John Franzese

underboss of the Colombo crime family

John "Sonny" Franzese, Sr. (February 6, 1917[1] – February 24, 2020) was an Italian-American longtime member and underboss of the Colombo crime family. Franzese was famous as the oldest active member of the American Mafia. Franzese was an associate producer of the 2002 movie This Thing of Ours.[2]

John Franzese
John Franzese mug shot.jpg
Mug shot of John Franzese taken after his arrest.
Born(1917-02-06)February 6, 1917
DiedFebruary 24, 2020(2020-02-24) (aged 103)
New York, U.S.
Other names"Sonny"
Criminal statusIncarcerated at Federal Medical Center in Devens, Massachusetts
Spouse(s)Cristina Capobianco-Franzese
Parent(s)Carmine "The Lion" Franzese and Maria Corvola
Conviction(s)Bank robbery (1967), extortion (2010), parole violations
Criminal penaltyImprisonment of twelve years (1967), imprisonment of eight years (2010)

Franzese was born in Naples and raised in New York City.

Franzese was released from the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Massachusetts on June 23, 2017, at the age of 100.[3]

Franzese died on February 24, 2020, in a New York hospital at the age of 103.[4]


  1. Bureau of Narcotics, Sam Giancana Mafia: The Governments Secret File on Organized Crime.(pg. 454)[1]
  2. "LAW AND ORDER; In the Can" New York Times November 3, 2002
  3. "Inmate Locator". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  4. "John Franzese, Mafioso Who Consorted With Celebrities, Dies at 103". February 24, 2020.

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