John Joseph Gotti, Jr. was an American mafia and the head of one of the most powerful American mafia families - Gambino. He was constantly involved with murders, conspiracy to commit murders, loan sharking, heroin dealing, racketeering, obstruction of justice, illegal gambling, committing underground crimes, tax evasion, etc. Gotti was born in a poor family of many siblings in New York and therefore turned to petty crimes from a very young age. As he grew up and made more contacts in the underworld, he became one of the proteges of Gambino family and after leading a series of organized crimes, he was made the head of the family. He was soon known for his outspoken and ostentatious persona all over America. He was also the hot topic amongst the American journalists and was known by the names of ‘The Drapper Don’ for his expensive suits and vanity and ‘The Teflon Don’ as no legal charge ever seemed to have stuck to him for a long time. But he was finally convicted in 1992 on the grounds of racketeering and murder and was sentenced to life in prison, where he died of throat cancer 10 years later.
- John Gotti was born in the South Bronx, New York, to Fannie and J. Joseph Gotti. He was the fifth out of the 13 children in the family and his father used to support such a big family with his meager salary from his day labor’s job.Gotti, at the age of 12, was working as a chore boy in an underground club which was run by the head of the local largest organized crime family, Gambino, Carmine Fatico. He met with Aniello Dellacroce there, who became his mentor later.With the influence of the Gambino family, Gotti became the captain of the ‘Fulton-Rockaway’ gang. He used to get involved in robberies and car-jackings. Gotti went to Franklin K. Lane High School but he dropped out of school at 16.By the time he was 18, Gotti associated with the Fatico gang. Although, he tried to stay crime free and worked as a presser in the coat factory and as an assistant truck driver for some time but he soon got back to crime.Career
- Gotti became involved in a full-fledged criminal career right after he was linked with Carmine Fatico. He and with his two brothers, Gene and Ruggiero, started carrying out truck hijackings at John F. Kennedy International Airport.In 1968, he was arrested by the FBI for the ‘United hijacking’. Even when he was out on bail, he was again arrested for hijacking on the New Jersey Turnpike. In the same year, he spent around 3 years at Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary.He and his brother Ruggiero started working at the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club, under Fatico. Gotti started managing Bergin’s illicit gambling. He was soon made the acting capo of the Bergin Crew in 1972.In 1973, Gotti was arrested for killing the Irish-American gangster James McBratney along with a team assigned to him by Carlo Gambino, for killing his nephew Emanuel Gambino. He received a 4 year sentence.After his release, Gotti was made the capo of the Bergin Crew and was initiated in the Gambino family in 1977. He was considered to be Dellacroce’s prot�g�. Alongside, Gotti also practiced loan sharking and financed drug deals.In 1980, his youngest son Frank was killed in a minibike accident by a neighbor called John Favara. Although, he apologized to Gottis but he was abducted and presumably killed. It was believed he was murdered by Gotti.He got into a squabble with a refrigerator mechanic Romual Piecyk and later Gotti was charged by the police with assault and robbery in 1984. He was also prosecuted along with Dellacroce in a racketeering case.Around the same time, after Castellano’s arrest, Gotti was made the acting boss of the Gambino family. Gotti was interested in overthrowing Castellano for good because he thought of him as greedy and way too authoritative.In 1985, Dellacroce died of cancer and Castellano made Thomas Gambino as the sole acting boss and Thomas Bilotti as the underboss. Gotti started conspiring to kill him. Castellano was killed under Gotti’s command in 1985.Gotti was officially appointed as the new head of the Gambino family in 1986. He appointed DeCicco as his new underboss. Gambino family was considered as the most powerful American mafia family under his command.In 1985, Gotti was put in the jail after his bail was revoked owing to evidences of him being involved in intimidation in the Piecyk case. He promoted Joseph Armone as the underboss in his absence.In 1987, Gotti was cleared off all the charges and his codefendants were also released. This is the reason why he was called ‘The Teflon Don’ by the American media as none of the legal charges ever ‘stuck’ with him.In 1992, after FBI changed the conviction of Gotti into an organizational crime campaign, he was arrested for murder and racketeering when his new underboss Sammy Gravano testified against him.He was sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to federal prison in Marion, Illinois. There was no possibility of parole for him this time. He made his eldest son John Gotti, Jr. as the acting boss, who pleaded guilty in 1999.Gotti remained in the jail until 2002 and faced assault there at the hands of Walter Johnson, a fellow inmate. He was also subjected to solitary confinement and was allowed out of his cell only for an hour daily. He died of cancer there.Personal Life & Legacy
- Gotti got married to Victoria DiGiorgio in 1962, after the birth of their first daughter ‘Angel’. They had four more children together: Victoria, John, Frank and Peter. Frank died in an accident when he was only 12.He died in 2002 at the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, Springfield, Missouri, of throat cancer. His funeral took place in a non-church facility and he was buried alongside his son Frank’s grave.Trivia
- Many motion pictures have been made on Gotti and his life. Some of these are: ‘Getting Gotti’, ‘Gotti’, ‘Witness to the Mob’, ‘Boss of Bosses’, ‘Gotti: in the shadow of my father’, ‘Mafia’s Greatest Hits’, ‘Sinatra Club’, etc.The American press constantly depicted him as a ruthless mobster and therefore this mafia don used to try and keep a normal public image to play down press and also used to offer coffee to FBI agents sent to handle his case.He used to earn an annual income of approximately 5 million US dollars when he was the head of the Gambino family and the family was estimated to earn around 500 million US dollars under his command.
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