Louie Russo

Louie Russo

Luigi 'Louie' Russo(1905-1961) ("the Face") was the Don of the Chicago Outfit from 1955 to 1961. He features a prominent role in The Godfather Returns. He is possibly based on Chicago Don Sam Giancana, with similar personality and career.

Louie Russo goes as far back to Chicago as the 1920s. He and his brother, Willy, were 'made' under Al Capone. His brother was one of the men sent to kill Vito Corleone during the Castellamarese war and he was killed by Luca Brasi.

Russo held this against the Corleones for decades, but after he became Don in 1955, he tricked Michael into thinking that they were forgiven. Under Russo, the Chicago mob expanded into the New York area with muscle and interfered with the Corleone's Las Vegas casinos. Russo unsuccessfully conspired with Vincent Forlenza and Nick Geraci to kill Michael Corleone.

In June of 1961, he invited Tom Hagen to his mansion with the intention of killing him. He, Hagen, a rower, and trusted Russo "soldatos" went on a boat in his river. On the course of the trip, as part of Michael's revenge, Hagen killed one "soldato" while the rower killed the other and hit Russo. Hagen then personally killed Russo on his boat and dumped the bodies. He was succeeded by John Villone.


In keeping with his role as a primary villain, Russo is given a negative portrayal in the novel. In the sequel The Godfather's Revenge, Tom Hagen describes him as "a sick man, in ways I don't like to think about."In his appearances in The Godfather Returns, Russo is shown to have a vindictive, unpleasant personality, with a childish streak. Following an assassination attempt where his eyes were permanently damaged with glass, he wears sunglasses to shield them from the sun (and to avoid being read) but shows his uncovered eyes to Tom Hagen prior to his death in order to intimidate and horrify him.

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