John Gotti, one of the kings of the underworld, has been dead for over two decades, Netflix has come up it’s latest crime documentary series “Get Gotti” on October 24, 2023.
Similar to Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel, John Dillinger, and Lucky Luciano, John Gotti was one of the most notorious and ruthless personalities in organized crime history between 1980 and 1990.
In the 1980s, Gotti became a celebrity because he eschewed the usual low-profile mob tradition, as he courted a media that wanted to make him a celebrity. Time magazine commissioned Andy Warhol, an American visual artist, film director, and producer, to portray John Gotti on their cover.
Who Was John Gotti? The Rise of “Teflon Don”
John Gotti was one of the most powerful and surveilled personalities in New York. He was involved in the murder of ‘Boss of Bosses’ Paul Castellano. Soon Gotti became the head of America’s most powerful crime syndicate in history – the Gambino family.
John was born in the Bronx, New York City, on 27th October 1940. However, his family was moved from San Giuseppe Vesuviano, Naples, Italy. Gotti skipped his school and studies and joined street gangs before working with the Mafia-associated Fulton-Rockaway Boys gang in New York. He was married to Victoria DiGiorgio in 1962.
Gotti was one of the members of the most feared Gambino family along with his three brothers Gene, Peter, and Richard.
In the early days, they used to rob trucks along with Thomas DeSimone. It became the inspiration for Martin Scorsese’s classic, “Goodfellas.” In 1985, he architected the murder of the head of the Gambino family, Paul Castellano, and replaced him as the boss.
During his tenure, he was arrested and charged with various crimes but was freed. He became infamous when he was charged with three consecutive court cases. During this time, he earned the nickname “Teflon Don” or “The Dapper Don”.
The Fall of John Gotti:
In 1991, Salvatore ‘Sammy the Bull’ Gravano heard Gotti had expressed derogatory remarks about him to the FBI and it resulted in several murders. Gravano agreed to give incriminating evidence and testify against Gotti in court.
In 1992, Gotti was convicted of five murders, conspiracy, racketeering, obstruction of justice, tax evasion, illegal gambling, extortion, and loansharking, and was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
Following his transfer to the United States Penitentiary, Marion, John Gotti was diagnosed with throat cancer (1998) and he died at the age of 61. His death marks the end of the mafia era in the USA.
John Gotti used to wear $2,000 bespoke suits and the media presented him as a superstar although he was a stone-cold killer. Since 1990, he has been portrayed in six TV movies, two documentary series, and three films.