|Height:||183 cm (6' 1'')|
|Birth Day:||April 27, 1948|
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|183 cm (6' 1'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Frank William Abagnale Jr. was born on April 27, 1948 to a French mother and an Italian American father. He spent the first 16 years of his life in New Rochelle, New York. His parents separated when he was 12 and divorced when he was 16. His father was an affluent local who was very keen on politics and theater and was a role model for Abagnale Jr. From kindergarten, he was educated first at Iona Grammar School and then Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle, graduating in 1966.
Abagnale was eventually arrested in Montpellier, France, in 1969 when an Air France attendant he had previously dated recognized him and informed police. When the French police arrested him, 12 countries in which he had committed fraud sought his extradition. After a two-day trial, he first served time in Perpignan's prison—a one-year sentence that the presiding judge at his trial reduced to six months.
In April 1971, Abagnale reportedly escaped from the Federal Detention Center in Atlanta, Georgia, while awaiting trial. During the time, U.S. prisons were being condemned by civil rights groups and investigated by congressional committees. In a stroke of luck that included the accompanying U.S. marshal forgetting his detention commitment papers, Abagnale was mistaken for an undercover prison inspector and was even given privileges and food far better than the other inmates. The Federal Department of Corrections in Atlanta had already lost two employees as a result of reports written by undercover federal agents and Abagnale took advantage of their vulnerability. He contacted a friend (called in his book "Jean Sebring") who posed as his fiancée and slipped him the business card of "Inspector C. W. Dunlap" of the Bureau of Prisons, which she had obtained by posing as a freelance writer doing an article on fire safety measures in federal detention centers. She also handed over a business card from "Sean O'Riley" (later revealed to be Joseph Shea), the FBI agent in charge of Abagnale's case, which she doctored at a stationery print shop. Abagnale told the corrections officers that he was indeed a prison inspector and handed over Dunlap's business card as proof. He told them that he needed to contact FBI Agent Sean O'Riley on a matter of urgent business.
In 1974, after he had served fewer than seven years of his 12-year sentence at Federal Correctional Institution in Petersburg, Virginia, the United States federal government released him on the condition that he help the federal authorities, without pay, to investigate crimes committed by fraud and scam artists, and sign in once a week. Unwilling to return to his family in New York, he left the choice of parole location up to the court, which decided that he would be paroled in Houston, Texas.
Abagnale appeared on the television quiz show, To Tell the Truth, in 1977, along with two contestants presenting themselves as him. He was impersonated in turn by a Catholic priest and a manufacturer of police equipment, and was not unmasked by the panel.
The authenticity of Abagnale's criminal exploits was questioned even before the publication of Catch Me If You Can. In 1978, after Abagnale had been a featured speaker at an anti-crime seminar, a San Francisco Chronicle reporter looked into his assertions. Telephone calls to banks, schools, hospitals and other institutions Abagnale mentioned turned up no evidence of his cons under the aliases he used. Abagnale's response was, "Due to the embarrassment involved, I doubt if anyone would confirm the information." He later said he had changed the names.
In 2002, Abagnale addressed the issue of his story's truthfulness with a statement posted on his company's website, which said in part: "I was interviewed by the co-writer only about four times. I believe he did a great job of telling the story, but he also over-dramatized and exaggerated some of the story. That was his style and what the editor wanted. He always reminded me that he was just telling a story and not writing my biography."
The book about Abagnale, Catch Me If You Can, was turned into a movie of the same name by Steven Spielberg in 2002, featuring actor Leonardo DiCaprio as Abagnale. The real Abagnale made a cameo appearance in this film as a French police officer taking DiCaprio into custody. This movie eventually became the basis for a musical, of the same name, which opened in 2011 with Aaron Tveit as Abagnale. The musical received four Tony Award nominations, including one for Best Musical, winning Best Actor in a Musical for Norbert Leo Butz.
In 2007 Abagnale appeared in a short role as a speaker in the BBC television series, The Real Hustle. He spoke of different scams run by fraudsters.
Abagnale testified before the U.S. Senate in November 2012 about the vulnerabilities of senior citizens to fraud, particularly stressing the ubiquitous use of Social Security numbers for identification included on Medicare cards.
In 2015, Abagnale was named the AARP Fraud Watch Ambassador, where he helps "to provide online programs and community forums to educate consumers about ways to protect themselves from identity theft and cybercrime." In 2018, he began co-hosting the AARP podcast The Perfect Scam about scammers and how they operate.
In 2016, Abagnale appeared in a television commercial for IBM.
In 2017, Abagnale appeared in Talks at Google. In an hour long talk consisting of 'his own point of view on his real personal life' and answers to several audience questions, he dwells in detail about his juvenile adventures, family relations, life as both a con and later as a government official, and what is to happen to the global security scenario within the upcoming five years or so.
In 2018, Abagnale appeared in a televised Blockchain Nation Conference in Miami, sponsored by AMREC (American Renewable Energy Corporation), where he spoke about blockchain technology.
His first victim was his father, who gave Abagnale a gasoline credit card and a truck to assist him in commuting to his part-time job. To get date money, Abagnale devised a scheme in which he used the gasoline card to "buy" tires, batteries, and other car-related items at gas stations and then asked the attendants to give him cash in return for the products. Ultimately, his father was liable for a bill amounting to $3,400, equivalent to $28,394 in 2019. Abagnale was only 15 at the time.
Currently, Frank Abagnale is 74 years, 0 months and 22 days old. Frank Abagnale will celebrate 75th birthday on a Thursday 27th of April 2023.
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