Michael Franzese: net worth, age, children, wife, tv show, movies, profiles

Michael Franzese: net worth, age, children, wife, tv show, movies, profiles

Michael Franzese is best known as the Yuppie Don of the Colombo Crime Family, who is part of New York's Italian Mafia. He was once richer than Al Capone himself, but Michael claims to make an honest living since his incarceration. Find out more with Briefly.co.za about how this mobster managed to leave the mafia without a bullet in his skull and renounce his life of crime.

Michael Franzese: net worth, age, children, wife, tv show, movies, profiles
Michael Franzese, a former New York mobster with the Colombo crime family, has since renounced his mob affiliations. Photo by Leonard Ortiz
Source: Getty Images

The Italian-American Mafia consists of the Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Lucchese families with an estimated 3000 mob members in New York, 2019. Briefly.co.za has more insights into the Colombo Family's caporegime.

Michael Franzese's profile

  • Full name: Michael Franzese
  • Nickname: "The Prince of the Mafia"; "The Yuppie Don"
  • Gender: Male
  • Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York
  • Date of birth: 27 May 1951
  • Michael Franzese's age: 70 as of 2021
  • Zodiac: Gemini
  • Current residence: $8 million
  • Nationality: Italian-American
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian
  • Sexuality: Straight
  • Michael Franzese's wife: Camille Garcia
  • Michael Franzese's children: Julia Marie, Michael Jr., Miquelle and Amanda
  • Parents: John "Sonny" Franzese, Cristina Capobianco-Franzese
  • Michael Franzese's siblings: John Jr. and Lorraine
  • Michael Franzese's height: 1.75m
  • Weight: 81kg
  • Eye colour: Brown
  • Hair colour: Brown
  • School: Hofstra University
  • Occupation: Author and motivational speaker
  • Net worth: $1 million
  • Facebook: Michael Franzese
  • Instagram: @michaelfranzese_
  • Twitter: @MichaleFranzese
  • Michael Franzese's website: store.michaelfranzese.com

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Michael Franzese: net worth, age, children, wife, tv show, movies, profiles
Michael Franzese, son of the organized crime figure Sonny Franzese, in a Manhattan office, on January 29, 1985. Photo by Jim Cummins
Source: Getty Images

The beginnings of a Mafia life

The Yuppie Don was a caporegime or captain of the Colombo family, which is not surprising considering that Michael Franzese's father, "Sonny", was the second-in-command or underboss of the same crime family. He started moving up the ranks after his father was imprisoned in 1967 for charges of theft.

"My father was my idol, and anything he was part of had to be the greatest thing in the world. And when Tom DiBello sat me down and described the life, it sounded great. It was a group of men, there was honor, you had friends all over the world. And justice and fair play was the standard."

When he met the beautiful dancer, Camille Garcia, Michael Franzese was completely smitten and the couple got married in 1985. Camille's unwavering faith has had a strong impact on the mobster, who has subsequently taken on a life of Christianity.

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Michael Franzese: net worth, age, children, wife, tv show, movies, profiles
Michael Franzese and his wife Camille arrive at the premiere of 'God The Father' in Los Angeles, 2014. Photo by Angela Weiss
Source: Getty Images

Interesting facts about The Yuppie Don

  • He was adopted by Sonny Franzese and mentored "in the life" by the mobster, “Joe-Joe” Vitacco.
  • Young Michael Franzese was initiated into the Colombo crime family as a soldier on the Halloween of 1975 at 24 years old.
  • He studied pre-med at University when his grandfather encouraged him to renounce the life of crime. He dropped out of the medical programme when Franzese Sr was arrested in 1970.
  • He founded the ‘Breaking Out Foundation’ to help the youth avoid a life of crime and drugs.

What happened to Michael Franzese's money?

This New York mobster made up to $8 million a week in the 1980s, making him one of the wealthiest bosses of the Mafia family. However, he was caught in 1985 and arrested for swindling gasoline taxes, and the caporegime was sentenced to ten years imprisonment and fined $14 million. Michael was released early in 1994, retired from the Colombo Family business the following year, and was subsequently disowned by his father.

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He has since made an honest living from his book sales, television deals and motivational speaking.

Michael Franzese: net worth, age, children, wife, tv show, movies, profiles
"Yuppie Don" Michael Franzese mugshot from 1993. Photo is courtesy of the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department
Source: Getty Images

Michael Franzese's TV shows

  • Fear City: New York vs. The Mafia (2020)
  • The Definitive Guide To The Mob (2016)
  • God the Father (2014)
  • Inside the American Mob (2013)

Is Michael Franzese in witness protection?

The retired mobster refused to join the Federal Witness Protection Programme, despite his public interviews and tell-all books that expose secrets of the Colombo Family mob life. As a result, he allegedly received several death threats, which prompted him to relocate to California.

“I’m very lucky. I could have been locked away for the rest of my life or had a bullet in my head.”
Michael Franzese: net worth, age, children, wife, tv show, movies, profiles
John (Sonny) Franzese, father of Michael Franzese, along with his wife Tina, leave his son's hearing at the U.S. District Court in Uniondale on December 23, 1985. Photo by Newsday file
Source: Getty Images

Was Michael Franzese an informant?

The Yuppie Don was subpoenaed to testify under a grant of immunity against the sports agent, Norby Walters, in 1989. Michael gave Walters $50,000 to start the World Sports & Entertainment Inc. for 25% of the profits in return. He claimed to have intimidated people into signing with Walters, including the singing sensations Dionne Warwick, the Jackson 5, and New Edition. He also allegedly threatened to maim any athletes who tried to leave Walters' agency.

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Michael never officially testified against the Colombo family, which is why he was able to resign from the Mob life without too much resistance.

“The Mob is no good... it’s a money-hungry operation, and it’s not something that should be idolized. I’ve seen guys afraid to walk into a meeting—they may not come out... And if admitting that is gonna cause me a problem, then so be it.”

Michael Franzese's books

  • Quitting the Mob (1992)
  • Blood Covenant (2003)
  • I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse (2009)
  • The Good, the Bad and the Forgiven (2009)
  • Veriliitto (2015)
  • Lived (2018)
Michael Franzese: net worth, age, children, wife, tv show, movies, profiles
"Blood Covenant" and "I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse," books by Michael Franzese, who left the crime life and now makes a living as an author. Photo by Leonard Ortiz
Source: Getty Images

Is the Colombo family still active?

Although the alleged Colombo Family boss, Carmine Persico, was arrested in 2011 and died behind bars in 2019, the New York's Head of Bureau states that:

"convicting the hierarchies of the five families several times over has not eradicated the problem", and that the belief that that organized crime was beaten was a "myth".

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Michael Franzese: net worth, age, children, wife, tv show, movies, profiles
Michael Franzese, a former New York mobster, and his daughter, Julia Franzese. Photo by Jeff Gritchen
Source: Getty Images

The Prince of the Mafia appears to have turned over a new leaf, trading in his criminal antics for motivational speeches and television deals and swopped his violent tendencies for the Word of God. For a closer look at his life in the Colombo Crime Family, watch the three-part mini-series Fear City, which was released on Netflix in 2020.

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Source: Briefly News

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Levana Chester-Londt avatar

Levana Chester-Londt Levana started writing about art history in 2009 at the University of Johannesburg, where she obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art. She now writes about a range of topics, including news, lifestyle hacks, anime, celebrities and more. You will usually find a paintbrush in her hand during her spare time as she creates artworks for Levana Jane Studios.

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