Peter Gotti, the former head of the Gambino crime family and brother of John Gotti, has died in a North Carolina federal prison.
He was 81.
The former New York City sanitation worker was thrust into the limelight to do the Teflon Don’s bidding after the younger brother was jailed for racketeering in 1992.
Peter Gotti had been serving a 25-year jolt in jail after he was convicted in 2003 for racketeering and other charges. He had served 17 years in the slammer.
According to the New York Post, he died of natural causes after a lengthy illness.
In recent days, the Bronx native had been seeking early release on compassionate grounds because of his failing health.
Peter Gotti famously spent an estimated $70,000 on a contract to hunt down famed Mob turncoat Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano.
Gravano fingered John Gotti for the feds in exchange for a plea deal. The Post went with the headline: BRING ME THE HEAD OF SAMMY THE BULL.
In November, Gravano told the Toronto Sun in an exclusive interview the underworld was secretly pleased when the flashy Gotti went down. He was bad for business, his former underboss said.
Former gangster Lewis Kasman told the Associated Press that Peter Gotti had thyroid issues and was blind in one eye.
In December 2019, his lawyer made a bid to spring the old gangster.
“We are truly afraid he is dying now, he feels he is,” James Craven wrote in court papers. “As his lawyer, I am afraid this will all become moot soon if nothing is done.”
He added: “[Even] Stevie Wonder could see” Peter Gotti wasn’t dangerous.
Kasman told the AP that Gotti was a “regular knockaround guy who didn’t let his title go to his head.” But he didn’t have his brother’s cunning.
Peter Gotti, it seems, was too nice.
“He was trying to do his brother’s bidding, and he had a tough task,” Kasman said. “A lot of the captains were very upset with him because he wasn’t a strong boss. The Lucchese family walked all over him.”
Behind his back, fellow mobsters referred to him as “The Dumbest Don,” And his own brother didn’t particularly rate his intellectual prowess.
He took over as acting boss from 1999 to 2002.
John Gotti died of cancer in 2002 at a federal prison hospital in Springfield, Mo. He was 61.