Tattaglia was the head of one of New York's Five Families. He initially gained his support from Giuseppe Mariposa, who he encouraged to enter the pornography market. But when Emilio Barzini betrayed Mariposa, Tattaglia was encouraged to join him and was present at the Don's final moments before he was murdered by Salvatore Tessio. At this time, he was still respected enough by Vito Corleone to merit an invite to the wedding of his son, Sonny.
Although his primary business was prostitution, he was the first to support Virgil Sollozzo's heroin connection, and went to war with the Corleone family after they refused to lend their political and police protection to the enterprise. He was known to be somewhat of an irritation to the other Dons, and was constantly complaining about the police crackdowns, employment problems and high costs that his businesses provided. For this reason, even when he was almost victorious during the Five Families War, Tattaglia received little respect.
The Five Families War Edit
When Virgil Sollozzo arrived in New York, the Tattaglia family backed his operations, but required the political connections of Vito Corleone for everything to run smoothly. When Vito politely turned Sollozzo down, the lines were drawn and war was inevitable.
Tattaglia's family struck first, claiming the life of notorious enforcer Luca Brasi, but their further attacks floundered, an assassination attempt on Vito Corleone serving only to hospitalize him. Tattaglia was dealt a blow when the protracted and bloody conflict claimed the life of his son, Bruno Tattaglia as well as crippling most of his businesses and eliminating his key associates, including Sollozzo.
Tattaglia's vengeance Edit
To this end, Tattaglia made an alliance with Emilio Barzini, which resulted in the death of Sonny Corleone, who had masterminded the attacks and was close to winning the war. Rising from his sick bed, Vito Corleone hastily called a sit-down with the members of the Commission.
However, at this meeting, Tattaglia tellingly insisted that Don Corleone guarantee not to break the peace. After conceding to his demands, Corleone realized that the lowly "pimp" had been the front for a plan masterminded by Don Emilio Barzini, to bring down the Corleones, divide the spoils amongst the Five Families, and embrace the lucrative heroin trade unopposed.
Eventually, Tattaglia suffered the same fate as his fellow conspirators; he was in bed with a prostitute in a motel room when Rocco Lampone and another man, acting on the orders of Michael Corleone, burst in and riddled Tattaglia with machine gun fire. His last words were to denounce Don Barzini as the mastermind behind the operation.
He was succeeded by his younger brother Rico.