50 Mafia Quotes About Organized Crime Families

Let us make you an offer you can’t refuse with our mafia quotes. 

Over the years, mafia culture has crossed over into popular culture. 

Movies such as American Gangster, The Godfather, and Goodfellas are classic films that have garnered critical praise and the public’s attention. 

Let’s learn more about the history of mob life with our mafia quotes. 

What is the mafia?

Historically, the mafia or mob is a network of organized crime groups based in Italy and America. 

Today, the word mafia is an informal term that describes criminal organizations that resemble the original Italian mafia. 

Mafia or mob organizations arbitrate between criminals and other organizations. 

They also enforce illicit agreements between criminal parties through violence. 

Mafias engage in activities such as gambling, loans, drugs, fraud, and prostitution. 

Check out our mafia facts below: 

  • The mafia as we know it evolved out of Sicily. 
  • Al Capone is estimated to have had an annual income of $105 million. 
  • Salvatore Lo Piccolo created a decalogue with ten rules all mobsters should follow. 

Where does the mafia come from?

The mafia network of organized crime we know of today originates in Sicily. 

For a long time, the island of Sicily was ruled by foreign invaders.

Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, French and Spanish colonizers, and invaders ruled the island of Sicily for centuries. 

During the 19th century, local Sicilians banded together to carry out justice and protect themselves from foreign rule. 

The word mafioso, or mafia, had no criminal connection in Sicily. 

In fact, the term was applied to anyone suspicious of central authority. 

These groups were known as clans or families, and they developed their own systems of retribution. 

Over time, the groups created to protect the people emerged as private armies or “mafie,” and they began to extort the same landowners they initially set out to protect. 

This group would eventually become the Sicilian Mafia. 

When did the mafia come to America?

As we know it, the mob rose to power in the United States in the 1920s. 

The American Mafia is separate from the Mafia in Italy or Sicily but shares many of the same cultural traditions and codes of conduct. 

If you want to know more about mafia history and culture, check out our mafia quotes below for more great content. 

Short Mafia quotes about mob culture

These short quotes about the mob keep it short and sweet. 

1. “Guilt is the mafia of the mind.” — Robert Mandel

2. “The myths die hard, especially within the Mafia.” — Robert D. McFadden

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3. “Mafia is the best example of capitalism we have.” — Marlon Brando

4. “Wherever there’s opportunity, the mafia will be there.” — Johnny Kelly

5. “There is no rule of law until the Mafia needs lawyers.” — Stephen Holmes

6. “The racing bug is never going to go away. It’s like the Mafia.” — Davy Jones

7. “It’s like the mafia. Once you’re in – your in. There’s no getting out.” — Kelly Slater

8. “The Monkees are like the mafia. You’re in for life. Nobody gets out.” — Davy Jones

9. “Work harder, work longer, and earn less because the mafia needs your money.” — Gerald Celente

10. “Hell, I’m not saying I’m an angel, but when it came to dirty tricks, I couldn’t hold a candle to the Irish Mafia.” — Jimmy Hoffa

The best mafia quotes about family and mob life

Mafia culture is popular in America, and these quotes remind us why. 

11. “Italian-Americans are not the Mafia.” — Chazz Palminteri 

12. “The Mafia is a question every time an Italian raises his head.” — Mario Cuomo 

13. “Mafia guys are all just insecure people who want their money.” — Ray Liotta 

14. “The IRS! They’re like the Mafia; they can take anything they want!” — Jerry Seinfeld 

15. “The Mafia exists in the American imagination because we want it to exist.” — Pete Hamill 

16. “Legislating morality doesn’t work (see: Prohibition). It produced the Mafia.” — John Densmore 

17. “People love stories about the mafia: ‘The Godfather,’ ‘American Gangster.’” — Jason Statham 

18. “I always tell everyone wrestling is like the mafia. Once you get in, you can’t get out.” — Gail Kim 

19. “The best defense against mafia business is full declaration of assets and incomes.” — Milos Zeman 

20. “I’m very proud of being Italian-American, but people don’t realize that the mafia is just this aberration.” — Chazz Palminteri 

The top mafia quotes about crime and revenge 

Mobs are known for retaliating against those who challenge them, and these quotes address the art of organized revenge. 

21. “Desperation is like stealing from the Mafia: you stand a good chance of attracting the wrong attention.” — Douglas Horton

22. “It was dangerous to hit the wrong kid in my neighborhood because a lot of the guys I played with had fathers in the Mafia.” — Tim Robbins 

23. “Abortion isn’t a lesser evil; it’s a crime. Taking one life to save another that’s what the Mafia does. It’s a crime. It’s an absolute evil.” Pope Francis 

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24. “The ANC must ensure that South Africa does not become a mafia state because once you reach that state, all the wheels have come off.” — Cyril Ramaphosa

25. “The Yanukovych regime is a mafia, which regularly threatens, imprisons, murders, or disappears political opponents as well as those whose possessions it covets.” — Robert Zubrin 

26. “Unless you are absolutely positive that your wife has no connection to the Mafia, even three or four times removed, do yourself a favor and do not bet her in a poker hand.” — Joseph D. Pistone 

27. “Ours is a government of checks and balances. The Mafia and crooked businessmen make out checks, and the politicians and other compromised officials improve their bank balances.” — Steve Allen 

28. “There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organized along the lines of the Mafia.” Kurt Vonnegut 

29. “I often talk about the PayPal mafia out of San Francisco, people that were in PayPal and got out of PayPal and continue to reinvest in other start-ups and create a huge pay-it-forward type of network there.” — Ryan Holmes 

30. “I’m from Indiana. I know what you’re thinking, Indiana, Mafia. But in Indiana, it’s not like New York where everyone’s like, ‘We’re from New York, and we’re the best, or ‘We’re from Texas, and we like things big it’s more like, ‘We’re from Indiana, and we’re gonna move.’” — Jim Gaffigan

Mafia quotes by Al Capone about mob life

The name Al Capone is synonymous with American mafia culture; here are some of his most memorable quotes. 

31. “Prohibition has made nothing but trouble.” — Al Capone 

32. “They can’t collect legal taxes from illegal money.” — Al Capone 

33. “It’s a racket. Those stock market guys are crooked.” — Al Capone 

34. “They’ve hung everything on me except the Chicago fire.” — Al Capone 

35. “Some call it bootlegging. Some call it racketeering. I call it a business.” — Al Capone 

36. “It seems like I’m responsible for every crime that takes place in this country.” — Al Capone 

37. “The country wanted booze, and I organized it. Why should I be called a public enemy?” — Al Capone 

38. “Capitalism gives all of us a great opportunity if we seize it with both hands and hang on to it.” — Al Capone 

39. “I would rather be rich, affluent, and greedy and go to hell when I die than live in poverty on this earth.” — Al Capone 

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40. “I’m a kind person, I’m kind to everyone, but if you are unkind to me, then kindness is not what you’ll remember me for.” — Al Capone 

Mafia quotes by famous mobsters about mob culture 

These are selections from some of the most infamous mobsters in American history. 

41. “All I wanted was to be what I became to be.” — John Gotti

42. “No one will ever kill me. They wouldn’t dare” — Carmine Galante

43.We don’t break our captains. We kill them.” — Vincent Gigante 

44.Goodfellas don’t sue goodfellas. Goodfellas kill goodfellas.” — Salvatore Profaci

45. “I would be a billionaire if I was looking to be a selfish boss. That’s not me.” — John Gotti

46. “If you think your boss is stupid, remember: you wouldn’t have a job if he was any smarter.” —  John Gotti 

47. “I never lie to any man because I don’t fear anyone. The only time you lie is when you are afraid.” — John Gotti

48. “Don’t carry a gun. It’s nice to have them close by, but don’t carry them. You might get arrested.” — John Gotti

49. “Be nice to bankers. Always be nice to pension fund managers. Always be nice to the media. In that order.” — John Gotti

50. “If you have a lot of what people want and can’t get, then you can supply the demand and shovel in the dough.” Lucky Luciano 

Why is Al Capone an American mafia legend?

When people think of the American mafia,  names like Lucky Luciano, Carmine Galante, and John Gotti come to mind. 

However, the most famous American mobster is Al Capone. 

Alphonse Gabriel Capone, also known as Scarface, was an Italian American mobster and businessman who rose to fame during the Prohibition years of the United States. 

Capone reigned for seven years in Chicago before being imprisoned at 33. 

However, during those years, Capone had a legendary run. 

It is said that Capone had an annual salary of 105 million dollars per year. 

If we adjust for inflation, that would equal about 1.3 billion dollars annually in today’s money! 

While Capone earned large amounts of tax-free money, he needed all of it to pay off the judges, politicians, gangers, reporters, and the police. 

Do you have a favorite mafia quote?

If so, please tell us about it in the comment section below. 

Clifton Sankofa has Master's degrees in English, Teaching, and School Leadership. He is a veteran educator and school leader. Clifton has built his career around teaching language arts, social-emotional learning, hip-hop(e), and vegan cooking. Across the country, Black and Brown communities die over preventable diseases. Clifton's aim is to help reverse this trend through cultural shifts. Using hip-hop and cultural-centered activities, he educates young people on how to reclaim their health and heritage through sustainable vegan eating, cooking practices, and literacy skills.
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