Old photo of a dapper, dark-haired man seated next to a dark-haired woman

Frank Valenti bio

Born of Sicilian immigrants in 1931, Frank Valenti grew up in Augusta, Georgia. His father, Frank Sr., was a popular restaurateur, and his mother, Josephine, was a dancer. His only sibling was a sister, Marie.

Frank was brought up around beautiful dancers and influential businessmen and politicians in Augusta at his father's Italian restaurant. Frank Jr. even claimed to have been friends with a young James Brown, who went on to become the Godfather of Soul.

Frank Sr. and Josephine divorced in 1946 over Josephine's drug problem.

Promising to start a new restaurant in California, Frank Sr. drove his kids west. Their car broke down in Oxford, where Frank Sr. took an interest in Mary Ann O'Connell, a graduate student and actress at the University of Mississippi.

The Valentis stayed in Oxford, much to the children's chagrin. Soon enough, however, Frank Jr. began to enjoy his popularity in the small town and chose to stay after graduating from North Yoknapatawpha High School.

Marie moved back to Georgia, while Frank Sr. married O'Connell and opened a steak restaurant in the county.

Frank Jr. took on odd jobs at various establishments, including his father's restaurant and the county co-op. He eventually settled in at the Bowlan Glove Factory, where he fell in with the likes of Jessie Danahy and cohorts.

He became a bit of a troublemaker, running afoul of the law for drunkenness and mischief. He was known for his luck with the ladies and a sure hand at poker.

After being laid off at Bowlan, he returned to Georgia, where he found work as a bookie in Atlanta.

After a string of successful and potentially illegal business deals, he married a Russian immigrant, Vesli Boydanovich (pictured with Frank) in 1960, and the couple moved to Miami.

Frank Valenti Jr. disappeared mysteriously in the Florida Keys in 1981.


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