Gotti, John (1940–2002)
Robert B. Jenkot
John Joseph Gotti was born on October 27, 1940 to John J. Sr. and Fannie Gotti, the fifth of 11 children. By age 12, he was already involved with people thought to be involved with organized crime known as “wiseguys.” Gotti formally left school at age 16 to join the Fulton-Rockaway Boys, where he quickly rose to a leadership position. While a member of the Fulton-Rockaway Boys, Gotti was arrested five times between 1957 and 1961. Each time the charges were dismissed or reduced to a probationary sentence. Gotti was one of the first individuals prosecuted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute for a variety of crimes centering on a criminal organization (in this case La Cosa Nostra). To secure his conviction, the prosecution relied on protected witnesses. Ultimately, Gotti was sentenced to one of America's most notorious maximum-security federal prisons, where he eventually died. Gotti's first ...