Frank W. Abagnale Jr (born 1948)

A photo of Frank W. Abagnale Jr
Add photo
Frank William Abagnale
1948 - living
Born
April 27, 1948
New Rochelle, Westchester County, New York United States
Other Names
Frank Adams, Dr. Frank Conners, Frank Williams, Robert Black, Robert Conrad, Robert Monjo
Last Known Residence
Harris County, Texas
Summary
Frank W. Abagnale Jr was born on April 27, 1948 in New Rochelle, New York. According to his family tree, he married Kelly A. (Welbes) Abagnale on November 6, 1976 in Texas. We know that Frank W. Abagnale Jr had been residing in Harris County, Texas.
4 Followers
Updated: January 26, 2021
ADVERTISEMENT BY ANCESTRY.COM
Frank Abagnale Jr is best known for his early years where he was an extremely successful con-artist. He impersonated being an airline pilot for Pan American World Airways (Pan Am), a teaching assistant, a physician, an attorney and other roles. All while he forged and cashed over $2.5 million worth of bad checks in every state of the union and 26 foreign countries during a period of about five years.

Fun fact, Frank's first scheme was actually pulled on his father when he used the gas credit card his father gave him to assist in commuting to his first part-time job to purchase items from the gas station and then re-sell to the attendants for cash. This resulted in a $3,400 bill (or 2020 equivalent of $29k) his father was responsible for.

A number of articles published in the 1970s when Frank ran his own security company are further down this page which highlight Frank's life as he recollects his teenager days as a con artist.
Show & Tell His Story
Share your memories, stories, and photos so that Frank is always remembered.
Update biobiography
What's this?

This collaborative biography is for you to show & tell Frank's life so that he is always remembered.

Biography
Frank W. Abagnale Jr
Most commonly known as
Frank William Abagnale Jr
Full name
Frank Adams, Dr. Frank Conners, Frank Williams, Robert Black, Robert Conrad, Robert Monjo
Other names or aliases
Harris County, Texas
Last known residence
Male
Gender
Frank Abagnale was born on in New Rochelle, Westchester County, New York United States
Birth
Frank Abagnale was born on in New Rochelle, Westchester County, New York United States
Birth
Heritage

Nationality & Locations

Frank lived the for the first sixteen years of his life in New Rochelle New York. During his teenage and young adult years he traveled extensively across the United States and lived in various locations.
Childhood

Education

Iona Grammar School and 1966 graduate of Iona Preparatory School in New Orchelle.

Baptism

Adulthood

Professions

After his time spent as a con artist and then his prison sentence, he tried working a 'normal' job was was twice prevented from promotions due to his criminal history. He ended up creating his own successful security consulting business which he ran successfully for many years until he joined the FBI teaching them about security.

Personal Life

When his French mother Paulette and father Frank Abagnale Sr separated when he was 12 years old and then later divorced when he was 16, it had a huge impact on his life. Unlike his siblings, Frank chose to live with his father who was involved with business and politics.

Living with his father he spent time in bars around New York as Frank Sr. 'wheeled and dealed' with local businessmen and politicians which Frank credits for making him street smart.

Average Age

Life Expectancy

Looking for a different Frank Abagnale?
View other bios of people named Frank Abagnale
Published in the Abilene Reporter News Friday Dec 9 1977 by Larry Lawrence

If it's true that "it takes a thief to catch a thief" then Frank Abagnale Jr. of Houston should be an expert in nabbing the light-fingered shoppers and check forgers. Abagnale, who will conduct two seminars here Friday is the head of a Houston-based consulting firm engaged in teaching retailers and their employees how to spot the crooks who are extremely active during this time of year. He knows the rpoes, having managed to pass $2.5 million worth of bad checks in every state of the union and 26 foreign countries during a period of about five years.

The reformed hot checker is appearing in Abilene under the aegis of the Abilene Better Business Bureau and a number of co-sponsors. Two identical sessions will be conducted at Rodford Auditorium McMurry College. The afternoon seminar will start at 2 p.m. with the evening session set for 7pm. Each will last between 1 1/2 and 2 hours, according to Joe Felton, executive vice president of the BBB. There will be no charge for the seminar.

"This will be an outstanding program which could save Abilene merchants a lot of money and grief during this season and in the future," Felton said. "Abagnale is considered as one of the top people available in this time of crime prevention education." During the seminar Abagnale will discuss check cashing, both personal and business types; counterfeit money and how to recognize it; credit cards; Texas law with regards to business fraud; the tricks used on merchants by con artists; and the complications of the new invention of the color copier with regards to counterfeit money and other negotiable instruments.

THe consultant currently is involved in a tour of 112 Texas cities, speaking to merchants and giving seminars. He has been serving as a consultant to the type of people he used to victimize since being paroled in 1974 from a federal prison after serving four years. Co-sponsors of the seminar include Citizens Against Crime, Abilene clearing House Association, Savings and Loan League of Abilene, Credit Services bureau, Retail Executive Council of the Chamber of Commerce, Abilene Police Department and Vocational Education and the Abilene Independent School District.
Daniel Pinna shared this memory
on Aug 31, 2020 3:34 PM
Published on Sunday, February 13, 1977 in The News Port Arthur Texas newspaper

Galveston (UPI) - It's easy to believe Frank W. Abagnale Jr. Just ask all the people who cashed his bad checks totaling more than $2.5 million in more than 29 countries.

Ask the people who thought he was an airline pilot. Or the others who believed he was a lawyer Or a doctor Or a college professor. Or the prison guards who let him out of jail thinking he wasn't a prisoner.

Abagnale, now reformed and living in Houston, recently opened up and talked about his years as a con artist and his life since.

The story begins with the separation of Abagnale's parents when he was 16 and living in upstate New York. As the troubles at home grew, Abagnale ran away to New York City.

He encountered more troubles. Even by lying about his age, jobs were hard to find. He began passing bad checks.

He found it easier to cash checks if he passed himself off as someone else. He found the company that manufactured Pan American Airline uniforms and talked an employee into selling him oce. He told people he was a Pan Am pilot.

It became easier to pass checks. His troubles were diminishing.

Carrying the ruse further, Abagnale acquired metal Pan Am wings and the authentic hat pin. He obtained a fake ID card from a different company.

Armed with the tools of his masquerade and with the confidence he needed to make it work. Abagnale embarked on an around-the-world con.

As a crew member of a scheduled airline,, he flew for free, cashed checks easily and convinced everyone, lady acquaintances met along the way included, that he was in his late twenties.

In fact, Frank Abagnale was 18. "It was just natural for me to do all that." he said "I just found I had the ability". His cash flow hampered by a $100 limit on personal checks, Abagnale moved up in class by developing Pan American "expense" checks for himself, designed with the help of press-on letts and numbers over blank checks with the added touch of a logotype fashioned from a plastic airplane model kit.

"I supported Reveli Model Co.", Abagnale said "I probably bought 2000 Pan Am model planes". When Abagnale talks about his experiences, he has a certain amazed expression, part combination of pride that he pulled it off and part bewilderment that so many people actually bought the act.

With the airline, the FBI and Interpol finally closing in, Abagnale changed hats, first, posing as a lawyer in Louisiana for six months ("I think being a lawyer is just being a good con artist"), then a doctor only administrative functions in Georgia, then a college professor in Utah. He was eventually caught on bad check charges and jailed for six months in France "They kind of make the Mexican prisons look like the Holiday inns" he said. From there he was taken to Sweden and a year later deported to the United States.

Security guards and FBI agents were waiting in NEw York, but Abagnale escaped through a hatch in the plane's restroom "I wasn't trying to be sneaky" he sai "I just wanted to get off the plane." Authorities found in Montreal, Canada and sent him to the penitentiary in Atlanta. At first he said "the farthest thing from my mind was escaping from there". But then one day, with guards mistaking him for a prison inspector, he walked free again.

Captured in New York he was sentenced to 72 years in prison, later reduced to 12. He was paroled after four years in the Federal Reformatory in Peterburg, Va. He moved to Houston and tried to start over, but twice when he was in line for promotion, companies found out about his past and fired him.

So he's working now in security, establishing himself as an authority. He has his own consulting firm and he makes personal appearances at school banquets. Production on "The Skyway Man" a movie based on his experiences is due to start in the Spring. Now 28 years old, Abagnali says he's decided to play it straight. "I didn't want to be known the rest of my life as a great con artist." he said "Nobody remembers Derrmand Dema's the great imposter and nobody will remember me."
Daniel Pinna shared this memory
on Aug 31, 2020 3:21 PM
Published in the October 8th, 1977 volume 18 Deer Park Progress Newspaper - "The official Voice of Deer Park since 1957"

Frank Abagnale, a former con artist whose career has received nation-wide attention in the last few months, spoke to the Deer Park Rotary Club Wednesday at their noon meeting.

Abagnale, whose various crimes totaled over $2 million, began his con artist career shortly after droping out of high school in the tenth grade, despite an I.Q. of 136.

In the six-year period before his final arrest, he impersonated a co-pilot for a major U.S. airline and worked as a lawyer on a state attorney general's staff, a resident pediatrician in a Georgia hospital and a college instructor.

The 28-year old Abagnale also led U.S. authorities on a merry chase for those six years, three times escaping from under their noses. He did serve time in both French and Swedish prisons, putting in six months in each. He has also served almost four years in a U.S. Federal Reformatory.

Since ending his life of crime, Abagnale has been in Houston working for a Houston-based investigative agency which operates in 33 countries. The agency specializes in internal fraud and thefts.

A movie about his career is planned for the near future with Dustin Hoffman in the title role.

*Editors Note* Obviously, it took Hollywood 25 years to get the film "Catch me if you can" completed and released and Leonardo DiCaprio played the starring role next to Tom Hanks. It was fantastic.
Daniel Pinna shared this memory
on Aug 31, 2020 2:56 PM

Frank's Family Tree

Parent
Parent
Frank W. Abagnale Jr
Partner
Child
Partner
Child
Sibling

Relationships

+ Add

Kelly A. (Welbes) Abagnale

&

Frank W. Abagnale Jr

Married: November 6, 1976
Status: Unknown
Married at: Harris County, TX
Frank W. Abagnale Jr
Child

Friends

Friends can be as close as family. Add Frank's family friends, and his friends from childhood through adulthood.

Add bio

Leave a comment to ask questions, share information, or simply to show that you care about Frank.

Cancel

Frank W. Abagnale Jr is reported by the community as alive. If he has since passed, contribute to his obituary and include details such as cemetery, burial, newspaper obituary and grave or marker inscription if available.

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Frank's lifetime.

In 1948, in the year that Frank W. Abagnale Jr was born, on May 14th, the State of Israel was proclaimed by David Ben-Gurion, who became Israel's first Premier, and the U.S. officially recognized Israel. That evening, Egypt launched an air assault on Israel.

In 1953, on July 27th, the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed. The Armistice was to last until "a final peaceful settlement is achieved". No peaceful settlement has ever been agreed upon.

In 1964, on June 11th, activist Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa for conspiring to overthrow the state (because of his numerous anti-apartheid activities). He served 27 years in prison.

In 1976, on August 4th, a mysterious illness struck an American Legion convention in Philadelphia. Within a week, 25 people had died and 130 people had been hospitalized. It was the first known instance of what came to be called "Legionnaires Disease."

In 1984, due to outrage about "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (it seemed too "dark" to many and it was rated PG), a new rating was devised - PG-13. The first film rated PG-13 was "Red Dawn".

Other Frank Abagnales

Other Abagnales

Other Bios

Created on Jun 04, 2020 by Daniel Pinna
See Success Stories
"Thank you for helping me find my family & friends again so many years after I lost them. I get the chance to remember them all this time later."

Highlights of just a few of the many successes of sharing memories on AncientFaces. From reuniting lost or 'orphan' photos with their families, seeing faces of relatives for the first time, to the many connections made with family & friends.

These special moments are why it's important we share.
Back to Top