Thomas "Tommy Ryan" Eboli took his name from a boxer of the early 20th century. His brother was known as "Patsy Ryan". Tommy came up as a bootlegger in the 1920s and 1930s. He made the acquaintance of Anthony "Tony Bender" Strollo while living in Greenwich Village. Strollo brought Eboli along in the Genovese family. His opportunity to lead the Genovese criminal empire came with Vito Genovese's 1959 imprisonment for narcotics. Tommy Ryan was joined by two other Genovese leaders, i.e. Gerardo "Jerry" Catena and Michelle "Big Mike" Miranda as caretakers of the Genovese group.