Quitting the Mob: How the ""Yuppie Don"" Left the Mafia and Lived to Tell His Story

Michael Franzese, Author, Dary Matera, With
Michael Franzese, Author, Dary Matera, With HarperCollins Publishers $20 (301p) ISBN 978-0-06-016493-5
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-06-109058-5
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Franzese grew up on Long Island as Michael Grillo, believing himself the stepson of Mafia member John ``Sonny'' Franzese, with six other children in the family. He worshipped ``Sonny,'' who may have been his biological father, abandoned his plan to become a doctor and was taken into the Cosa Nostra in 1975. With the mob's blessing, he began to work on the fringes of legitimate businesses, where he was enormously successful. Among his enterprises was a partnership dealing in retail and wholesale gasoline that evaded paying taxes; from this he made millions of dollars and began to play around with the movie industry. His first marriage on the rocks, he wed a Mexican American dancer, a born-again Christian who urged him to reform, which he did by testifying against two criminals who were sent to prison. They were not Mafiosi, nor did his testimony implicate anyone in the Mafia, but both he and Matera ( Are You Lonesome Tonight? ) believe that the mob wants to kill him anyway. The so-called ``Mafia Prince,'' according to recent newspaper accounts, has just been arrested in Los Angeles for violating federal probation and for defaulting on bank loans and defrauding the owners of various Bel-Air mansions he rented. In some respects a conventional gangster saga, and not altogether credible. Photos not seen by PW. First serial to Cosmopolitan. (Feb.)
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