Peter Licavoli was born on 7th June, 1902. His parents were from Sicily. The family settled in St. Louis. He eventually became involved in organized crime and became a significant figure in supplying illegal alcohol. In 1932 he was sentenced to two years in prison for bribing a federal agent.
Licavoli was rumoured to have taken part in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. An effective contract killer, in 1935 Licavoli is believed to have killed Jerry Buckly, a journalist investigating organized crime. Other victims included Milton Jones from St. Louis and Jackie Kennedy, a leading crime figure in Toledo. Licavoli moved to Detroit and supplied men to Henry Ford to help him break strikes during the 1930s.
After the Second World War Licavoli was one of the five ruling Dons of Detroit. Between them they controlled several casinos, racetracks and hotels. He also owned Grace Ranch where he bred racehorses.
Chauncey Holt claimed that Licavoli was involved in organizing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Holt suggest that the gunman, including Charlie Nicoletti met at Licavoli's Grace Ranch on the way to Dallas.
In 1976 Licavoli was convicted of buying a stolen 16th century painting. He eventually served a 13 month sentence for the crime.
Peter Licavoli died of a heart attack in Tucson, Arizona on 11th January, 1984.