Criminals are not born in a vacuum, and Frank Lucas is no exception. At the age of six, he watched his cousin die in a lynching and in that moment of Southern brutality, Frank Lucas, notorious gangster, billion-dollar-heroin importer and true-life inspiration for the film "American Gangster" was born. "Original Gangster" is the story of the most notorious black gangster to ever rule the streets of New York. From running numbers in the 50s, to importing millions of dollars of heroin in the 70s, to losing it all at the hands of a snitch, Lucas' story is the ultimate tale of ambition, hubris and downfall. Lucas story has gone down in history - he is notorious for cutting out middlemen in the drug trade and buying heroin directly from his source in Southeast Asia, and smuggling it back in the coffins of dead US servicemen. Seven years of Lucas' life were dramatised for the recent film "American Gangster", but this is the first time that the mythic figure depicted in the film tells the story himself. The book delves further into the story of Lucas and shows just what a folk hero he is to contemporary urban audiences. Told in the first person to acclaimed journalist TK, "Original Gangster" is a brutally honest account of a gangster and his times. Lucas' story is a modern fable, and Lucas a mythical figure within it.
Frank Lucas was born in 1930 in La Grange, North Carolina and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina. Lucas is a former heroin dealer and organized crime boss who was based in Harlem during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was particularly known for cutting out middlemen in the drug trade and buying heroin directly from his source in Southeast Asia. He is the subject of the 2007 film American Gangster. Lucas has been jailed twice, and was most recently released in 1991.