In the early 1930s, Barzini became one of the Capos in Giuseppe Mariposa's organization, along with his brother Ettore. He began to grow unhappy with Mariposa after Mariposa murdered his friend "Tits" merely on suspicion of treachery, and after Barzini's attempt to assassinate Vito Corleone at a parade turned into a massacre, he began to see the tide turning and betrayed his boss Giuseppe Mariposa for Vito Corleone.
Rise to power Edit
After Mariposa's death, Barzini took over the remnants of Mariposa's organization and presided as head of the renamed Barzini family. Under his leadership he rebuilt the family to be considered the second most powerful crime family in both New York and the nation, behind only Vito Corleone. Barzini had interests in markets such as narcotics, gambling and prostitution, and was also clever enough to be interested in Las Vegas and Cuba. He was also linked to Wall Street politics and the Mafia in Sicily.
Role in the war Edit
Barzini was respected enough by Don Corleone to be invited to the wedding of his daughter Connie even though Vito knew Barzini attempted to assassinate him. Barzini had an interest in expanding into drug trafficking introducing Sollozzo to Bruno Tattaglia. Barzini used the Tattaglia family as a pawn to approach Vito Corleone. When Vito refused to participate in the heroin trade, however Sonny showed disappointment in the decision. Barzini and Sollozzo secretly conspired with the other families to force the Corleones to open up their territory to drug trafficking. After two attempted assassination attempts by the Tattaglia family, the Corleone and Tattaglia family went to war. While Barzini was shielded from the war. Following the death of Virgil Sollozzo and Mark McCluskey, Barzini encouraged all the families to go to war with the Corleone's because of the additional police attention sparking the Five Families War. However Barzini was most likely was looking for revenge for the death of Sollozzo.
Barzini approached Carlo Rizzi after an altercation the two had in public, with a plot to draw acting boss Sonny Corleone out to the Jones Beach Causeway tollbooth where he was ambushed and killed. Don Corleone forbade any inquiries into Sonny's death, instead asking Barzini to help him set up a peace summit. It was at this meeting that Don Corleone discovered that Philip Tattaglia, as apparent instigator of the war against the Corleone family, was not calling the shots. Barzini was the puppet master inconspicuously orchestrating the anti-Corleone alliance. Tattaglia betrayed his true and diminished role by desperately seeking Don Corleone's promise of peace, and turning to Barzini for his approval and guarantee of protection. Barzini had used his contacts in the Sicilian mafia to assassinate Michael Corleone with a car bomb. However, Apollonia, Michael's wife, was instead killed by the car bomb meant for Michael.
Not satisfied with the submission of the Corleones, Barzini began chipping away at their territories in New York. Unbeknown to Don Barzini, the Corleones were allowing Barzini to muscle in on the Corleone interests to lull him into inaction and soon after Michael returned from hiding in Sicily, he and Don Corleone began making plans on retaliating. At Vito Corleone's funeral, Barzini approached Salvatore Tessio to organise another peace summit were Michael was to be killed, this revealed Tessio as the traitor. However, Barzini didn't know that he had walked into a neatly arranged trap.
A few days after Don Corleone's death, Barzini was assassinated on the steps of the courthouse on Manhattan's Foley Square, Barzini came out to find Al Neri, disguised as a police officer, killing his bodyguards and driver. Before Barzini could react, Neri shot him twice in the back, as he turned to run away.
He was succeeded by Paul Fortunato.