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John Gotti's Last Photo: Not-So Dapper Don!
In a recently released photo of now-deceased Mob boss John Gotti, the one-time Dapper Don looks anything but.
In a prison hospital commissary photo taken about eight months before Gotti's June 10th, 2002, death at age 61 from head and neck cancer, Gotti appears grim and devoid of life. Wearing a ratty gray sweatshirt, his gray hair cropped short and badly receded, and with his cheeks and face lumpy and pale, Gotti scarcely resembles the once-mighty figure who ruled New York's Gambino crime family.
Strutting down New York's Little Italy in his $3,000 dollar Brioni suits, his diamond pinkie ring glistening, and with his silvery mane of well-coiffed hair, Gotti played the "Dapper Don" role to the hilt. But the Gotti era came to an abrupt end when he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole in June of 1992 on murder and racketeering charges.
Immediately following his conviction and sentencing, Gotti was transferred to the super-max federal prison in Marion, Illinois, to serve out his life sentence. Confined to his isolated jail cell for an average of 22-hours per day, and with little contact with other inmates, Gotti's was a harsh, isolated existence.
And it was at Marion where Gotti was diagnosed with head and neck cancer and was transferred to the federal prison hospital in Springfield, Missouri, where he eventually died.
The prison commissary photo is the last known photograph ever taken of the high-profile mob boss, who beat three criminal cases against him to earn the nickname "Teflon Don" before the government brought him down on the fourth try. The photo cleary depicts the deforming effects of the cancer that ravaged Gotti's head and neck; large chunks of flesh are missing from his cheeks and chin, and his face is contorted due to the effects of cancer surgery.
The photo was made public after the website TheSmokingGun.com posted it on their website after requesting it via the Freeedom of Information Act.