June 11, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
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.
Recommended Lists:
 9 
Bugsy Siegel
(American Mobster Who was a Driving Force Behind the Development of the Las Vegas Strip)
Bugsy Siegel
12
Birthdate: February 28, 1906
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
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.

 10 
John Gotti
(American Gangster and Boss of the 'Gambino Crime Family')
John Gotti
32
Birthdate: October 27, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
Died: June 10, 2002

John Gotti was the boss of the Gambino crime family, described as America's most powerful crime syndicate. It made millions per year from criminal activities like racketeering, loan sharking, drug trafficking, prostitution, extortion, pornography and illegal gambling. The FBI convicted him in 1992 and he was sentenced to life in prison without parole and later died of throat cancer.

 11 
Frank Costello
(Crime Boss and Member of the Luciano Crime Family)
Frank Costello
3
Birthdate: January 26, 1891
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cassano allo Ionio, Italy
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.

 12 
Carlo Gambino
(Crime Boss)
Carlo Gambino
8
Birthdate: August 24, 1902
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Palermo, 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.

 13 
Michael Franzese
(Motivational Speaker, Former Mobster and Member of Colombo Crime Family)
Michael Franzese
17
Birthdate: May 27, 1951
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

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.

 14 
Butch Cassidy
(Train, Bank Robber and the Leader of a Gang of Criminal Outlaws ‘Wild Bunch’)
Butch Cassidy
10
Birthdate: April 13, 1866
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Beaver, Utah, United States
Died: November 7, 1908

Train and bank robber Butch Cassidy was the leader of a gang of criminal outlaws known as the "Wild Bunch" in the Old West. The son of ranchers, he ran away from home as a teenager and became involved in a life of crime. He started with minor criminal offenses and eventually became a much-feared robber.

 15 
Mickey Cohen
(American Gangster)
Mickey Cohen
5
Birthdate: September 4, 1913
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
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.

 16 
Meyer Lansky
(One of the Most Financially Successful Gangsters in American History)
Meyer Lansky
16
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.
 17 
Frank Lucas
(Drug Trafficker)
Frank Lucas
26
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.
 18 
Haji Mastan
(Gangster, Smuggler)
Haji Mastan
28
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.
 19 
Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo
29
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.

 20 
Joe Gallo
(Mobster)
Joe Gallo
13
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.

 21 
Veerappan
(Indian criminal)
Veerappan
51
Birthdate: January 18, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gopinatham, Mysore State, India
Died: October 18, 2004
 22 
Albert Anastasia
(One of the Founders of the Modern American Mafia and Co-founder of 'Murder, Inc' Crime Group)
Albert Anastasia
6
Birthdate: February 26, 1902
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Parghelia, 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.
 23 
Vito Genovese
(Mobster)
Vito Genovese
8
Birthdate: November 21, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: 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.
 24 
Danny Greene
(American Mobster)
Danny Greene
3
Birthdate: November 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
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.

 25 
Carmine Persico
(Mobster, Boss of the Colombo Crime Family)
Carmine Persico
8
Birthdate: August 8, 1937
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
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.

 26 
Dutch Schultz
(American Gangster)
Dutch Schultz
7
Birthdate: August 6, 1901
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: 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.
 27 
Salvatore Maranzano
5
Birthdate: July 31, 1886
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Castellammare del Golfo, 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.
 28 
Tony Accardo
(Gangster)
Tony Accardo
5
Birthdate: April 28, 1906
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: May 22, 1992
 29 
Sammy Gravano
(American Mobster Best Known as the Underboss of the 'Gambino Crime Family')
Sammy Gravano
17
Birthdate: March 12, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Sammy Gravano, also known as “Sammy the Bull,” was initially part of the Colombo crime family and later the underboss of the Gambino crime family. He became a government witness against John Gotti, the Gambino family boss. He was also involved in the murder of Gambino boss Paul Castellano.
 30 
Angelo Bruno
(Sicilian-American Gangster Who was the Boss of the Philadelphia Crime Family)
Angelo Bruno
7
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.

 31 
Sam Giancana
(American Mobster Who was Boss of the 'Chicago Outfit' from 1957 to 1966.)
Sam Giancana
6
Birthdate: June 15, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
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 
Ma Barker
(Matriarch of the Barker Family)
Ma Barker
4
Birthdate: October 8, 1873
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ash Grove, Missouri, United States
Died: January 16, 1935
 33 
Vincent Gigante
12
Birthdate: March 29, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: December 19, 2005
 34 
Anthony Spilotro
7
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.
 35 
Johnny Torrio
(Gangster)
Johnny Torrio
7
Birthdate: January 20, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Irsina, Italy
Died: April 16, 1957
 36 
Frank Nitti
(Gangster)
Frank Nitti
6
Birthdate: January 27, 1886
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Angri, 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.

 37 
Thomas DeSimone
(Gangster)
Thomas DeSimone
7
Birthdate: May 24, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: January 14, 1979
 38 
Carmine Galante
(Gangster)
Carmine Galante
1
Birthdate: February 21, 1910
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: July 12, 1979
 39 
Anthony Salerno
4
Birthdate: August 15, 1911
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: July 27, 1992
 40 
James Burke
(Mobster)
James Burke
8
Birthdate: July 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: April 13, 1996
 41 
Stanley Williams
14
Birthdate: December 29, 1953
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Died: December 13, 2005
 42 
Joseph Colombo
(Mafia Boss)
Joseph Colombo
6
Birthdate: June 16, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: May 22, 1978
 43 
Roy DeMeo
(Gangster)
Roy DeMeo
8
Birthdate: September 7, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
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. 

 44 
Whitey Bulger
(Crime Boss)
Whitey Bulger
16
Birthdate: September 3, 1929
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 30, 2018

Whitey Bulger was an Irish-American FBI informant and organized crime boss. His arrest and subsequent trial exposed FBI handler John Connolly who had helped Bulger in return for the latter's information about the Patriarca crime family. Bulger's life and work inspired the 2015 film Black Mass. Many fictional TV and film characters have also been inspired by Whitey Bulger.

 45 
Joe Masseria
(Mafia Boss)
Joe Masseria
9
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.

 46 
John A. Gotti
(Gangster)
John A. Gotti
6
Birthdate: February 14, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
 47 
Frank Cali
(Mobster)
Frank Cali
3
Birthdate: March 26, 1965
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: March 13, 2019
 48 
Alvin Karpis
(Depression-Era Gangster and Leader of the 'Barker–Karpis' Gang )
Alvin Karpis
8
Birthdate: August 10, 1907
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: August 26, 1979

Alvin Karpis was a criminal best remembered for leading the infamous Barker-Karpis gang in the 1930s. Renowned for his sinister smile, Karpis, who was nicknamed Creepy, was captured by the FBI in 1936. He was then sentenced to life imprisonment and was released on parole in 1969. He spent his later years writing memoirs like The Alvin Karpis Story.

 49 
Nicodemo Scarfo
(Gangster)
Nicodemo Scarfo
8
Birthdate: March 8, 1929
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: January 13, 2017
 50 
Sundance Kid
(Criminal)
Sundance Kid
2
Birthdate: 1867 AD
Birthplace: Mont Clare, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: November 7, 1908

Sundance Kid was the nickname of Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, an outlaw and member of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch in the American Old West. He first met Cassidy around 1896 and became part of his gang. As a Wild Bunch member, Sundance Kid participated in several train and bank robberies. He is believed to have been killed in 1908.