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Drug Lord Frank Lucas' Exploits Inspired the Movie "American Gangster"; Here's His Net Worth

He started by indulging in petty crime and pool hustling before he was taken under the wings of Bumpy Johnson.
Frank Lucas | Getty Images |  David Howells
Frank Lucas | Getty Images | David Howells
Name Frank Lucas
Net Worth $500 Million
Sources of Income Narco trafficking
Gender Male
Date of Birth Sep 9, 1930
Date of Death May 30, 2019
Age 88 years
Nationality American
Profession Gangster, drug lord

Famous for his nickname 'Superfly' and his portrayal by Denzel Washington in the movie "American Gangster," former American heroin dealer and Harlem's crime boss Frank Lucas was left with a meager $500,000 net worth at the time of his death. He made a fortune by eliminating middlemen in the drug trade and boasted that he mainly smuggled all the heroin directly from the source in the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia. Lucas was also notorious for using dead American servicemen's coffins to smuggle the drug into the US during the Vietnam War. In the year 1976, he was convicted of trafficking heroin and sentenced to 70 years in prison. However, his charges were later reduced and he was released from prison in the year 1991. He passed away on May 30th, 2019.

 Frank Lucas | Getty Images | Johnny Nunez
Frank Lucas | Getty Images | Johnny Nunez

Selling heroin was the most lucrative business operation for Lucas, who also resorted to extortion. At the same time, he set up legitimate businesses such as dry cleaners and gas stations, in order to create a front for his illegal activities.

He started by indulging in petty crime and pool hustling before he was taken under the wing of Bumpy Johnson. His connection to Johnson is unknown but there are claims that he was Johnson's driver for fifteen years. After Johnson's death, he started traveling and realized that he had to break the monopoly that was a shelf in New York at the time. While he was accused of using caskets for distributing the drugs he later claimed that he used furniture and not caskets. This claim was later backed by the DEA. Lucas reportedly trusted only his relatives and very close friends from North Carolina to handle his operations. He used his profit margin to buy many properties across the US. When he was arrested in the '70s, all his belongings including the properties were seized. 

Getty Images | Johnny Nunez
Getty Images | Johnny Nunez

Lucas was born and raised in La Grange, North Carolina which is a suburb of Goldsboro, North Carolina. He once said that he embarked on the path of crime after he witnessed his 12-year-old cousin's murder at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, which was a white supremacist group. 

Lucas was married to Julie Farrait who was also convicted for her role in her husband's criminal enterprise. She reportedly spent 5 long years in prison. After she was released. The couple started living separately but soon moved back to Puerto Rico. Lucas had seven children. He was pretty eclectic when it came to his religious beliefs and had converted to the Catholic faith while at prison in Elmira.


Who is Frank Lucas's wife?

He was married to Julie Farrait who was reportedly involved in his drug business and even went to jail and served a 5-year prison term. 

Did Frank Lucas have any kids?

He has seven kids including, Frank Lucas Jr., Francine Lucas Sinclair, Candace Lucas, Ray Lucas, Ruby Lucas, and Betty Lucas. 

Did Frank Lucas know Bumpy Johnson?

Yes, Bumpoy Johnson repeatedly took Frank Lucas under his wing and taught him the business.

Did Frank Lucas have any money?

He was worth $52 million, as per his biography which is around $500 million in today's time.