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The Five Families were the primary American mafia families in The Godfather novel and movies.
The Five Families were composed of the Corleone, Barzini, Tattaglia, Cuneo, and Stracci families. These families were descended from New York City street gangs. In the early 1930s Vito Corleone helped formalize the organization of the mafia families in the US. He and the heads of the other four families created the Commission, which served as the overall governing body of the American Italian mafia organizations.
These men lead the Five Families during the late 1940s and early 1950s.
- The Five Families were based on the real life Five Families. These families were descended from Italian street gangs that had worked the New York City area during the first part of the 20th century. They were the Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Lucchese families.