Gangster who inspired The Godfather was a `fake`

Updated: Jan 06, 2011, 15:50 PM IST

London: A historian has claimed that the mobster who inspired 1970s blockbuster The Godfather was a "fake".

It was believed that Charles "Lucky" Luciano was the father of organised crime and experts hailed him as the model for legendary mafia boss Don Corleone, played by Marlon Brando in the Francis Ford Coppola movie based on the Mario Puzo book.

Luciano was widely credited for running New York`s notorious underworld, and was linked to extortion rackets, punishment attacks and gangland murders.

But a new research has suggested that his reputation was largely fabricated by the US government to justify the expense of tracking him down.

The revelations emerge in a new book, ‘Lucky Luciano: Mafia Murderer and Secret Agent’ - 74 years after his imprisonment, and 48 years after his death.

US author Tim Newark said the claims would shock other biographers who had painted Lucky as the archetypal gangster.

"The myth of Lucky Luciano is incredible. For decades, he has been portrayed as the father of modern organised crime, no less,” the Scotsman quoted Newark as saying.

"But after delving into the archives, I realised the real Lucky was in some respects, a fake," Newark added.