Former Mob Head Michael Franzese Speaks at UCLA

The campus was buzzing Thursday night (5/23) about one of the featured
speakers at the Wave Conference held in Pauley Pavilion at UCLA. The
two-day event featured former mob capo Michael Franzese speaking about
how Christ transformed him from a Mafia kingpin to a devout follower of
Jesus Christ.
The Wave organization evolved from Athletes in Action, and worked with
Campus Crusade and Intervarsity Bruin Christian Fellowship to make the
event happen. Featured speakers included former L.A. Lakers Steve Hage,
Lou Engle, who formed The Call, a Catholic Men’s Fellowship in
Washington, D.C., and Kent Jacobs, who funded Death Row Records and
served time in jail for dealing cocaine.
Franzese, the son of legendary mob underboss, John “Sonny” Franzese, was once a top boss
in NY’s Colombo crime family. Vanity Fair Magazine once called him “one of the biggest
earners the mob had seen since Al Capone” and he was the youngest individual in Fortune
Magazine’s 1986 survey of “The 50 Biggest mafia Bosses,” landing the number 18 spot on
the infamous list. Franzese has been featured on many network and cable television special
reports on shows including ESPN, Fox Sports, 48 Hours, and The Today Show. His story
has been featured in several national magazine and newspaper publications since the mid
-1980’s. Michael’s much publicized conversion and departure from the mob was documented
in the Harper Collins book “Quitting the Mob.”
Michael now lives in the Los Angeles are and is the founder of Breaking Out,
an organization that reaches out to at risk youth and endeavors to provide them
with an opportunity to pursue a career in the sports and/or entertainment
industries. The program has been heralded by LA Laker stars Shaquille
O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and Robert Horry as well as from other notable stars
from the music and entertainment industries. Franzese shares his testimony at
churches, conferences and colleges across the country. He was recently
featured on ESPN for his role as a popular Little League coach and on Fox
Sports, discussing the dangers that gambling and organized crime pose to the careers of college athletes.
Michael will travel to Dallas for interviews on Daystar’s Celebration, FamNet’s Open House, and will be on Decision Today, a
syndicated radio show from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.


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