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Tommy Eboli ran the Genovese crime family for nine years, and some thought he nearly ran it into the ground. But it was a drug deal gone sour that ended his reign as one of the most powerful gangsters in the nation.
by Allan May
When Vito Genovese went to prison in 1960 for narcotics violations, he had every intention of returning to run his crime family.
In Genovese’s absence, the triumverate of Thomas Eboli, Gerardo Catena, and Mike Miranda were selected to hold down the fort. Thomas "Tommy Ryan" Eboli was the youngest of the trio and was looked upon as the first among equals of the group. When Genovese died in prison in 1969, Eboli was elevated to the position of boss.
Eboli was born in Italy in 1911. Little is known about his early years. His arrest record, dating back to 1933, included a half-dozen arrests for gambling and disorderly conduct. Despite his long involvement with organized crime his only prison time was a 60-day sentence for assaulting a boxing referee. Eboli had been involved in the fight game during the 1940s and managed several boxers. In 1952, while managing boxer Rocky Castellani, Eboli became enraged over referee Ray Miller’s decision in a bout against Ernie Durando in Madison Square Garden. Eboli jumped into the ring and attacked Miller. Afterward he was banned from further participation in boxing.