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Frank Lucas Money

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Lucas was born in La Grange, North Carolina, and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina. He was the son of Mahalee (née Jones; 1909-2003) and Fred Lucas. He said that the incident that sparked his motivation to embark on a life of crime was having witnessed his 12-year-old cousin's murder at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, for apparently "reckless eyeballing" (looking at) a Caucasian woman, in Greensboro. He drifted through a life of petty crime until one particular occasion when, after a fight with a former employer, he fled to New York City on the advice of his mother. In Harlem, he indulged in petty crime and pool hustling before he was taken under the wing of gangster Bumpy Johnson. Lucas' connection to Johnson has since come under some doubt; he claimed to have been Johnson's driver for 15 years, although Johnson spent just five years out of prison before his death in 1968. According to Johnson's widow, much of the narrative that Lucas claimed as his actually belonged to another young hustler named Zach Walker, who lived with Johnson and his family and later betrayed him.



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