Peter Gotti

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Peter Gotti
Born (1939-10-15) October 15, 1939 (age 80)
Other names"One Eyed Pete", "Petey Boy", "One Eye", "Dumbest Don"
OccupationCrime boss
Catherine Gotti
(m. 1960; div. 2006)
AllegianceGambino crime family
Conviction(s)Extortion, money laundering, racketeering
Criminal penalty25 years' imprisonment (2005)

Peter Arthur Gotti (born October 15, 1939) is an American New York mobster who is the former boss of the Gambino crime family and the older brother of deceased Gambino boss John J. Gotti.[1]

Early life[edit]

Peter Gotti was born to John and Fannie Gotti. Peter's brothers included John J. Gotti, capo Gene Gotti, capo Richard V. Gotti, and soldier Vincent Gotti. The brothers grew up in East New York, Brooklyn[2]. Peter is the father of Peter Gotti Jr. together with his then-wife Catherine. Peter's nickname "One Eye" derives from blindness from glaucoma in one eye.[3] In Goombata by John Cummings and Ernest Volkman, they say that as a young boy, Peter was openly called "a complete retard."

Around 1960, at age 21, Peter Gotti started working as an associate for the Gambino family. In 1988, at age 49, the family inducted Peter Gotti as a full member, or made man.[4] John J. Gotti did not believe his brother Peter had the ability to belong to the Mafia, which may have led to Peter's reputation as "the Dumbest Don." John J. Gotti designated Peter as caretaker of the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club, and as a driver for John and Gene. By 1989, Peter was promoted to capo.[5]

Like his father, Peter Gotti had a legitimate job as a sanitation worker for the New York City Department of Sanitation. Peter eventually retired from the Sanitation Department with a disability pension after injuring his head against the back end of a garbage truck.[1]

Rise to leadership[edit]

In April 1992, his brother, John J. Gotti, received a life sentence for racketeering and related offenses.[6][7] His brother asserted his prerogative to retain his title as boss until his death or retirement, with his son John A. Gotti and Peter relaying orders on his behalf.[8] Federal prosecutors say Peter, became head of the Gambino organization after Gotti Jr. was sent to prison in 1999,[9][1] and is believed to have formally succeeded his brother shortly before Gotti Sr.'s death in June 2002.[10]

Conviction and prison[edit]

In June 2002, a few days before his brother John's death, Peter Gotti was indicted on federal racketeering charges. During Peter Gotti's trial, federal prosecutors released information revealing that Peter was having an affair with Marjorie Alexander, a longtime girlfriend. Alexander then publicly acknowledged the liaison and declared her love for Peter. In response, Peter berated Alexander for causing the publicity and broke off all contact with her.[1] Alexander later committed suicide in 2004.[11] During this time Catherine Gotti, Peter's wife of 42 years, filed for divorce, which was finalized in 2006.[11]

In 2003, Peter Gotti was convicted of extortion and money laundering activities centered on the Brooklyn and Staten Island waterfronts, and for the attempted extortion of film actor Steven Seagal. Judge Frederic Block of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York also sentenced Gotti to 9 years and 4 months in prison on April 15, 2004 for the money laundering and racketeering charges.[12] Peter received over 20 years in prison. On December 22, 2004, Peter was convicted of extortion in the construction industry and for plotting to murder government informant and former Gambino underboss Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano.[13] Judge Richard C. Casey on July 27, 2005, sentenced Peter Gotti to 25 years in prison regarding those charges.[14]

Peter Gotti is imprisoned at the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Elkton, Ohio. His projected release date, if he survives, is May 5, 2032.[15] During his last trial, lawyers stated that Peter Gotti was blind in one eye and suffered from thyroid goiter, sciatica, emphysema, rheumatoid arthritis, postconcussion syndrome, and depression.[12]

In July 2011, Gangland writer Jerry Capeci reported that Domenico Cefalù had formally replaced Peter Gotti as official Gambino boss.[16]

In July 2019, Gotti requested compassionate release, citing failing health, but was denied in September, and later requested it again in December.[17][18]


  1. ^ a b c d Lombardi, John (May 21, 2005). "The Dumbest Don". New York Magazine. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  2. ^ Raab, Selwyn (February 16, 1988). "Gotti's Brother Called Rising Star in Gambino Mob". New York Times. Retrieved February 24, 2019.
  3. ^ Marzulli, John (June 5, 2002). "NAB NEWEST GAMBINO CRIME BOSS". New York Daily News. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
  4. ^ "Gotti's Family". Newsday. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
  5. ^ Zambito, Thomas (2004-12-17). "Dapper Don Diatribe May Doom Peter". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  6. ^ Davis, p. 475
  7. ^ Capeci, Mustain (1996), pp. 435–437
  8. ^ Arnold H. Lubasch (September 16, 1992). "Gotti Is Still Crime Boss, U.S. Asserts". The New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  9. ^ "2005 criminal complaint U.S. vs. International Longshoremen's Association". Archived from the original on August 27, 2008.
  10. ^ Marzulli, John (June 5, 2002). "Nab Newest Gambino Crime Boss". New York Daily News. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
  11. ^ a b "PENSION PAIN FOR GOTTI EX". August 22, 2007.
  12. ^ a b Newman, Andy (April 16, 2004). "Gambino Crime Boss or Not, Peter Gotti Gets 9-Year Term". The New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
  13. ^ McFadden, Robert D.; Lueck, Thomas J. (December 23, 2004). "Peter Gotti Is Found Guilty In Murder and Racket Case". The New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
  14. ^ "Mafia boss Peter Gotti sentenced to 25 years". Mail & Guardian. Agence France-Presse. July 28, 2005. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
  15. ^ Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
  16. ^ John Marzulli (2011-07-29). "Wiseguy Sicilian Domenico Cefalu takes reins of Gambino crime family, once ruled by Gottis". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on 2012-07-26. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
  17. ^ "Feds oppose Peter Gotti's request for compassionate release". September 23, 2019.
  18. ^ "Peter Gotti is about to meet his maker, his lawyer claims". December 11, 2019.

Further reading[edit]

American Mafia
Preceded by
John "Junior" Gotti
Gambino crime family
Acting boss

Succeeded by
Arnold "Zeke" Squitieri
Preceded by
John Gotti
Gambino crime family

Succeeded by
Domenico Cefalu