Michael A. Bruno, 67, Son Of Slain Crime Boss

Posted: July 05, 2000

A Mass of Christian Burial was to be celebrated today for Michael A. Bruno, son of the late crime boss Angelo Bruno, at St. Monica's Catholic Church at 17th and Ritner streets.

Michael Bruno, a lover of classical music who was devoted to his family, died Saturday. He was 67.

The son of Angelo and Susan Bruno never became a "made" member of La Cosa Nostra, according to authorities.

Born in Philadelphia in 1932, the young Bruno attended public schools and graduated from Southern High. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and Settlement Music School, where he fell in love with playing the piano.

Married to Zaira (nee Marino), the couple had two daughters, Maria and Susan. "He was always a rock, always there for us," said daughter Maria Bruno Leavey."He was very, very devoted to his mother."

Maria's fondest memory was of her father passionately playing classical music."He was a very gifted concert pianist," said Leavey. "His love of the classics was instilled in his children.

Maria studied ballet and became a dancer, but has since retired, she said. His other daughter, Susan Bruno, studied classical music, but became an attorney. She is now with the firm, Nasuti and Miller.

The elder Bruno did not want his son to follow in his footsteps and passed on a family business, Globe Exterminating Co., for him to operate. In the 1950s, before Michael took over the business, its headquarters on 8th Street near Catharine served as a big numbers house, known for its bookmaking activities, according to a source close to the family.

Though Michael was never arrested that didn't stop authorities from being suspicious.

In 1978, Michael incorporated Globe, listing himself as its only officer, president and secretary. That year, Atlantic City opened its first legal casino.

And New Jersey State Police and the New Jersey Commission of Investigations scrutinized Globe's expansion there, reporting its contracts with mob-owned restaurants and businesses.

Bruno said at the time he took a "few jobs" because of his fondness for the shore since childhood. He denied his father had any connection with the business.

"Angelo Bruno is my father," Michael Bruno said in 1978. "I love him, I'm proud of him, and I think he's a wonderful man. And I think you'd like him too."

When asked about law enforcement allegations about Phillip Testa and Frank Sindone being in the mob, Bruno replied "I know them [Testa and Sindone] to say hello to, from downtown. But as far as organized crime is concerned, no, I really don't believe it exists.

"Don't get mad at me for saying this," he added.

"I believe it's good business [for newspapers] to have something spectacular to write about.

"I've grown up with this, with my father's name in the newspapers all the time. I've had to live with it."

After his father was murdered in 1980, the younger Bruno became the family patriarch.

Bruno also is survived by his mother and a sister, Jean Bruno Puppo, among others.

Following the Mass at 11 a.m. today, interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Bailey Road and Yeadon Avenue, Yeadon.

Send e-mail to caparek@phillynews.com

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