“A real hardhead, this Soprano kid. And the ego. I tell you, though, when I first met him, decisive as he is, I’d have been proud to call him my son.”
The capo di tutti capi of New York, Carmine Lupertazzi Sr. was an old school wise guy of Junior’s generation. But unlike Junior, who’s called him “a slippery f**k” with “big fish lips,” Carmine managed to stay at the top. During his tenure, the New York organization maintained close ties to New Jersey’s, despite Carmine’s contention that his friends across the Hudson weren’t really a crime family but a “glorified crew.”
Carmine was always on the lookout for any scheme his organization could horn in on. He made sure that his family got a piece of the New Jersey Esplanade project, and when he got wind of a HUD scam that Tony was running, he laid claim to a portion of that as well. When Tony balked at the size of the portion he demanded, Carmine showed he could be a hardhead, too. He had his union guys shut down construction of the Esplanade, creating serious financial consequences for both outfits.
The years hadn’t really mellowed Carmine. Despite being a loving father and grandfather, he remained, foremost, a ruthless mobster. He once ordered a hit – later rescinded – on his own longtime underboss, Johnny Sack, when he decided Johnny’s temper was a liability.
But after a massive stroke on the golf course, the old don finally kicked off — before naming a successor. This left New York’s organization without a clear capo, and set off a turf war between his oldest son and namesake, Little Carmine, and his determined underboss, Johnny Sack.