Bernardo Provenzano, Sicilian Mafia Boss Whose Life Mirrored ‘The Godfather,’ Dies at 83

Criminal evaded police for 43 years before he was captured in 2006 outside his hometown of Corleone, Sicily

Last Updated: July 13, 2016 @ 10:39 PM

Bernardo Provenzano, the leader of the powerful Sicilian Mafia, whose life mirrored the characters and events depicted in Mario Puzo’s classic novel and Francis Ford Coppola‘s film versions of “The Godfather,” died in custody on Wednesday in Milan. He was 83.

According to the New York Times, Provenzano “had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease, cancer and a stroke, and… had been hospitalized since 2014 under the supervision of prison authorities.”

Known by many as the “Boss of Bosses,” Provenzano hailed from — that’s right — Corleone, Sicily, the same home town of the Vito Corleone in “The Godfather” series.

Rather than leave for America like the character made famous by Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro did, however, Provenzano remained in his home country, where he rose through the bloody ranks and eventually became known as the Accountant for setting the mob’s finances straight. He became the leader of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra in 1993 and shifted the enterprise to one focused on white-collar crime.

All the while, Provenzano was a fugitive from justice for some 43 years. Authorities carrying a dated photograph of the mafia boss had been on his tail for murder since 1963, and they only tracked him down — in a run-down farm house near Corleone — in 2006.

The Times reports that Provenzano did not resist his capture, but he did offer ominous words of warning: “You have no idea what you have done.”

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