Frank Lucas grew up poor, in La Grange North Carolina and decided to move to Harlem which was then considered to be the “promise land.” Once in Harlem, Lucas decided to earn a living the only way he knew how - by doing something illegal. By the 1960s Lucas became one of the biggest gangsters in America, selling heroin and running Harlem.
It wasn’t just ruthlessness that Lucas relied on; what made him so exponentially successful was his key sense of business. This he applied in his heroin dealing by completely removing the middle man from the picture. He believed that there was no reason for him to involve the Mafia in his business when he could himself fly over to Southeast Asia and “score the dope” himself.
His ingenuity and no-nonsense way of dealing with his associates - and of course the number of police officials from the corrupt NYPD that he had in his payroll - all contributed to him running a successful drug racket for several years until he was busted by one good cop - Richie Roberts and had to serve time in jail.
Known for his flamboyant style, innovative business sense and for having single-handedly brought down Harlem to its despicable conditions in the 1970s, Frank Lucas is one of America’s baddest gangsters of all time.
20 Frank Lucas Did Not Allow His Cutters to Wear Clothes
19 His Product Was Not Even Close To 100% Pure
18 He May Have Killed Someone In A Crowded Place
17 Frank Met His Wife In Puerto Rico
16 Frank Relied on Family Members
15 Frank Lucas Really Travelled to Asia
14 Nicky Barnes Called Frank Flamboyant
13 His Show of Wealth May Have Done Him In
12 Lucas May Have Been Bumpy’s Driver
11 He Really Wasn’t With Bumpy When He Died
10 His Prison Sentence was Significantly Reduced
9 He Had Some Legitimate Businesses
8 Biggest Adversary Now His Friend
7 Now Helps Children In Need
6 Puff Daddy Visited Him As A child
5 He Made $1 Million Each Day
4 The KKK Turned Him Into A Gangster
3 Dressed Up As An Army Officer
2 Coffins Of Dead Servicemen
1 The Denzel Washington Connection
No, contrary to some beliefs, Denzel Washington isn’t related to Frank Lucas, but he played Lucas in the 2007 film American Gangster. Although the film is considered to be fictionalized to a large extent to make Lucas’ life more interesting, the key points of the film are entirely based on facts. The film was nominated for several awards including two Academy Awards. The film, although praised by critics, did not go entirely without any criticism. The production house for the film was sued by two DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) agents who believed that the film portrayed the department in a negative way.
Sources: biography.com, wikipedia.org
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