Definitions for underboss
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word underboss
an assistant or second-in-command to a chief (especially in a crime syndicate)
An assistant to the boss of a crime family
Underboss is a position within the leadership structure of Sicilian and American Mafia crime families. The underboss is second in command to the boss. The underboss is sometimes a family member, such as a son, who will take over the family if the boss is sick, killed, or imprisoned. The power of an underboss greatly varies; some are marginal figures, while others are the most powerful individuals in the family. Traditionally they run day to day affairs of the family. In some crime families, the appointment is for life. If a new boss takes over a family with an existing underboss, that boss may marginalize or even murder him. On other hand, if a boss receives a prison term, the underboss may become acting boss. As bosses often serve large periods of time in prison, an acting boss will often become the effective boss. Even with the boss free, sometimes the underboss will gain enough power to become the effective head of the organization, and the boss will become a figurehead. An underboss likely has incriminating information about the boss, and so bosses often appoint people close to them to the underboss position for protection. In most families, the underboss arbitrates many of the disputes. Depending on the seriousness of the problem, he might consult with the boss. Some conflicts are immediately bucked up to the boss. In those cases, the underboss usually sits in and offers his opinion. In either event, the ultimate authority rests with the boss. This sometimes chafes the ego of an ambitious underboss and can lead to problems.
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