The Kennedy Connection

 Love thy crooked neighbor as you love thy crooked self."

-- Murray Humphreys

While no one ever deserted Momo without accepting the bloody consequences, even he could not prevent Death from stalking the lives of wife Ange nor father Antonio. Both died in 1954, only a couple months apart and both after long illnesses. Politicos, businessmen and mob leaders from across the country turned out for both services, noting Momo particularly solemn and well-behaved at both.

But, by 1955 the world he knew best, the Underworld, was occupying his every hour. Tony Accardo was being investigated by the FBI and, to steer them away from current gang activities, he stepped down to appoint Momo il capo di Chicago. The moniker was misleading, however, for Momo’s territory extended far beyond mere city limits. But, in one way, it brought leisure: he no longer had to travel to see anyone on business; everyone came to him.

kennedymen.GIF (64992 bytes)
Robert, John & Joseph Kennedy
(UPI/Corbis- Bettmann)

This included Joseph Kennedy, the wealthy financier and Wall Street jackal. Kennedy had been a partner of Diamond Joe Esposito during the days of Prohibition; together the two men had made a fortune smuggling sugar and mash into the East Coast and trans-continentally. Momo was never partial to the toothsome fellow, disliking the smiling hypocritical facade of the Irish Catholic businessman hiding a thieving pirate. "If there ever was a crook it was Joe Kennedy," he told his brother and confidante, Chuck. "Old man Kennedy made over a million bucks selling the market short before it fell. He manipulated the whole damn Depression."

Kennedy’s son Jack was the shining star senator from Massachusetts who, many said, was eyeing the White House and who, because of his daddy’s bucks and influence would inevitably reach his goal. In the early 50s, Momo had pulled strings for the old man to have his son’s career-threatening-marriage to a lower-class girl annulled and all legal documents eradicated.

Joe Kennedy now had come to Chicago for another favor to ask, and when he strolled into the East Ambassador Hotel that evening in mid-1955, under cover of disguise, he bore a desperate frown. He needed to get out of a scrape. Frank Costello, the New York boss, had put a contract on his life for refusing to perform a number of owed favors for the Syndicate. Kennedy explained to Momo that he had meant no insult, but that he was just maintaining a distance from Costello should the Kennedy name be re-linked to the rackets and ruin his son’s career. "You know how it is," he told Momo, shrugging apologetically.

Giancana made him squirm a little until, panicky, Kennedy blurted out what Momo wanted to hear. "If my son is elected President he’ll be your man. My son, the President of the United States, will owe you his father’s life. He won’t refuse you, ever. You have my word."

Within the week, Momo talked to Costello. With the promise that they would have their own man in the White House, the mob called off the hit on Joe Kennedy.

1. Fondless Memories

2. Born in Hell

3. Killin' for Capone

4. Changing of the Guard

5. Moving Up

6. Eyeing the World

7. Kennedy Connection

8. Wayward Politics

9. Betrayal

10. Marilyn Monroe

11. Nov. 22, 1963

12. Downfall

13. To Die in Hell

14. Bibliography

15. The Author
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