Peter Gotti

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Peter Gotti
Peter Arthur Gotti

(1939-10-15)October 15, 1939
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedFebruary 25, 2021(2021-02-25) (aged 81)
Other names"One Eyed Pete", "Petey Boy", "One Eye", "Dumbest Don"
OccupationCrime boss
Catherine Gotti
(m. 1960; div. 2006)
AllegianceGambino crime family
Conviction(s)Racketeering, extortion, money laundering (2003)
Racketeering, extortion, murder conspiracy (2004)
Criminal penaltyNine years and four months' imprisonment (2004)
25 years' imprisonment (2005)

Peter Arthur Gotti (October 15, 1939 – February 25, 2021) was an American mobster. He was the boss of the Gambino crime family, part of the American Mafia, and the elder brother of the former Gambino boss John Gotti.[1]

Early life[edit]

Gotti was born in the Bronx, New York, on October 15, 1939. He was one of 13 children (two had died at birth) of John Joseph Gotti Sr. and Philomena "Fannie" DeCarlo. Gotti'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] Gotti married Catherine in 1960 and fathered one child, Peter Gotti Jr. Gotti's nickname "One Eye" derives from blindness from glaucoma in one eye.[3]

Around 1960, at age 21, Gotti started working as an associate for the Gambino family. In 1988, at age 49, the family inducted Gotti as a made man.[4] 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] John J. Gotti did not believe Peter had the ability to lead the crime family, which led to Peter's reputation as "the Dumbest Don".[1]

Like his father, Gotti had a legitimate job as a sanitation worker for the New York City Department of Sanitation. Gotti 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,[1][9] 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, Gotti was indicted on federal racketeering charges. During Gotti's trial, federal prosecutors released information revealing that Gotti was having an affair with Marjorie Alexander, a longtime girlfriend. Alexander then publicly acknowledged the liaison and declared her love for Gotti. In response, Gotti berated Alexander for causing the publicity and broke off all contact with her.[1] Alexander later committed suicide in 2004.[11] During this time, his wife Catherine filed for divorce, which was finalized in 2006.[11]

On March 17, 2003, Gotti was convicted of extortion, money laundering, and racketeering activities centered on the Brooklyn and Staten Island waterfronts, and for the attempted extortion of film actor Steven Seagal.[12] On April 15, 2004, Judge Frederic Block of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York sentenced Gotti to nine years and four months in prison for the charges.[13] During the trial, Gotti's lawyers stated that he was blind in one eye and suffered from thyroid goiter, sciatica, emphysema, rheumatoid arthritis, postconcussion syndrome, and depression.[13]

On December 22, 2004, Gotti was convicted in a separate trial of racketeering charges related to extortion in the construction industry and conspiring to murder government informant and former Gambino underboss Sammy Gravano.[14] On July 27, 2005, Judge Richard C. Casey sentenced Gotti to 25 years in prison for the charges.[15] Gotti was imprisoned at the Federal Correctional Complex, Butner.[16] His projected release date was September 10, 2031.[17]

In July 2011, Domenico Cefalù reportedly replaced Gotti as Gambino boss.[18]

Gotti's requests for compassionate release under the First Step Act, citing his failing health, were both denied: that of July 2019 in September, and that of December 2019[19][20] in January 2020.[21]

On February 25, 2021, Gotti died of natural causes at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, North Carolina, at the age of 81.[22][23]


  1. ^ a b c d e Lombardi, John (May 21, 2005). "The Dumbest Don". New York. 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 April 12, 2012.
  4. ^ "Gotti's Family". Newsday. Retrieved January 13, 2012.
  5. ^ Zambito, Thomas (December 17, 2004). "Dapper Don Diatribe May Doom Peter". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  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. ^ "Peter Gotti Is Convicted In Mob Trial". March 18, 2003.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "A Good and a Bad Day for the Gotti Family". The New York Times. July 28, 2005. Archived from the original on May 29, 2015.
  16. ^ Exchange, Laurinburg (February 26, 2021). "Gambino crime family's elder Gotti, Peter, dies in NC prison". Laurinburg Exchange. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  17. ^ "Inmate Locator".
  18. ^ John Marzulli (July 29, 2011). "Wiseguy Sicilian Domenico Cefalu takes reins of Gambino crime family, once ruled by Gottis". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on July 26, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  19. ^ "Feds oppose Peter Gotti's request for compassionate release". September 23, 2019.
  20. ^ "Peter Gotti is about to meet his maker, his lawyer claims". December 11, 2019.
  21. ^ "Gambino mob boss Peter Gotti loses bid for compassionate release from prison". January 15, 2020.
  22. ^ "Gambino family boss Peter Gotti, brother and successor to 'Dapper Don' John, dies in prison at age 81". February 25, 2021.
  23. ^ "Gambino crime family's elder Gotti, Peter, dies in prison". NBC. February 26, 2021. Retrieved February 27, 2021.

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