15 July 2014 17:15 | By Ilsa Chan
5 lessons from an ex-mob boss

Michael Franzese not only quit the mob, he lived to tell his story. Here are our takeaways from our chat with him.



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Photos: Michael Franzese

“It was a choice I made,” Michael Franzese began, as he told xinmsn about his decision to join the mob, and one that he would live to regret.

“My father (mob underboss Sonny Franzese) originally didn’t want me to be involved in this life. He wanted me to be a doctor.”

But all Franzese, then a pre-med student, could think of was to get his father, who’d been sentenced to 50 years in prison, out. He was taken under the wing of Joe Colombo, boss of New York’s infamous Colombo crime family, and became a force to be reckoned with.

At the peak of his criminal career during the 1980s, Franzese was rated by Fortune magazine among the top 20 most wealthy and powerful mafia bosses and ran businesses that were generating a weekly turnover of more than US$8 million.

Then he did the unthinkable, he decided to quit the mob and turn his life around - all for one woman.

In a phone interview with xinmsn, the 63-year-old Franzese, now a motivational speaker and author, shared about his life in and outside the mob. Here are some of our takeaways.

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Catch Michael Franzese at A Day with The Godfather on August 23 at The Star Performing Arts Centre. Tickets are available at SISTIC.

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