Benjamin Ruggiero Biography
Birthday: April 19, 1926 (Aries)
Born In: New York, New York, United States
Benjamin Ruggiero was a mobster or ‘soldato’ hailing from the Bonnano crime family. The Bonnano crime family is one of the five families that dominate organized crime in the United States, particularly in New York City. Ruggiero served as a soldato, the first level in the hierarchy of the American as well as the Sicilian Mafia. He was also known by the names of ‘Lefty two Guns’ or ‘Lefty Guns’. The name ‘Lefty’ came from him using only his left hand to throw dice and the term ‘Two guns’ was used because he was known to always carry two guns with him. As a soldato for the Bonnano family, Ruggiero was prolific in crimes such as illegal bookmaking, extortion, and loan sharking. He is also alleged to have murdered around twenty-six people in his lifetime, though some estimate it was over thirty. In the late 1970s, Ruggiero rose to become a ‘made-man’, which is a term or title in the American Mafia to signify a fully initiated member of a particular crime family. Ruggiero took his oath of ‘Omerta,’ which is the mafia code of silence, and did not break it even after his arrest years later. The mobster was also known for his close friendship with and mentorship of FBI Agent Joseph Pistone who worked undercover as ‘Donnie Brasco’. Their exploits were portrayed in the 1997 film ‘Donnie Brasco’ staring Al Pacino as Ruggiero and Johnny Depp as Joseph Pistone aka Donnie Brasco.