Thomas "Tom" Feargal Hagen
is a fictional character
in the Godfather
books and films. He was portrayed by Robert Duvall
in the films. He is the informally adopted
son of Don Vito Corleone
and serves as the family lawyer
(legal advisor). Mild-mannered and soft-spoken, he often serves as a voice of reason within the family. The novel and first film establish that he is of German
Hagen is introduced as an unofficial but important part of the Corleone family
. As a child he grew up in a broken family, the son of an abusive alcoholic
. Hagen is saved by Sonny Corleone
, who finds him on the street and takes him in to live with the Corleone family. Vito Corleone
becomes a surrogate father to Hagen, but does not officially adopt him out of respect for the boy's father.
In the novel, Hagen offers to work for Vito after going through law school, knowing full well that he is not merely a successful olive oil importer, but the most powerful Mafia chief in the nation. Vito is more than willing to take Hagen into his employ, telling him that lawyers can steal more than a phalanx of gangsters. Hagen marries an Italian, Theresa, and has two sons, Frank and Andrew.
After longtime consigliere Genco Abbandando
comes down with a terminal illness, Tom becomes acting consigliere,
succeeding to the post formally after Genco's death. Vito is initially reluctant to give Tom the post full-time, considering that he is not Italian.