Author of JERSEY BOY: The Life and Mob Slaying of Frankie DePaula
More than just a book about boxing, Adeyinka Makinde's JERSEY BOY: The Life and Mob Slaying of Frankie DePaula, is a portrait of the social and cultural mores of the tough working class, Catholic-dominant environs of 1960s Jersey City where the Mafia was an all pervading presence. The story of the hard punching, charismatic but flawed Frankie DePaula encapsulates the romantic toughness as well as the destructive underbelly of the first city of 'The Garden State'.
Hailing from the tough Westside section of Jersey City, Frankie appeared to be a phenomenon in the making when he stopped all of his opponents’ enroute to claiming a Golden Gloves title in 1962. That Frankie failed to establish a boxing legacy befitting of one imbued with his natural physical endowments and punching talent is one of the largely unsung tragedies of the fight game.
Here for the first time, Makinde, author of the definitive biography of boxing immortal Dick Tiger, tells the remarkable story of a man seemingly possessed of a force of nature; a charismatic pied piper of Jersey City who sold out arenas and inspired such devotion from fans that some were willing to bet their houses on him being victorious. Frank Sinatra sat ringside at several of his bouts, while Frankie Valli and Joe Namath were close friends.
But Frankie was also a man whose character flaws would lead him to an early grave.