Peter Gotti, Gambino crime boss and older brother of John Gotti, dead at 81

Peter Gotti, the former boss of New York’s Gambino crime family and the older brother of mobster John Gotti, died Thursday in federal prison. He was 81.

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Gotti, of Queens, New York, was serving a 25-year sentence in North Carolina for racketeering conspiracy, the Staten Island Advance reported. He died of natural causes while incarcerated at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, The Associated Press reported, citing a person who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Peter Gotti was convicted in 2003 on racketeering and other charges that alleged he took over the Gambino family after his brother was sent to federal prison. Peter Gotti had been accused of infiltrating the New York waterfront and extorting action film star Steven Seagal, according to the Advance.

John Gotti, known as the “Dapper Don” because of his expensive wardrobe, had been serving a life term for racketeering and murder when he died of cancer at a Missouri prison in 2002, the AP reported.

Peter Gotti was also convicted in 2004 for putting a $70,000 bounty on Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, a former confidante of John Gotti whose testimony sent the “Teflon Don” to prison after he won a series of acquittals.

Prosecutors said Peter Gotti and Thomas “Huck” Carbonaro plotted in 1999 and 2000 to kill Gravano in Arizona with a homemade land mine or a hunting rifle for turning against the Gambino family, the Advance reported. However, Gravano was arrested on drug charges before the plan could be executed.

Peter Gotti had been sick for some time and was suffering from thyroid problems, and was blind in one eye, Lewis Kasman, a close confidant of John Gotti, told the AP.

After serving 17 years in prison, Peter Gotti asked a judge in 2019 for an early release because of his health issues, the Advance reported. His request was denied by a Manhattan judge.

Peter Gotti, born Oct. 15, 1939, in Bronx, New York, was a sanitation worker and a “regular knock around guy who didn’t let his title go to his head,” Kasman told the AP.

“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 (rival) Lucchese family walked all over him.”