Local author talks about his grandfather, a Cleveland Mafia street boss

Frank Brancato was a mainstay of the Cleveland mafia for almost 50 years. His grandson, Frank Monastra, has written the book "Mafia Street Boss" about him.

Frank Brancato was a mainstay of the Cleveland mafia for almost 50 years. His grandson, Frank Monastra, has written the book “Mafia Street Boss” about him.

Though it seems like a bygone era, we are not far removed from the heyday of the Cleveland Mafia. Less than a century ago, the Porrello and Lonardo families fought for bootleg liquor profits during the Corn Sugar War; and the mafia’s battles with Danny Greene’s Celtic Club were more recent than that.

One man—Frank Brancato, a mainstay of the Cleveland mafia for almost 50 years—bridged both the Corn Sugar and Celtic Club eras. (In fact, Brancato’s credited with introducing Greene to the Cleveland underworld.) In his lifetime, Brancato went from gambler to capo to consgliore.

Now, a family member of Brancato is talking about his time in the famiglia.

His grandson, Frank Monastra, has written a book, Brancato: Mafia Street Boss, about Brancato’s mafia tenure and will talk about it 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9, at Mentor Public Library’s Main Branch. The talk is free and open to everybody. You can register for the program here.

So learn more about the man the FBI investigated for years—under J. Edgar Hoover’s direct orders, no less—and his role in Cleveland’s organized-crime scene.

(For more information on Cleveland’s mafioso history, you may enjoy Rick Porrello’s The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia and To Kill the Irishman.)

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