Sammy Gravano Net Worth & Biography
|Sammy Gravano, The Bull
|March 12, 1945
|New York City, United States
|Debra Scibetta (m. 1971; div. 1996)
Sammy Gravano is a former mobster and criminal, best known for serving as the boss of the Gambino family, which was involved in countless criminal activities. He is also popular for his close association with 4 of the ‘5 Families’ that were involved in organized crime. Originally from the Colombo crime family, Sammy had orchestrated the murder of Paul Castellano, and also maintained a close relationship with Italian-American criminal gangster John Gotti. Sammy is known for testifying against John Gotti as well, and also helping the FBI imprison him for life. There was a time when Sammy was the highest-ranked member of the ‘5 Families’, earning close to 20 million dollars per year. His life has so far been an attention-grabbing one. While he was relentlessly trying to let go of his criminal activities, Sammy’s past kept pulling him back to illegal businesses. He was imprisoned for tax evasion, drug trafficking, and attempted murders, and was released in 2017, with federal parole placed on him for the remainder of his life. Here’s everything that there is to know about Sammy Gravano the bull.
Early Life: Childhood, Family, Education
Salvatore Gravano was born in Brooklyn, New York, United States on March 12, 1945. His mother, Caterina Gravano and father, Giorlando Gravano, owned a dress factory that was funded by a dress manufacturer. His family provided him with a decent standard of living. Unfortunately, he couldn’t do well in school as he suffered from dyslexia. He was not promoted to fourth grade mainly due to poor scores, and the resulting frustration led to him developing a violent behavior. He got into fights with his peers often, and also went into a squabble with his High School Principal and ended up physically attacking him. He had to leave school as a result, but with the assistance of a teacher, he managed to complete his junior high school education.
Salvatore was then expelled from high school as well. A few days after that, he was sent to a school for incorrigible students. When one of his relations pointed out the uncanny likenesses between Salvatore and his uncle Sammy, he became known as Sammy. His first arrest happened when he assaulted a policeman. He was later involved in looting banks, robbing shops, and mobbing people. Eventually, he became a regular offender and was later sent to serve the United States Army in 1964. He was discharged from his duties honorably two years later.
Professional Life: Criminal Career and Illegal Activities
In 1968, two years after he was discharged from the Army with honor, Sammy was approached by Shorty Spero, a close associate of the Colombo family, to join the Cosa Nostra, also known as the Mafia.
He started off with racketeering, larceny, hijacking, and organizing illegal poker games in clubs. He became a favorite of the Colombo family and committed his first murder in 1970. He killed an associate of Spero named Joseph Colucci, who was plotting to kill Gravano and Spero. He then joined the Gambino family in order to avoid clash with Colombo mobster Ralph Spero. Not only that, but he became an associate of Salvatore ‘Toddo’ Aurello, who became his mentor.
Sammy Gravano also started a small construction business to earn good income, but he was later charged for murder by a former associate. In order to pay his lawyers, he had to go on a robbing rampage to earn cash. His rampage impressed Aurello who proceeded to offered him a membership in the Gambino family. In 1976, Sammy finally became a member of the family. In 1978, he faced a situation in which he was instructed to murder his brother-in-law, Nicholas Scibetta, for the latter had disrespected George DeCicco’s daughter. George DeCicco was Frank DeCicco Uncle, and Frank was an associate of the Gambino family. Instead of killing him, Sammy punished Nicholas by giving him a brutal beating thinking that his boss would forgive Nicholas after seeing him thrashed by his brother-in-law. But his boss Paul Castellano ordered his men to kill Sammy if he stood in their way, as he wanted Nicholas dead. This news got to Sammy’s ears and he decided to kill Castellano, but listening to opinions of his men, he acquiesced to the assassination of Nicholas who was declared dead in 1985 after the authorities recovered his hands. Sammy, however, went back to living a quiet life and opened a convenience store and an after-hour club in his hometown, Bensonhurst. He also owned a discotheque called that earned him good money.
In 1980, he was ordered to kill John ‘Johnny Keys’ Simone, which he did. After Frank Fiala, a cocaine dealer purchased the discotheque, his behavior didn’t sit well with Sammy when the former started acting like he owned the place even before paying the later the full agreed amount. Sammy shot and killed Frank in broad daylight. He was subsequently arrested, not for this crime as there was no witness against him, but for tax evasion. After his release, he concentrated on his construction business, until he entered a dispute which led him to John Gotti, the Don.
In 1985, Sammy and John Gotti’s friend plotted the murder of Paul Castellano. Their plan worked and Sammy succeeded in taking down Castellano, Gotti was elected as the new boss without opposition. Sammy became the leader after Aurello stepped down.
In May 1986, Gotti was apprehended under charges of RICO, and Sammy became the acting boss. After bribing a juror, Sammy got Gotti acquitted. But Gotti was arrested once again on December 11, 1990 under similar charges. During the hearings, a piece of evidence in the form of a tape was presented. The tape showcased Sammy as a mad killer and Gotti claimed he was a long-suffering boss. This caused a huge concern for Sammy as he was convinced that Gotti was trying to incriminate him. When Gotti went on with his tapes, Sammy made his final move and decided to testify against Gotti. He too, was sentenced on September 26, 1991, but was released the following. In 2000, he was arrested once again on drug-related charges, along with his wife and children. He was released on September 18, 2017, however, he will forever remain on federal parole.
In December 2020, Sammy Gravano started a YouTube channel and a podcast titled “Our Thing”.
Personal Life: Wife, Children, Private Interests
Sammy Gravano married Debra Scibetta in 1971. They have two children together – a son named Gerard and a daughter named Karen.
In 2014, his daughter, Karen, appeared in VH1’s reality TV show ‘Mob Wives’.
Sammy and Debra divorced in 1996 after being married for 25 years.
Sammy Gravano Net Worth: Salary, Income Sources, Assets
As of today, Sammy Gravano’s net worth is $500,000. Nicknamed The Bull, Gravano was a well-known Italian-American criminal whose criminal activities with the mafia in New York which he joined as a teenager fetched huge sums of money. At the peak of his illegal operations, Sammy Gravano reportedly earned between $10 to 20 million every year.
His criminal activities aside, Sammy owned several small businesses and was involved in construction. He also published a book detailing his life as a criminal, and as expected, the proceeds from this book in addition to his several businesses also contributed to his wealth. He may have owned many assets but none of them can possibly be standing today in his name due to his countless problems with the authorities. He is well-recognized for orchestrating the murder of Paul Castellano, and also for maintaining a close relationship with Italian-American gangster John Gotti who he later testified against and enabled the FBI to imprison for life.