THE MICHAEL FRANZESE STORY
FROM MADE MAN TO REDEEMED MAN
Michael Franzese was once one of the most well-known mobsters in the world. With roots in New York, Franzese grew up as the son of a crime family underboss and rose through the ranks to become a notorious figure known as “The Prince of the Mafia.” The stories of most made men end with prison or death sentences, but for Michael Franzese, that’s just where the story begins.
Michael Franzese was once one of the most well-known mobsters in the world. With roots in New York, Franzese grew up as the son of a crime family underboss and rose through the ranks to become a notorious figure known as “The Prince of the Mafia.”
The stories of most made men end with prison or death sentences, but for Michael Franzese, that’s just where the story begins.
“The Prince of the Mafia”
As a made man, Michael Franzese was known as one of the youngest, richest mafia dons in the United States. The media called him “The Prince of the Mafia” and the “Yuppy Don.” At the height of his mafia career, he was head of a 300-man crew and brought in millions each week from illegal and legal business ventures.
Michael Franzese seemed to have it all: money, connections, notoriety, fear, and respect.
But Michael had never set out to become a mafia legend. He joined the organized crime family to protect and provide for his family. And, when the inevitable sentencing occurred, Michael was given a rare opportunity to rethink his values and forge a new path.
A Sentencing for a New Life
A prison sentence isn’t unusual for members of organized crime families. So it should be no surprise that Michael Franzese followed in his father’s footsteps again when he was sentenced to prison for racketeering. But, unlike many other crime family members, this is where Michael’s life took an unexpected turn. Locked in solitary confinement with only a Bible, Michael began to rethink his life and the path laid out before him. His wife, Camille, helped him see what truly mattered in life.
Michael saw a new opportunity to traverse a different path and plant the seeds for a new life.
Unfortunately, that meant Michael had to face his most difficult challenge yet:
Quitting the Mob
Quitting the Mob is unthinkable to most people. Michael Franzese knew it would take incredible courage and boldness to fully transform his life. By walking away from the Columbo crime family, Michael had to evade a different type of sentencing—multiple contracts were taken out on his life after he publicly left the organization.
Michael became the first (and only) high-ranking member to walk away from the mob and live to tell the story.
A Second Chance: the Franzese Story of Redemption
Today, Michael Franzese is a new man, using his past experiences to help those who may be vulnerable to the same pitfalls he faced. And for the past 25 years, he’s traveled around the world sharing his story, amassing a large community of supporters and followers on YouTube.
Michael also found himself fascinated by winemaking and the parallels between his life and the process of turning a grape into a complex, beautiful bottle of wine.
Michael started Franzese Wines to bring unique and distinctive wines from around the world directly to your home and family.
Wines by Michael Franzese
You may not think that a background in organized crime would lead one to the world of wine. But Michael saw his own journey of growth and perseverance as undeniably parallel to the transformative journey that turns a tiny grape seed into a bottle of wine.
Like a vine planted in the toughest of soils, Michael Franzese fought and pushed his way out of the dirt. His journey hasn’t been easy, but, in the end, it produced the sweetest fruit.