“You choose this life, it comes with responsibilities…Teddy Roosevelt gave an entire speech once with a bullet lodged in his chest. Some things are a matter of duty.”
Corrado Soprano, Jr., AKA Uncle Junior, is the son of Corrado and Mariangela D’Agostino Soprano, Italian immigrants who came over from the town of Ariano in 1911. Junior had two younger brothers: Giovanni (AKA Johnny Boy), who was Tony’s father and Ercoli (AKA Eckley), who was mentally retarded and spent most of his life in an institution. The senior Corrado was a stonemason, but Junior and Johnny Boy had no intention of following in his footsteps; they dropped out of high school, quickly affiliating themselves with the DiMeo crime family.
Though Junior was highly competitive with his little brother, he always had a deep affection for his nephew. Junior has no children of his own – he’s never been married – and he spent a lot of quality time with Tony while he was growing up.
After Dominic DiMeo was sent to prison for life and Johnny Boy and Jackie Aprile succumbed to cancer, Junior took over as head of the New Jersey organization. But he was perceived as high-handed and selfish — in mob parlance “he ate alone” — causing serious dissension in the ranks. Tony eventually stepped in and took charge, leaving Junior as a figurehead — and a target for the Feds. Once again upstaged by a younger relative, Junior was hurt and angry, and vulnerable to manipulation by Tony’s mother, Livia. Nursing her own grudges against Tony, Livia convinced Junior to order a hit on her son. But the hit attempt failed, and Tony punished his uncle by severely curtailing his earning power and effectively cutting him out of his life. Not long after that Junior was placed under house arrest on federal racketeering charges and diagnosed with his own case of the “big casino” — cancer.
But Junior’s a tough old bird. He’s outlasted haler, heartier enemies and despite his situation, he never sang for the feds. His case was eventually ruled a mistrial, thanks to a hung (and tampered with) jury. Junior even made amends, to some extent, with Tony. Then he suffered a series of small strokes, and though he seemed fine afterwards, something wasn’t right. He started insulting Tony in public and losing track of his train of thought. Under house arrest awaiting his re-trial, Junior mistook Tony for an old acquaintance and shot him, almost killing him.
Now in a mental health facility, Junior lives in confusion between two worlds, wondering why he can’t just “go home.”