Frank Lonardo

Birth Name:
Frank Lonardo
Birth Date:
April 1, 1887
Birth Place:
Death Date:
October 19, 1929
Place of Death:
Cleveland, Ohio
Cause of Death:
Gunshot wounds from a mob hit
Cemetery Name:
Calvary Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
Crime and their Victims
One of four brothers that made up the Lonardo crime family, Frank was gunned down during a card game in the back of a downtown Cleveland barbershop years after the murder of his brothers Big Joe and John Lonardo. While the crime was never solved, it was generally understood that his murder was part of a plot to eliminate all the Lonardo brothers connected with the bootlegging racket and that Frank Alessi was involved in the planning of the execution.

Long story short …

The four Lonardo brothers (Joseph, Frank, John, and Dominic) and seven Porrello brothers, including Joseph Porello, immigrated to the United States from Licata, Sicily. The Lonardo and Porrello brothers first established themselves as legitimate businessmen. The two groups dabbled in various criminal activities including robbery and extortion, before prohibition, but were not yet considered a major criminal organization.

At the start of Prohibition, Joseph “Big Joe” Lonardo was the boss of the Cleveland crime family.[19] He was the second oldest of the four Lonardo brothers. He and his brothers began by supplying Cleveland’s bootleggers with the corn sugar they needed to produce liquor. His top lieutenant was Joseph Porrello, who supervised various bootlegging and other criminal operations.

In 1926, the Porrello brothers (Rosario, Vincenzo, Angelo, Joseph, John, Ottavio, and Raymond) broke away from the Lonardo family and formed their own faction. Hostilities between the Lonardo and Porrello families escalated as the families competed in the corn sugar business. During Prohibition, corn sugar was the prime ingredient in bootleg liquor.

First to go were Joe and John Lonardo. Lonardo’s death ignited what the press called the “Corn Sugar War”, a series of power-grabs and retaliatory blood feuds that left Frank Lonardo and seven Porrellos dead before it ended.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Calvary Cemetery

10000 Miles Road

Cleveland, Ohio, 44105


North America


Grave Location:

Section 47, Lot 234, Grave 8

Grave Location Description

Drive up and into the cemetery until you find the road that goes under the bridge. Make a hard left and drive towards the back to Section 47. About 100 feet from the road you will see the large Lonardo monument.

Grave Location GPS

41.4422708, -81.61105849

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