Greatest Fictional New Yorkers #3: Michael Corleone
Name: Michael Corleone
Birthplace: Little Italy, New York
Occupation: Sells olive oil (No, really. Really.)
Interests: Extortion, racketeering, revenge, the opera
Memorable quote: “Don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever.”
The youngest and most beloved son of Italian immigrants Vito and Carmella Corleone, Michael was a Dartmouth graduate and World War II veteran. He vowed to stay out of the family business, but was yanked in when rivals tried to off his father. The next thing Michael knew he was groping for a stashed away firearm in the men’s room of an Italian restaurant in the Bronx, then blowing out the brains of the guys behind the assassination attempt.
Thus began Michael’s life of, um, foodstuff. Betrayals and revenge were around every corner, from his bodyguard in Sicily, to his sister Connie’s abusive, philandering husband Carlo, to Tessio, his father’s right hand guy. But the biggest betrayer was his own brother, Fredo, who helped Hyman Roth and Johnny Ola attempt to do away with the young Don. “I know it was you Fredo,” Michael told him on a crowded dance floor in Havana. “You broke my heart. You broke my heart!” Cue kiss of death.
After his daughter bit the assassin’s bullet meant for him, Michael moved to Sicily alone, where he died at age 77 of a stroke. He had sacrificed a normal life for his family, but in the end he sacrificed family too.