About John Alite


John Alite’s story is truly unique. It is an inside look at the treacherous, double-dealing and corrupt world of the American Mafia in the 21st century. You want honor and loyalty, watch The Godfather. You want reality, talk to John Alite.

Over the course of a twenty-five-year career as a gangster he brutalized people, stabbing them, shooting them, beating them with clubs, blackjacks and baseball bats. He’s not proud of that, but he doesn’t try to hide from it either. It’s who he was.

John1John Alite was a murderer, drug dealer and thug.  After learning his lessons the hard way, he has turned his life around and is now a bestselling author, crime consultant expert, performance coach, and keynote speaker.

John Alite was a murderer, drug dealer and thug.  After learning his lessons the hard way, he has turned his life around and is now a bestselling author, crime consultant expert, performance coach, and keynote speaker.

Over the course of a twenty-five-year career as a gangster he brutalized people, stabbing them, shooting them, beating them with clubs, blackjacks and baseball bats. He’s not proud of that, but he doesn’t try to hide from it either. It’s who he was.

But it’s not who he is.  At least that’s his position today as he tries to put his life back together, a former mob associate and hitman trying to live a normal life, trying to figure out how he got off track and trying to get back on.

“Sometimes I wonder what happened,” he says.  A lot of people do.  The simple answer is that he did what he did to make money, to live well and to enhance his position in the Gambino crime family. He did most of it, he says, on the orders of John Gotti Jr. and sometimes on the orders of John Gotti Sr. Two federal court juries in New York heard him tell parts of his story. One came back with a conviction. The other couldn’t decide.

His decision to cooperate with the government and take the witness stand was a seminal event in his life, a choice that he believes has gotten him back on course. Only time will tell. But the story behind what got him to the witness stand is a fascinating look at the American underworld, a story told from street-level of one man’s descent into a world of money, murder and betrayal. It may also be a story of redemption, but that’s a question that can’t be answered at this point.

John Alite has decided to tell that story. A book about his life – GOTTI’S RULES, A Story of Money, Murder and Betrayal – written by journalist George Anastasia and released by HarperCollins in 2015. He hopes the book will be a springboard to other opportunities to tell the story in other mediums.

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The backdrop is the Gotti family and the American Mafia.  More accurately, the Gotti family and the demise of the American Mafia. No one individual has had more to do with the once secret society coming apart at the seams than the Dapper Don, John Gotti Sr.

Gotti was a mob boss who loved the spotlight, a celebrity gangster who thumbed his nose at the conventional wisdom of the old time wiseguys. The idea was to make money, not headlines, they would say. Gotti thought he could do both. For a long time he did.

And his son John A. “Junior” Gotti embodies the me-generation of the mob, a precocious kid whose sense of entitlement was his undoing. In many ways he was the George W. Bush of the underworld, rising to the top not on the basis of what he had done, but on the coattails of his father and the magic of the family name. Bush didn’t have a clue. Worse, he didn’t seem to care. It was all about the status and the power and the office. Junior was the same way. He liked the idea of being a gangster, but never really understood how it worked.

Alite, the grandson of Albanian immigrants, could never become a “made” member of the Gambino crime family. But he rose to the top of the organization, moving within its inner circle of power. The status, the money and the influence were part of the seduction. They were too much for a kid who had grown up poor on the gritty streets of Woodhaven, Queens. His father was a cab driver and degenerate gambler. His mother was a secretary. The family of six – he has a brother and two sisters – lived in a four-room apartment with relatives living upstairs, downstairs and across the street.

He had nothing growing up. Yet  through his drug dealing, gambling and loansharking operations, Alite became a millionaire. How he lost the money and regained his own self-respect is part of his story. So too are his three years on the run. In 2003, after learning he had been targeted for death by the crime family he had served, he took off. His trip took him to twenty different countries in Europe and South America. He finally settled in Brazil, living the good life on the beaches of Copacabana until an Interpol arrest warrant ended the sojourn. He spent more than two years in two of Brazil’s worst prisons, a descent into hell that has left physical and emotional scars that he continues to deal with today.

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Now he is back home. Rejecting an offer for life in the Witness Security Program, John Alite has decided to live his life on his own terms. “Those who know me know why I did what I did,” he said of his decision to cooperate and testify. “Those who don’t should mind their own business.”

John Alite’s story is unique. It is an inside look at the treacherous, double-dealing and corrupt world of the American Mafia in the 21st century. You want honor and loyalty, watch The Godfather. You want reality, talk to John Alite.