Tony Moran, Mob Boss - Reading, PA
Tony Moran was born Anthony Mirenna in 1902 in Tunis. He came to Reading in the 1920s.
Tony Moran was known for his kindness to orphans, sponsoring sports teams and his ability to keep street crime under control when he ruled Reading as a mob boss in the 1930s and 1940s. He owned a flower shop at 538 Franklin Street, Reading, along with several other legitimate businesses.
Then there was the not so kind side. The side where he roughed up prostitutes who refused to pay protection money, where he would heat up a coin with a lighter and throw it to someone so he could watch their fingers burn, where he ran illegal gaming operations and kidnapping women in other states and forcing them into prostitution.
Moran’s men would hold a gun to the stolen women's heads and make them write home that they were going to pursue their own lives so their families would not look for them. They moved the girls on a weekly basis so they couldn’t find a way to escape. When he approached Dutch Mary to put her operation under his control she said NO! So he had the city’s chief detective raid her establishment.
Due to the information Dutch Mary gave to the FBI agents, Moran did short stints in jails.
In 1940 Moran applied for early release from jail due to his failing health. His longtime lieutenant, Johnny Wittig, asked Moran for help getting him an early release. Moran did not help him.
In 1945, Moran was at his betting house in the back room of a confection store located in the 500 block of Penn Street and was shot four times at point-blank range by his longtime lieutenant, Johnny Wittig. Tony Moran was 42 years old.
Wittig was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 10-20 years in jail. He received an early release on December 20, 1951.
Moran’s wife Fannie died in 1997 in El Paso, TX. They had one daughter, Frances N. Cremer who lives in Texas.
Tony is buried at the Charles Evans Cemetery which is located at: 1119 Centre Ave, Reading, PA 19601.