Original Gangster: The Real Life Story of One of America's Most Notorious Drug Lords [NOOK Book]

Overview

A suspenseful memoir from the real life American gangster, Frank Lucas


In his own words, Frank Lucas recounts his life as the former heroin dealer and organized crime boss who ran Harlem during the late 1960s and early 1970s. From being taken under the wing of old time gangster Bumpy Johnson, through one of the most successful drug smuggling operations, to being sentenced to...

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Original Gangster: The Real Life Story of One of America's Most Notorious Drug Lords

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Overview

A suspenseful memoir from the real life American gangster, Frank Lucas


In his own words, Frank Lucas recounts his life as the former heroin dealer and organized crime boss who ran Harlem during the late 1960s and early 1970s. From being taken under the wing of old time gangster Bumpy Johnson, through one of the most successful drug smuggling operations, to being sentenced to seventy years in prison, Original Gangster is a chilling look at the rise and fall of a modern legacy.
 
Frank Lucas realized that in order to gain the kind of success he craved he would have to break the monopoly that the Italian mafia held in New York. So Frank cut out middlemen and began smuggling heroin into the United States directly from his source in the Golden Triangle by using coffins. Making a million dollars per day selling “Blue Magic”—what was known as the purest heroin on the street—Frank Lucas became one of the most powerful crime lords of his time, while rubbing shoulders with the elite in entertainment, politics, and crime. After his arrest, Federal Judge Sterling Johnson, the special narcotics prosecutor in New York at the time of Lucas’ crimes, called Lucas and his operation “one of the most outrageous international dope-smuggling gangs ever, an innovator who got his own connections outside the U.S. and then sold the narcotics himself in the street.”
 
This powerful memoir reveals what really happened to the man whose career was dramatized in the 2007 feature film American Gangster, exposing a startling look at the world of organized crime.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
From a sharecropper's shack in North Carolina to the top of Harlem's drug trade, Lucas recounts his eventful life in vivid detail. After witnessing his cousin's murder by the Klan in 1936, Lucas began stealing food for his family at age six, graduated to assault and robbery, and made his way to Harlem in 1944 at age 14. Smart and ruthless, he became the right-hand man of notorious gangster Bumpy Johnson, who controlled numbers rackets around the city. After Johnson's death in 1968, Lucas began his drug empire. He cut out the middleman (importing from Southeast Asia a heroin so pure it was nicknamed “Blue Magic”). Law enforcement finally caught up with him in 1975. Sentenced to 40 years, Lucas only served six after agreeing to identify some crooked cops. Lucas finally told his story to a journalist and in 2007 the movie American Gangster, based on his life, was released. With journalist King's aid, Lucas is a straightforward yet compelling narrator, never making excuses for his life of crime, though he has come to regret it. 8 pages of color photos. (June)
From the Publisher
“Lucas spins a yarn that gives a new view of Black history that’s good enough to be paired with an outdoor porch, a few lazy hours and a cold beer on a warm Saturday night.” —Ebony Magazine
Library Journal
An act of shocking violence witnessed by the six-year-old Frank Lucas opens this spellbinding memoir by one of Harlem's most famous heroin smugglers. Growing up in 1930s North Carolina, Lucas turned to a life of crime to support his family. He made his way to New York, getting by on petty theft and street crime, until the gangster Bumpy Johnston took him under his wing. Lucas rose quickly in the underworld, taking a tremendous risk to smuggle heroin himself and earning a staggering profit by cutting out the middlemen. He counted many a politician, entertainer, and sports figure among his friends, and his story inspired the 2007 movie American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington. But, finally, his lifestyle attracted the wrong kind of attention, and he found himself sentenced to 70 years in prison. He was paroled after five years but later served further time for another conviction. Here he expresses remorse for the lives that were ruined by the product he sold, but the overall tone is a fond remembrance of a life lived in the fast lane. VERDICT With the connection to American Gangster, this should be a hit with movie buffs as well as true-crime fans.—Deirdre Bray Root, Middletown P.L., OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429923859
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 6/8/2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 195,042
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

FRANK LUCAS is a former heroin dealer and organized crime boss who operated in Harlem during the 60’s and 70’s. His career was the focus of the 2007 film American Gangster.

ALIYA S. KING, a native of East Orange, New Jersey has been writing professionally since 1998 and has written features and music profiles for a bevy of magazines. Keep The Faith, her collaboration with singer Faith Evans, is a New York Times bestselling title.

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