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Salvatore Tessio.png
Salvatore Tessio
Biographical Information
Aliases Sally, Sal, Totò, Turi, Turiddu, Salvo
Gender Male
Born March 15, 1884
Terrasini, Sicily
Died July 31, 1955
Brooklyn, New York
Affiliation Trapani.png Corleone crime family
Title(s) Caporegime

Salvatore "Sally" Tessio was a Caporegime in the Corleone crime family who was one of the original members of the family, alongside boss Vito Corleone and fellow capo Peter Clemenza, owning the family's territory in Brooklyn. Tessio was the smarter of the Caporegimes, but made the mistake of attempting to betray boss Michael Corleone when his turf was taken by the Barzini crime family without consequence, leading to his death.

Biography[]

Tessio was born in Terrasini, in the province of Palermo, Sicily, but immigrated to the United States as a youth and was raised in The Bronx in an Italian-American neighborhood. As a youth, he worked with Augustino Coppola, a gunsmith, and the two became close friends, and Tessio was introduced to Peter Clemenza by Coppola; he was also a gun runner. Through Clemenza, he met Vito Corleone, who was entrusted with a basket filled with guns by Clemenza, who told him to hide them. Tessio, Clemenza, and Corleone formed a gang that participated in burglaries around Hell's Kitchen and stole thousands of dollars, and although Massimo Fanucci encroached on their interests, they were essentially an independent operation. Tessio advised against the shooting of Fanucci by Corleone, who wanted to stop the debts from tugging at his shoulder, but Vito carried the hit out regardless, and this hit signified the start of the Corleone crime family. Salvatore became a Caporegime in the Corleone Family with territory in Brooklyn while Clemenza had The Bronx; he was stationed away from Corleone to put out any doubts of betrayal. 

Tessio proved his savvy in the Olive Oil War of 1934, murdering Giuseppe Mariposa on New Years' Eve 1934, alongside Mariposa Underboss Tomasino Cinquemanni to end the struggle. He commanded his regime during the Pacification of New York against the Black Hand and Murder, Inc., but mellowed after several of these gang wars and retired from hit contracts as of 1941. He worked his social club, The Embassy Club, in Brooklyn, alongside Carmella Rotunda, until the Five Families War of 1946, whereupon he started to get involved with the crime family again. He sanctioned the hits on Mikey Saleri, Donnie Marinelli, and various other Tattaglia family members to break their power structure, and also ordered Aldo Trapani to blow up the Tattaglia Compound in 1950. 

In 1952, Tessio started to have doubts about the leadership of Michael Corleone, who was made Don by his now-retired father, as the Barzini crime family chipped away at his territory without consequence. Tessio and Clemenza were told by Corleone that they could found their own families in six months' time, after Michael moved to Las Vegas with the family, leaving New York in their hands, but Tessio secretly made plans to defect to the Barzini crime family. He was not discouraged with the deaths of Jaggy Jovino and Marty Malone, killed because of their defection to the Barzinis and Cuneos, respectively, and by 1955, had formulated a plan to kill Michael at his social club. However, Tom Hagen found out and had Willie Cicci drive him to The Embassy Club, where he was due to be executed. Aldo Trapani accompanied Cicci to the club, armed with several weapons, ready if anything happened.

Death[]

Tessio managed to flee Cicci and Trapani in his club, which was teeming with Barzini enforcers, who were supposed to be the assassins who gunned down Don Corleone. Tessio ran, trying to appease the two men by telling him that he was sorry and to listen to him, but they ignored him, shooting through the dozen Barzini troops. Eventually, Tessio was cornered at the bar, and he reiterated that the hit would have been only business, as he always liked Michael, but Aldo Trapani shot him dead with two bullets to the chest from an Assassin's Pistol.

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