Notorious Colombo crime underboss John 'Sonny' Franzese Sr – known as 'The Nodfather' for falling asleep during one of his trials – has died at the age of 103.
The once-feared mobster was the Colombo crime family’s second in command and died on February 20 of natural causes at a nursing home in upstate New York.
One of his daughters was by his side when he died, according to TMZ.
He was jailed multiple times for racketeering, fraud, loansharking and assault and was once caught on tape alluding to committing multiple mob murders.
Although prosecutors believe Franzese personally killed or ordered the murders of 30 to 50 people, he was never convicted of murder.
He was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2011 for extortion and running a loanshark operation after his son testified against him at trial.
The crime boss was released in 2017 at the age of 100, the oldest inmate in the United States and the only centenarian in federal custody.
Franzese had been dubbed 'The Nodfather' for falling asleep during one of his trials.
The once-feared mobster, was born in Naples, Italy and moved to New York when he was a child, spending over eight decades of his life working with the notorious crime family.
He worked under Joseph Profaci, the underboss of the Profaci crime family which was re-named the Colombo crime family and still operates today.
He rose up the ranks, becoming a caporegime or captain in the Colombo family by the mid-1950s.
By 1963 Franzese was made the group's underboss, meaning he was second in command and slated to take over.
In his downtime, the crime boss hung out at the legendary Copacabana night club, rubbed shoulders with stars like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr, and even claimed to have a fling with Marilyn Monroe.
In 1967, Franzese entered the music business and gained a financial interest in recording company Buddah Records, which recorded singles for Bill Withers and the Isley Brothers.
He also had interests in restaurants, clubs, record labels and even dabbled in the movie business, helping finance the 1972 porno Deep Throat and 1974 horror flick The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
His son Michael initially followed in his father’s footsteps, but left to become a motivational speaker, and another son, John, became a government informant and testified against him in 2011.
The trial marked the first time the son of a New York mobster gave evidence against his own father.
Franzese has eight children and 18 grandchildren but said he told his younger relatives to stay away from the streets saying: “There's no money in crime no more”.
Ed McDonald, the former chief of federal Organized Crime Strike Force in Brooklyn, said Franzese was “one of the pre-eminent organised crime figures in New York, if not the United States”.
And late Gambino boss John Gotti once praised Franzese for his refusal to rat out his accomplices, saying in a federal wiretap: “Sonny Franzese, he's one tough f**king guy, one tough f**king guy.”
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