Joseph Lonardo

Big Joe
Birth Name:
Joseph Lonardo
Birth Date:
October 20, 1884
Birth Place:
Siculiana, Agrigento, Italy
Death Date:
October 13, 1927
Place of Death:
Porrello Barber Shop, 10902 Woodland Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio
Cause of Death:
Gunshot wounds from a mob hit
Cemetery Name:
Calvary Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
Crime and their Victims
"Big Joe" Lonardo (also known as "The Corn Sugar Baron") was the first ever crime boss of the Cleveland crime family. He and his brother John were murder by his own Underboss Salvatore "Black Sam" Todaro.

Joseph “Big Joe” Lonardo left for Sicily in April 1927 for five months to visit his mother. The relationship between Lonardo and the Porrellos worsened while he was away. John Lonardo served as caretaker of Joseph’s businesses while Joseph was in Sicily. John had little temperament for business and lacked good judgment, and a leadership vacuum emerged in the Mayfield Road Mob. As soon as Joseph Lonardo left for Sicily, the Porrellos began offering home distillers corn sugar at $2.19 per pound, much less than the $3.50 per pound Lonardo charged. Lonardo’s influence with local politicians and police also evaporated, and law enforcement raids on home brewers loyal to the Lonardos increased significantly. Just a few weeks after Lonardo’s departure, the Porrellos had taken control of more than half of Lonardo’s corn sugar and corn whiskey business. Hence the start of Cleveland’s Sugar Wars.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Calvary Cemetery

10000 Miles Road

Cleveland, Ohio, 44105


North America


Grave Location:

Section 47, Lot 234, Grave 6

Grave Location Description

As you enter the cemetery make your way forward until you come to the short tunnel under the bridge. Make a sharp left and drive back up the hill to Section 47. The large Lonardo monument is very visible about 100 feet from the road.

Grave Location GPS

41.442390229, -81.61116775

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