Frank Lucas
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Frank Lucas

American Gangster

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About Him

Grew up… in North Carolina, with a family that was constantly struggling to make ends meet. Accustomed to poverty but with ambitions of wealth, Frank has spent his whole life determined to have his slice of American prosperity through any means necessary. 

Living… in Harlem. Lucas has been making moves to control Harlem’s crime scene ever since the gangster Bumpy Johnson died of a heart attack and left control of his gang to Lucas. Since taking the reins, Frank’s proved far more ambitious than anyone had ever dreamed of. It all stems from his simple life philosophy: “in this life, you’re either somebody, or you ain’t nobody.”

Profession… drug kingpin. Frank Lucas is the supplier for most New York City’s extremely lucrative heroin trade. His success stems from his unprecedented ability to cut out middle-men: he purchases his heroin directly from producers in Thailand, and smuggles it into the U.S. with the help of servicemen returning from Vietnam.

Interests… his family and his business. Lucas has brought his brothers into his business as lieutenants and purchased a mansion for his mother. He’s living the American Dream.

Challenge… keeping a low profile. The investigation into Frank Lucas’s “blue magic” heroin is headed by Richie Roberts, one of the few honest cops in drug enforcement. Right now the police have no idea who is responsible for the spike in heroin trafficking, and are much more inclined to look amongst the ranks of the Italian mob than at the unknown Lucas. Eager to retain his anonymity, he resists the urge to live an extravagant lifestyle, insisting that “the loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.”

Personality… tough, hardworking, ambitious, and ruthless. Frank Lucas has claimed the number one spot in the world’s most dangerous business through raw ingenuity and gumption. He claims to be honorable, and praises the values of “honesty and hard-work” even as he works to build one of the largest smack empires in American history. Frank Lucas is a gangster’s gangster and the most dangerous man in New York City.

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