Sonny Grosso
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Sonny Grosso was a New York City detective whose take down of a major heroin trafficking ring was the basis for the acclaimed 1971 film “The French Connection.” In 1961, Grosso and other detectives broke up the heroin ring in 1961 and seized a record amount of the drug at the time. Grosso and Egan were technical advisors on the movie which featured Roy Schneider and Gene Hackman playing characters based on them and had small roles as well. Grosso retired from the NYPD in 1976 and became a producer on shows including “Kojak.”

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Published in The Gazette on Jan. 23, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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43 entries
August 17, 2020
Dear Grosso family,
Sorry to hear of Sonny's passing. Many years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Sonny and Tony Lo Bianco at a diner on the Upper West Side. I introduced myself and told them that my uncle was a professional boxer who lived in Brooklyn and they remembered him boxing at Madison Square Garden in the late 50's and early 60's. Sonny and Tony both made me feel like we were all from the same family. I'll cherish that moment forever. Thanks for the memories. Peace and God Bless.
Louis Fumerelle
Friend
July 21, 2020
(L-R) Christopher De Stefano, Sonny Grosso, John De Stefano at Sonnys office.
Christopher De Stefano
Family
July 21, 2020
(L-R) Edwin Torres, Christina Kraus, Christopher De Stefano, John De Stefano, WWendy Van Patten-Rossenmeyer, Sonny Grosso, Timothy Van Patten having dinner with family and friends at RAOs.
Christopher De Stefano
Family
July 21, 2020
(L-R) Christopher De Stefano, Wendy Van Paten-Rossenmeyer, John De Stefano, Sonny Grosso, Timothy Van Patten, Edwin Torres outside RAOs restaurant.
Christopher De Stefano
Family
July 21, 2020
Uncle Sonny was a man who would always take my calls, wanted to know what I was up to with my creative writings, gave advice about the movie biz, and would see me if I just so happened to be in the neighborhood of Manhattan for either work, vacation, and/or family business. It was also years since my father and Sonny had seen each other. I arranged for both of them to see one another at Sonnys office in Manhattan at 767 Third Avenue. The last time my father saw Sonny with Uncle Michael was in the late-1960s just before he moved his family to Florida. Sonny was a many full of stories and liked to talk about The French Connection, The Godfather, The Seven-Up, Cruising, his early days on the force with Eddie Popeye Egan, on-set with William Friedkin and working with his good friend, Al Pacino every time we converse. Sonny always liked to show me his Police I.D. card every time from the 1970s to show me how much Al Pacino looked a lot like him. We had dinner at his favorite restaurant RAOs in East Harlem right around the corner from where my father and Sonny grew up. That was the last time my father and I saw Sonny. He was a wonderful man with his story-telling and generosity. I know that Uncle Michael, Aunt Gloria, and your partner Eddie will be greeting you up there in Heaven. You are one-of-a-kind. God Bless.
Christopher De Stefano
Family
July 4, 2020
When I was a child, I begged my parents to see the films The French Connection and The Seven-Ups. From that point forward, I wanted to be a member of the NYPD. In 1987 I was sworn in as a member of America's greatest police department. Around 2004 on a whim, my partner and I showed up unannounced to Sonny's office in midtown Manhattan. I explained because of his films, I became an NYPD detective, and I was forever grateful. Sonny was gracious, taking the time to chat with my partner and I for over an hour. Sonny was a great man, and I'm so glad I got the opportunity to meet him. Rest in peace, my friend.

John Mcnally
NYPD Retired
John McNally
Friend
June 21, 2020
My family lived at 505 west 135 St. New York City. Sonny's family were neighbors in the same building and I babysat for his sister's kids in the 1950's. Sorry to hear of his passing, RIP Bill Harmon
Bill Harmon
Neighbor
May 10, 2020
I am retired from the NYPD since December, 2007 . As a kid , I watched The French Connection and The Seven Ups, as well as read Murder At A Harlem Mosque . Sonny is the reason I wanted to be a cop. I finally had a chance to meet Sonny in 2001 . I was working in the 13th Pct Anti-Crime Unit. My Sargent was Sgt Daniel Lafferty . We were attending the retirement party of Danny's Father, and NYPD legend , Det. 1st Grade John Lafferty . Danny grew up around Sonny because of his Father . Danny went up to Sonny and said , "Sonny , you see that big guy ? He became a cop because of you ." Danny brought Sonny over to me and introduced me to Sonny . Sonny was gracious and warm hearted . We spoke at length and I took a picture with Sonny which is like gold to me . I towered over Sonny , but he was larger than life to me . It was a favorite moment of my career . May God rest his soul and assuage the anguish of his family's bereavement. I will see you on the other side , my Warrior Brother.... P.O. Richard Mangogna, NYPD Retired, Midtown South Anti-Crime Unit, 13th Pct Anti-Crime Unit, South Bronx Narcotics
Richard Mangogna
April 7, 2020
I met Sonny through a mutual friend who i was working for that owned a syndication company. When I was introduced to him and He was told I was Retired NYPD Det. Sonny told me sit down we Spoke for over an hour.. He then asked me if I had plans that night,, I told him no, he said good,, be at Raos at 8 clock. That was my first of many times at Raos and his annual dinners at Puglias restaurant.
He was from my fathers time on the job..I was lucky and happy to see Sonny for last time at Raos few months before his passing.. Sonny was such a humble and Unpretentious person.. Of all Sonny many accomplishments he was most proud of being Det.1st Grade.
Kris,, my condolences.. Until we meet again my friend...

Kevin Iversen
Kevin Iversen
Friend
March 11, 2020
We will all miss you around New England Mr. G. I will personally have a shot of Bailey's for you on St. Patrick's Day ! God Bless !. And look over your Lady ! She needs you to !!!! Much Love Keith G.
Keith Goldstein
Friend
March 6, 2020
I met Sonny in 2003, during my first ever visit to New York City. I was alone in his office and he came in and shut the lights out so I could appreciate the skyline. He called me weeks later and encouraged me to write. He was so kind. I was just a nobody from a small town in NH, but Sonny treated me like a princess. I wish he was still here so I could tell him Infinally wrote the book he wanted me to write years ago. Rest In Peace, Sonny!
Andrea LaRochelle
Friend
January 28, 2020
May peace and comfort the Gross family surround during this most difficult as you hold tightly to God's strong hands.
January 27, 2020
Extending my deepest sympathy to the Grosso family what a dedicated and hard working man may you be comforted in knowing that those who passed in death God keeps in his memory
January 27, 2020
My sincere condolences to Sonny's family and friends. As you comfort each other know that God is there to comfort all of you.
January 27, 2020
Thank you for your inspiring life. May mercy and compassion be with the family.
Nette
January 26, 2020
Sorry for the sad news of the loss to the Grosso family. May God comfort your broken hearts in this time of sorrow.
January 26, 2020
My heart wept when I heard about Sonny. I worked with him and his partner Eddy Egan on "The French Connection" when I was hired to do the stunt job as the "Woman with the Baby Carriage" in the famous chase scene and later on the DVD Documentary, "The Making of "The French Connection" Even though I was much younger, he always called me "Pretty Grandma"...which was endearing. Plus, my ex and I had some jolly times with him at Raos. My deepest condolences to the family. RIP dear Sonny.
Lora Mitchell
Friend
January 25, 2020
Thanks for doing REAL detective work. It wasn't about the shield and title for you. Work, service, dedication. Local P.D.s, take note!
Deepest and warmest regards to the family.
Chris
January 25, 2020
ty for the good times at manducatis
augie Prudenti
January 25, 2020
augie prudenti
Acquaintance
January 25, 2020
It's hard to believe...I had met Sonny and Chris in NY through our common friend Leonardo back in 2002. I had just came to live and perform in the USA. He was a kind, honest man. All my love and prayers to Chris and family. May his memory be a blessing. Ciao Sonny!
Anna Maria Soprano
Friend
January 25, 2020
What a gift he had. Truly an amazing man. We pray that God continues to strengthen and comfort the family during this extremely difficult time.
January 25, 2020
You done good! Thanks!
Susan McCaskill
January 24, 2020
We need more hard working men like mr.grosso my sincerest condolences to the family and friends of mr grosso ,my the father of tender mercies you his peace.
January 24, 2020
RIP Mr. Grasso, with all the wonderful messages to you, it reads you were an inspiration to so many people, and loved by all of them. Also, from one Italian to another, I wish I knew you. May your way to Heaven light up the sky. You are now with our
Lord.
January 24, 2020
Deepest condolences to the entire Grosso family. Spent many days filled with fun with Gloria and her family. Mr. Grosso always made us laugh.
Will always have great memories of our Leverich Street friends❤
May the good Lord give all of you strength during this sad time. Xoxo
Cathy (Sacco) & Bob Stanton
Cathy Stanton
January 24, 2020
With heartfelt sympathy to the Grosso family from your former neighbors, the Sacco family
Fran Selig
January 24, 2020
My former boss - a brilliant story-teller who led a rich and rewarding life. He was my teacher, mentor, inspiration. Rest in peace, Sonny. Heartfelt condolences to Chris- an angel.
paula rosenthal
January 24, 2020
Rest In Peace and thank you for succeeding in your dangerous police work.
Forever grateful.
Larry Loughner
January 24, 2020
My deepest sympathy to Chris. My prayers are with you. Sonny was a champion and Im so grateful for for his guidance with the Michael Amante concert at St. Lucys and have great memories of his annual Birthday celebrations for his Mom. He will be missed but never forgotten. Love,Susan
Cavaliere Susan LaMorte
Friend
January 24, 2020
Sending Deepest condolences to Sonny from the Pasqualino Family, Vince passed last year and Vince was Boyhood Friends who grew up together in New York. So sorry to hear and may they meet in heaven
David/Gloria Pasqualino
Friend
January 24, 2020
My condolences to the Grosso Family from the Egan Family . May he rest in peace .
Kerry Egan
January 24, 2020
I met Sonny when I was working for Michael Collyer. It was instant adoration. He was absolutely my kind of wise guy, creative, funny, and a kidder. I was with Michael for over 10 years and our offices were opposite Sonny's bldg. and Sonny could see Michael and I in our office so I couldn't BS him (smile). I worked on so many of his projects along with Larry Jacobson and Lena Saban. His tradition of a party every year at Puglia's in Little Italy at the end of the Feast of St. Gennaro was a blast and crowds of people would stand around and be amazed at the folks famous, and not, gather for the food and opera singing. Sonny was a standup guy and although I haven't seen him since Michael Collyer's passing, I send my prayers and condolences to Chris Krauss and the entire Grosso family. May in RIP and may you be comforted with the best of memories. Laura Adler (NYC)
Laura Adler
Coworker
January 24, 2020
My Condolences.
January 24, 2020
So saddened for your loss. Sending prayers and words of comfort to the family of Mr. Sonny Grosso. Please accept my sincere condolences.
JE Sowell
January 24, 2020
To my uncle and friend. Thank you for sharing your life with us.Say hello to my dad and uncle mike. Love butch
Sal Vetrano
Family
January 24, 2020
My sincere condolences to the family. May your hearts be filled with the precious memories of your dear loved one, today, tomorrow and always.
A neighbor
January 24, 2020
In loving memory of a wonderful person. May God bless you.
Linda Vetti
Friend
January 23, 2020
So sorry. He was a great man and I am so grateful I had the chance to meet and speak to him several times.
Karole Canavesio-Lechowski
Family
January 23, 2020
Sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Grosso. May the God of all comfort sustain you in this difficult time...

January 23, 2020
To my friend Sonny. Thank you for being who you are. It has been an honor to have known you and be a friend. To your family my condolences and to crissy im so sorry. Thank you for always being by his side. RIP. Sonny say hello to Sal
Raymond Bermudez
Friend
January 23, 2020
Godspeed Sonny. Well done, Sonny. Well done.
Harry Simpson
January 23, 2020
My deepest sympathy to the Grosso family. I have only the kindest and fondest memories of mom and dad and all the "kids" during my years in Uniondale. RIP paterfamilias Sonny Grosso.
Frank Chiachiere
Friend
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