Sonny (Santino) is the most impulsive and violent of Vito's children and, before Michael's rise to power, the most involved in the Corleone crime family. Sonny is not without a softer side, however; at the age of 11, he meets a homeless boy, Tom Hagen, who thereafter lives with the family. He also acts as a protector to his younger siblings, especially Connie.
The normal course of events in Sonnys life is upturned when Virgil 'The Turk' Sollozzo comes to Don Vito with an offer of entering the drug business, backed by the Tattaglia family. Vito rejects the deal, although Sonny shows slight interest. Sollozzo makes an assassination attempt on Vito, in hopes that Sonny will take over the Family and go into the drug business.
attempt fails but leaves Vito near death, although he eventually recovers.
Sonny, now acting as the Corleone Family's Don, prepares for an all-out war
against the Tattaglias and Sollozzo. Michael, who had previously distanced
himself from the family's criminal enterprise, volunteers to kill Sollozzo
and his ally, police Captain McCluskey. Sonny is initially against the idea,
but Michael talks him into it. Michael kills Sollozzo and McClusky, and is
sent immediately to Sicily to wait out the inevitable crackdown on the Five
Families. Bruno Tattaglia, Don Philip Tattaglia's son, is also killed in his
in the original Godfather and in its sequel, The Godfather Part II. In the
latter film, he briefly appears in a flashback scene portraying the family
dinner in which Michael announces he is volunteering to fight in World War
II. He is angered by Michael's decision, and he berates his brother for
risking his life "for a bunch of strangers." The flashback reveals that
Sonny introduced Carlo to Connie and the rest of the family, hence their
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