Birthplace: Syracuse, Sicily
Born in 1889 to Valentina, a seamstress, and Marcu, a fisherman, in Southern Sicily, Vittorio "Vito" Trafficante enjoyed a relatively ordinary infancy, slightly above the poverty line faced by most Sicilians of that time. His uncle, Rodolfo, was a giovane d'onore associated with the local crime boss, Don Provenzano. Rodolfo was Marcu's youngest brother and a notorious womanizer; when he paid insult to Don Provenzano himself by attempting to court his daughter, the Don was furious, murdering Rodolfo and ordering that all the males in his family be killed as compensation for the insult. Marcu arranged for Valentina and Vito to illegally emigrate to the United States, since legal emigration was more expensive, with what little money he had and then joined his other brothers to face off against Don Provenzano in a vendetta that saw an end to the male Trafficante presence in Syracuse.
The small passenger liner that was supposed to bring Vito and his mother to New York City chose instead to make port at Miami, Florida to avoid increasing U.S. Coast Guard patrols up and down the Eastern Seaboard. The year was 1899 and the Italian and Sicilian presence was not as great in Florida as it was in the New England states. Valentina was fortunate enough to find work as a seamstress but it barely provided food for her and her son. Vito had no choice but to try and find work to aid his mother. Initially, Vito delivered newspapers to the numerous boarding houses along the strip, which proved to be insufficient in ending the malnutrition he faced at home. He faced difficulties in making his deliveries and lost his job because he was unable to avoid fighting with the well established and educated children in his neighborhood. Around this time he first met Diego La Rosa, an older boy, who was also a Sicilian and a member of a black hand style street gang consisting of mainly children and headed by a man in his late twenties known to them only as Lo Squalo.
Vito quickly established himself in Lo Squalo's gang as a capable young man, prepared to do anything to make ends meet. Diego and Vito worked together frequently and became good friends, collecting extortion money from local businesses on behalf of their boss and, where necessary, showing those business owners that refused to pay what they were being protected from in the first place. By 1910, Vito and Diego had both outgrown the small operation of Lo Squalo, who they now both knew as Ignazio Strazzanti. They went to their leader to notify him that they were parting ways with him and he attempted to explain to them, with a gun, that their freedom was not achievable. The pair overpowered him and beat him so badly that he would never come after them again. Over the next 10 years, the pair conducted business as partners, running the same scams that Strazzanti had taught them since they were boys. Vito built quite a rap sheet and would occasionally offer his services to the bigger local bosses who wanted people to disappear. In 1919, the Volstead Act changed everything.
Vito is a well established bootlegger and gangster in the city of Miami; a feared and respected hood interested in making as many friends and as much money as his time allows him. Dope peddling is not outside of Vito's moral compass, though coming by quality product can often be difficult.