John Joseph Gotti, Jr (October 27, 1940 – June 10, 2002) was an American mobster who became the Boss of the Gambino crime family in New York City. Gotti grew up in poverty. He and his brothers turned to a life of crime at an early age. Operating out of the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens, Gotti quickly rose in prominence, becoming one of the crime family's biggest earners and a protege of Gambino family underboss Aniello Dellacroce.
After the FBI indicted members of Gotti's crew for selling narcotics, Gotti took advantage of growing dissent over the leadership of the crime family. Fearing that his men and himself would be killed by Gambino crime family Boss Paul Castellano for selling drugs, Gotti organized the murder of Castellano in December 1985 and took over the family shortly thereafter. This left Gotti as the boss of the most powerful crime family in America, which made hundreds of millions of dollars a year from construction, hijacking, loan sharking, gambling, extortion and other criminal activities. Gotti was the most powerful crime boss during his era and became widely known for his outspoken personality and flamboyant style, which eventually helped lead to his downfall. While his peers would go out of their way to shun attention, especially from the media, Gotti was known as the "The Dapper Don" for his expensive clothes and personality in front of news cameras. He was later given the nickname "The Teflon Don" because several attempts to convict him of crimes in the 1980 resulted in either a hung jury or an acquittal (i.e. the charges wouldn't "stick").
Gotti's underboss Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano is credited with the FBI's success in finally convicting Gotti. In 1991, Gravano agreed to turn state's evidence and testify for the prosecution against Gotti after hearing Gotti on wiretap make several disparaging remarks about Gravano and questioning his loyalty. In 1992, Gotti was convicted of five murders, conspiracy to commit murder, racketeering, obstruction of justice, illegal gambling, extortion, tax evasion, and loansharking. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole and was transferred to United States Penitentiary, Marion. Gotti died of throat cancer on June 10, 2002 at the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri.