Former “boss of bosses” Toto Riina, one of the most feared Godfathers in the history of the Sicilian Mafia, died early Friday after battling cancer, Italian media reported.
Riina, who had been serving 26 life sentences and is thought to have ordered more than 150 murders, had been in a medically-induced coma after his health deteriorated following two operations.
The mobster, who turned 87 on Thursday, died in the prisoners’ wing of a hospital in Parma in northern Italy just before 4 am (0300 GMT), according to the country’s main dailies and ANSA news agency.
The hospital would not immediately confirm his death.
His wife and three of his four children had been given permission by Italy’s health ministry Thursday for a rare visit to say goodbye.
Riina’s eldest son Giovanni is serving a life sentence for four murders.
“You’re not Toto Riina to me, you’re just my dad. And I wish you happy birthday dad on this sad but important day, I love you,” his other son Salvatore wrote on Facebook on Thursday.