The Dapper John Gotti Is Born - 10/27/1940

US History |

Today in 1940, John Joseph Gotti, Jr., the future leader of the Gambino crime family and a man that will later be nicknamed "the Dapper Don" because of his cleaned appearance and costly suits, is conceived in the Bronx, New York. Gotti was the grandson of an Italian migrants, he was brought up in a poor family with 13 siblings. While growing up, he ran errands for thugs in his neighborhood, and later joined a group called the Fulton-Rockaway Boys and abandon school at age 16. He was arrested for a series of minor crimes, yet, was able to escape prison until 1968, when he was arrested for stealing trucks near New York's Kennedy International Airport (called Idlewild Airport before it was later changed). He served three years in jail. 

Six years later, he was arrested for the reprisal killing of a man who had abducted and executed the nephew of the mafia family boss Carlo Gambino. Gotti was sentenced to four years; nevertheless, because of his influence with jail authorities, he was secretly granted permission to visit his family and partners. In 1977, after he was set free, Gotti was promoted to commander in the Bergin team of the Gambino family, the country's greatest and most capable sorted out crime group. After accumulating much power, in December 1985, Gotti snatched control of the Gambino family after he ordered the killing of the then-leader Paul Castellano outside a Manhattan steak house.

The government, after successfully wiretapping Gotti and his partners, sufficiently gathered proof to prosecute him on federal racketeering charges in 1985. Subsequently, the trial, in 1986, brought about an absolution for Gotti, who the media named "the Teflon Don" for his ability to maintain a strategic distance from been convicted. However, the leader of the jury was later sentenced to prison for collecting an expansive reward to vote in favor of the crime lord's vindication.

As leader of the Gambino family, Gotti's bragging and vivid style made him press favorite and he made huge amount of money from criminal exercises, at the same time asserting to be a dedicated businessman. Government wiretaps exposed that behind the conspicuous open picture, he was a heartless figure who would not tolerate insult from anybody. 

In December 1990, Gotti and a few of his co-horts were arrested for several charges at the Ravenite Social Club in Little City neighborhood, New York. A gangster by the name Gravano or "Sammy the Bull" as popularly called cut a deal with the government to testify against his boss in April 1992. The jury found Gotti responsible of 13 count charges, including homicide and racketeering. He was sent to the U.S. Prison at Marion, Illinois, where he was locked in a cell for 23 hours a day. 

Goti died of throat cancer on June 10, 2002, at the age of 61 in a medical center for Gotti government detainees in Springfield, Missouri.

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Meaghan Thomson

Senior Writer

Meaghan received her BS in Political Science from San Francisco State University. She has been a vital team member in our growth and now leads a team of writers in creating stories that will engage and keep our readers coming back. She is the first one in and last one out which gives her time to finish her tasks and be available to help her team.