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Don Salvatore Leone is a major antagonist in the Grand Theft Auto series, serving as the secondary antagonist of Grand Theft Auto III, a minor antagonist in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and the deuteragonist of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.
He is an old Italian mobster settled on America, whose criminal family proves dominant during the 1990s and early 2000s. He is the husband of Maria Latore and the father of Joey Leone. Throughout his appearances, Salvatore meets different protagonists like Carl Johnson, Toni Cipriani and Claude, and they assist him in gaining more power or even betraying him.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (1992)
He is the Don of the Leone family of the Liberty City Mafia. He eliminated the influence of the other families, the Sindacco family and the Forelli family, in Las Venturas, with the help of CJ, in order for Salvatore to assume a larger share of Caligula's Palace in Las Venturas. However, he is betrayed when CJ and the San Fierro Triads stage an elaborate heist and rob Caligula's Casino for millions of dollars, prompting an irate phone call to CJ shortly after the mission, in which Salvatore says "I'm going to f**k you, your brother and your sister, and your whole family!". This event is believed to have led to his much noted paranoia in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (GTA: LCS) and GTA III, and his eventual assassination in the latter.
Salvatore promised to make CJ "dead, you all dead" but nothing came of his threat, probably because he didn't want to make a bad situation worse by letting people know how easy it was that he got robbed, which means he has strong vanity, which is also true in GTA III, when he ordered the death of Claude after learning he and Maria were an item.
In addition, it was during San Andreas that Salvatore was introduced to Maria, who worked as a waitress in Caligula's Palace at the time.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (1998)
He is Toni Cipriani's main employer and gives Toni the most missions in the game. 63 years later in 1998, Salvatore Leone is leading the Leone family in an ongoing war for Mafia dominance against the Forelli family and the Sindacco family. Paranoid and violent, Salvatore trusts very few people, which may be attributed to Carl Johnson's betrayal in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which led to Salvatore's casino being robbed of millions of dollars.
Salvatore has many problems in this game: a striking union, a mayor that seems to have it out for him, and even the Sicilian Mafia, who have seemingly arrived to calm the Three Families down, but have really come to take over Liberty City for themselves. On top of all of this, the smaller gangs of the city have stepped up and have begun fighting for control of their turf (most Leone turf in the game belongs to other gangs in GTA III). Through all of this, Salvatore is able to trust Toni, who does anything the Don asks. Salvatore eventually decides to "make" Toni, and even appoint him as his Caporegime (a position that Toni still has in GTA III).
Not everything goes the way the Leone family would wish, however. The Mayor of Liberty City, Roger C. Hole, is on the payroll of the Forelli family, and is making life difficult for Salvatore. After Toni assassinates the mayor in Belleville Park during the Mayor's morning jog, Salvatore knows of a friend who the people like and has the potential to be elected as the new Mayor, namely Donald Love. With Donald Love in office, the Leone family can control the city. However, the public learns of Love's connection with the Leone family, so he loses the election to Miles O'Donovan (who is mayor in GTA III).
The Gang War of 1998 comes to a peak when Salvatore is jailed. He blames the Sindaccos and Forelli Families of snitching to the FBI. He demands that Don Paulie Sindacco be killed. When Toni does this for Salvatore, the Leone family have gained much power in the city. Salvatore is released on bail, and is optimistic that the charges on him will be dropped by Mayor O'Donovan. Massimo Torini - the Caporegime of the Sicilian Mafia that is intending to take over - kidnaps the Mayor to stop this, but Salvatore and Toni kill Torini and rescue O'Donovan. Salvatore tells O'Donovan that since they saved his life, he owes the Leone family. O'Donovan agrees, and with the mayor's office in their hands, the Leone family become the main Mafia family in Liberty City.
Salvatore never fully trusts most people, and believes that he should betray others before they have the chance to betray him, even if they have no intention of doing so. This may be due to Carl Johnson's betrayal of him in GTA San Andreas. His paranoia persists in Grand Theft Auto III, which leads to his betrayal and attempted assassination of Claude, who survives and kills Salvatore in return.
Grand Theft Auto III
In 2001, Salvatore is introduced to Claude when he called a meeting with Joey Leone, Toni Cipriani and Luigi Goterelli. Early missions instruct Claude to investigate the activities of Curly Bob, who appeared to be leaking information about the Leone family's activities to the Colombian Cartel and, if found guilty, to kill him. Claude is later tasked to destroy a tanker ship that is a drug factory for the Cartel.
Salvatore is portrayed as increasingly paranoid and suspicious of everyone around him. After Claude has destroyed the Colombian Cartel's SPANK factory ship, with the help of 8-Ball under his orders, he betrays and attempts to kill Claude with a trap, trying to establish a deal with the Colombian Cartel. Maria warns Claude of the car bomb and he avoids death. Maria reveals she had told Salvatore that she and Claude were an item which was another reason for Salvatore to kill them both. Maria and Claude leave Portland with Asuka Kasen to go to Staunton Island, after which Salvatore is killed by Claude after leaving Luigi's club, as instructed by Asuka Kasen to prove that Claude has finally broken ties with the Leone family.
Salvatore has an unnamed brother, whom he claimed "the police associate Salvatore with.".
- He is based in the real-life crime lords, Frank Costello and Al Capone.
- Jimmy Pegorino, the secondary antagonist of Grand Theft Auto IV, is based on Leone.
- His original name in the BETA of GTA III would be Frankie Sorvino.