HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Sixty years after he was murdered in his Yonkers' apartment, former International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 456 President John "Little Caesar" Acropolis was honored at his grave Monday morning.
More than two dozen members of the Elmsford-based union made the annual vigil to Mount Hope Cemetery, but members said they did not wish to comment and asked that photos not be taken at the tribute.
Acropolis, a Greek-American orphan with a Colgate University education, gained power in the Teamsters Union in the 1940s when he helped grow the union into a viable force in Westchester County.
Raised in the Leake & Watts Home in Yonkers and later adopted by two Yonkers school teachers at age 14, Acropolis was a top student/athlete at Yonkers High School and an All-American basketball player at Colgate.
While home from college during summer breaks, Acropolis worked as a truck driver and began to take an interest in helping to grow Local 456. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and came home to work with the Teamsters.
He served as president of Local 456 from 1946 until Aug. 26, 1952 when he was found murdered in his apartment, the result of two bullets to the back of his head. After becoming president of Local 456, Acropolis allegedly challenged the Genovese crime family regarding its control of certain garbage carting contracts in the suburbs of New
York City. The case has never been solved.