May 18, 1939 – May 23, 1992
Falcone was posthumously awarded the “Medaglia d’oro al valor civile” (Gold medal for civil valor) in late 1992 for his efforts against the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, otherwise known as the Mafia. Falcone worked vigorously to see that Mafia members were put behind bars throughout his career as a magistrate.
Falcone was part of an anti-Mafia group, comprised of magistrates that included Paolo Borsellino, Giuseppe Di Lello and Leonardo Guarnotta. The idea behind the group was that the Mafia could not target one person for the charge against them.
In 1986 and 1987, Falcone presided over the “Maxi Trial” of 475 alleged Mafiosi in Palermo. The case drew international attention to the Mafia, something they did not want. The end result (excluding the numerous token incarcerations) was that Mafia kingpin Michele Greco was finally convicted.
Giovanni Falcone and his wife were killed by the Mafia in a road side bomb that destroyed much of the road. Falcone knew he was facing an almost impossible task, one that still remains today, but he stood firm in the belief that a change, no matter how small was important for the people of Italy. “He who is silent and bows his head dies every time he does so. He who speaks aloud and walks with his head held high dies only once.”