NEW YORK (AP) -- John Gotti, who swaggered, schemed and murdered his way to the pinnacle of organized crime in America only to be toppled by secret FBI tapes and a turncoat mobster's testimony, died at a prison hospital Monday. He had suffered from throat cancer. He was 61.
Once known as the "Dapper Don" for his fine double-breasted suits and confident bearing, and as the "Teflon Don" after a series of acquittals, Gotti was sentenced to life in 1992 for racketeering and six killings. His victims included "Big Paul" Castellano, whom he succeeded as boss of New York's Gambino crime family in 1985.
Gotti reigned for six years as the nation's most high-profile mobster, passing himself off as a plumbing supply salesman while strutting about in $2,000 Brioni suits and sneering at law enforcers. Some crime chroniclers called him the most important gangster since Al Capone.
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