The Leone Crime Family, also known as The Mafia, is an Italian-American Mafia criminal organization, originating from Sicily (referred to by Salvatore Leone as "the old country") whose main base of operations is in Liberty City.
Salvatore Leone became the Don of the Leone family after a bloody power struggle during the mid-1980s. He has a son, Joey Leone, who much to Salvatore's dismay is not wed yet. The Leones are clearly based off of the Corleone Family from The Godfather movie; this is also supported by their involvement in the gambling industry. They are the secondary antagonists in Grand Theft Auto III, and one of the player's main allies in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, alongside the Southside Hoods and Avenging Angels.
The Leone family was active in Las Venturas in 1992, where they held a stake in Caligula's Casino with the Sindacco and Forelli families, to unite the organizations into one mafia family. The casino was later robbed in a heist organised by former ally Carl Johnson, Zero and the Triads.
What happens after that is uncertain. At some point between 1992 and 1998 he abandoned his investments in Las Venturas and moved back to Liberty City.
By 1998, the Leone family had become engaged in a three-way gang war with the Sindacco and Forelli families in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. The hostilities lead to Salvatore being arrested, the assassination of the Forelli-controlled Mayor Roger C. Hole, the death of Sindacco family Don Paulie Sindacco and the massive bombing and destruction of Fort Staunton. The Leones also manage to weaken the Sicilian Mafia, led by Uncle Leone and Massimo Torini, making them the only mafia family with significant power in the city. The Leone family also recapture a club in the Red Light District, renaming it Luigi's Sex Club 7. They also gain new territories in the Red Light District and parts of both Hepburn Heights and Chinatown. However, these events lead to a weakening of the Leone family, with the Diablos and Triads moving onto Portland Island. Hostilities with the Yakuza also remain, as Toni had murdered the Yakuza leader, Kazuki Kasen. Having failed to secure Donald Love as Mayor of Liberty City, they begin to control new Mayor Miles O'Donovan after rescuing him from the Sicilian Mafia.
In 2000 Yakuza co-leader Asuka Kasen employs Mike to extract revenge on the Mafia for the murder of her brother Kazuki. The Mafia presumably refers to the Leone family as the Sindaccos and Forellis are severely weakened following the events of GTA Liberty City Stories. She has Mike kidnap at least fifteen Leone Family gang members to sell them in Asia as servants. However they are soon rescued following a raid of the re-taken over casino once owned by Kazuki, which lead to Kenji Kasen, another brother of Asuka taking over the casino and renaming it after himself.
By 2001 the Leone family have lost some power in the city, although they remain one of the strongest crime syndicates in the city. Most of the territory they had gained in Chinatown is lost to the Triads whilst the Diablos have taken control of Hepburn Heights, as predicted by Toni Cipriani in 1998. This leads to shootouts between the Leones and the Triads around the Red Light District which is Leone Turf and Chinatown which is Triad territory. The Colombian Cartel have also been undermining the Leone family, selling SPANK from the factory on freighter in Portland Harbor and through noodle stands. This sparks major hostilities in and around Trenton, the business place of Underboss Joey Leone, and also around Portland Harbour. The Leone Family first launch a full-scale war against the Triads. This leads to the death of three Triad warlords and the destruction of the Triads Fish Factory. The Cartel too are weakened with the destruction of their freighter in Portland Harbor. Whilst neither conflict with the Triads or Cartel is resolved, both appear to be going in the Leone's favour.
However, Salvatore's paranoia sets in when his wife, Maria Latore, tells him that she is in an affair Leone associate Claude. He rigs a car in order to kill Claude, although Maria informs Claude of this plot. The two meet at a small jetty with the co-leader of the Yakuza, Asuka Kasen, who has Claude kill Salvatore to prove that he has severed all ties with the Leone Family. It is unknown what happens to the Leone's after that, but they still appear in Saint Mark's and will attack Claude on sight. It is likely Toni Cipriani and Joey Leone had taken over preccedings afterwards and they possibly cuts their ties with Claude. The attack partly weakened the Leone's, however it also made them stock up on weapons as evidenced by their shotguns when the player reaches Saint Marks during certain missions.
In Grand Theft Auto III and GTA Liberty City Stories, Leone henchmen wear black suits; some with sunglasses. In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the mobsters (presumed to be the Leone family) dress in either brown leather jackets with gray pants, light blue shirts with chains or in black jogging suits.
The official gang car of the Leone family is the Mafia Sentinel, a modified jet black version of the Sentinel which is supercharged only in GTA LCS. However, there are also uniquely jet black versions of other cars either used by the Leone family or located near their property in both GTA III and GTA Liberty City Stories. These include a Rumpo used by the Leones in Under Surveillance, a Pony used by Toni Cipriani in Taking the Peace, a Kuruma used by former Capo Vincenzo Cilli and parked outside his house, and a PCJ-600 parked outside Salvatore Leone's mansion.
The favourite radio station of the Leone Family is Double Clef FM. This radio station is also favoured by the city's other Mafia families (and the Leones' biggest enemies), the Forellis and the Sindaccos. In GTA III, they might sometimes listen to Flashback FM.
- The Leone family is heavily based on the Corleone family of The Godfather trilogy, Leone is a contraction of Corleone's surname Cor-Leone. both families are the most powerful organizations in their respective cities. Don Vito Corleone and Michael Corleone are also the main inspiration of Don Salvatore Leone and his son Joey. The two families settled their operations in italian neighborhoods, little Italy and Saint Mark´s and were responsibles of the murder of the heads of the other families in the city.
- Leone is Italian for "Lion".
- In GTA III, it was mostly pronounced as "Le-own", but in GTA: SA and in GTA: LCS, it was given less emphasis on the "e"'s, making it said by many characters in said games as Lee-o-nies. Both pronounciations would be incorrect in Italian, however.
- The scenario in which the Sicilian Mafia attempt to take over Liberty City may be similar to the real-life event in which the Sicilian Mafia reformed the American New York Mafia.
- Salvatore being at war with his uncle in 1998 is clearly inspired by the events of season 1 of The Sopranos wherein main character Tony Soprano is in conflict with his uncle Corrado "Junior" Soprano over control of their crime family. Leone's uncle's appearence is also based on that of Junior Soprano.
- Even though Toni Cipriani is a member of the Leone family, other members will still be hostile to him if he attacks them or carjacks a Mafia Sentinel with a member inside.
- The Leones are the second most dangerous gang in GTA III, the first being the Colombian Cartel.
- It is interesting to note that in GTA LCS, there is a rampage where Toni has to kill the members of the Leone family. It is unknown why this rampage exists since the Leones are allies with the player at the time (in 1998).
- GTA III
- The Getaway
- Salvatore's Called A Meeting
- Triads and Tribulations
- Sayonara Salvatore
- Under Surveillance
- Gangcar Round-up
- Rigged to Blow
- GTA San Andreas
- GTA Liberty City Stories
- Smash and Grab
- The Guns of Leone
- The Portland Chainsaw Masquerade
- Sindacco Sabotage
- The Trouble With Triads
- Making Toni
- The Shoreside Redemption