Frank J. Valenti

Death of Frank J. Valenti

September 20, 2008
Rochester, New York

Mob boss who oversaw organized crime in Rochester dead at 97


ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Frank J. Valenti, who oversaw organized crime activity in Rochester during its violent heyday in the 1960s and '70s, has died. He was 97.

He died Saturday at a nursing home outside Houston, according to a death certificate filed Wednesday at the clerk's office in Fort Bend County, Texas.

Valenti seized control of gambling, prostitution and extortion rackets in the city in 1964 and had connections with the powerful Bonanno family in New York City, investigators say.

He was toppled by rivals during a violent turf war between mob factions capped by a series of bombings at churches, court buildings and the homes of a judge and a labor union leader.

During Valenti's notorious reign, his hometown newspaper ran a regular feature on the doings of the dapper gangster.