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Mob Boss John Gotti Dies in Prison - 2002-06-10


Convicted mob boss, John Gotti, 61, died in a U.S. federal prison Monday. Correspondent in reports Gotti was the head of one of the most notorious crime families in the United States. Gotti was serving a life sentence for murder and racketeering when he died of throat cancer.

The former mob boss was the head of New York's Gambino crime family, one of the city's most powerful mafia rings. Gaining national attention as a "criminal" celebrity, he was seen as one of the most notorious gangsters in the nation.

Although Gotti tried to pass himself off as a plumbing supply salesman, he was convicted in 1992 of racketeering and six killings. One of his victims included the former mob boss, "Big Paul" Castellano, whom he succeeded as "head of the family."

When Gotti took over the Gambino crime family in 1986, it had hundred of members and was involved in loan sharking, extortion and industries, including construction and garbage hauling.

The conviction of John Gotti followed years of FBI investigations into organized crime. After a series of acquittals, authorities were finally able to build a case against Gotti through electronic surveillance. On tape, Mr. Gotti talked specifically about his role in the killings.

Early in his career in the 1970s, Gotti spent three years in a federal prison for cargo thefts and hijackings at New York's Kennedy airport. He later spent four more years in prison for murder but climbed up the ladder of organized crime after his release.

Gotti was born in 1940 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the son of Italian immigrants. He quit school at age 16. At first, Gotti was a petty criminal, but he soon became acquainted with mobsters from the Gambino family.

Although Gotti allegedly continued to run the crime family from prison, his health had deteriorated in recent years. His death came less than a week after prosecutors announced the indictment of more than a dozen associates and relatives of the Gambino crime family, including this brother.

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