Many listeners of The Howard Stern Show had their hearts broken after it was announced that Johnny Fratto, who was a regular on the show, had passed away. Throughout that period in November 2015, fans sent in their heartfelt messages paying tribute to the talent manager. It was unarguably one of the darkest days in the history of the show.
Prior to his death, Johnny led a successful life as a business tycoon who dealt in the production and sale of power bikes in Beverly Hills. He had also partnered with a few stars and had mingled with the crème de la crème of the entertainment industry during the course of running his business. It is believed that he got his apt business acumen from his family who were part of the mob.
Johnny Fratto’s Father was a Mobster
Johnny Fratto was born in the city of Des Moines in the U.S. state of Iowa on the 12th of August, 1953. His father, Louis Fratto, was a renowned member of the Mob who was known as either Lew Farrell or Cock-eyed in his mob circles. At a point in Louis’s Mob career, he became the head of the Mob in the entire state of Iowa. He worked as a major distributor of Capons’ Canadian Ace Beer in the state. Louis was also very popular in Chicago and he reigned in these territories from the early 1930s to the late 1960s.
While there is no information available on Johnny’s mother, Carmella, it is known that she had five children for Louis. They are Tommy, Frank, Carmie, Johnny, and Willie. In 1962, Johnny lost his immediate elder brother, Frank, who was a victim of a plane crash that took his life.
Fratto Also Had 5 Children Like His Father
There are many ways Johnny Fratto is like his father and one of such ways is in the number of children the two men had. With his wife Jovanke, Johnny is said to have had five children; Joey, Will, Johnny Jnr, Alexis, and Angela.
Fratto’s wife Jowanke lives a very private life away from publicity and as such not much is known about her, including when they got married or how they met. But while he lived, Johnny made sure to constantly talk about how much he loved her. The two were married for several years before his death. He was also privileged to have seen his grandchildren before his demise.
Johnny Jnr., who is named after his father, has a career as an actor but still keeps a low profile. The only member of the Fratto family who enjoyed and reveled in the glitz of the public eye was Johnny Fratto himself.
He Gained Fame Through His Ownership of Beverly Hills Choppers
— (RIP) Johnny Fratto (@JOHNNYFRATTO) May 17, 2015
The early life of Johnny Fratto is a mystery beyond his family’s involvement in the mafia. It is, however, known that he ventured into his father’s business while he was still a young man in Iowa. Later on in life, he launched Beverly Hills Choppers in Beverly Hills, California, which was how he broke into the socialite and celebrity circle.
Fratto’s passion for his business was what set him apart from other people in the industry. His brand of motorcycles were the most sought out bikes and that placed him at the top of all motorcycle retailers. In comparison to his competitors, Fratto was different from other companies who were only creating motorcycles. He instead specialized in creatively building and selling motorcycles. Fratto famously used to refer to the merchandise he sold as Vespas on steroids.
Paris Hilton was One of His Celebrity Customers
Beverly Hills is riddled with celebrities who have houses in the area. Having his company in an area full of people with a lot of spare cash gave Johnny Fratto access to the life of glitz and glamour. Socialite Paris Hilton was one of the celebrities he had a good relationship with, a relationship that started when she showed an interest in his scooters.
Hilton went on to introduce Fratto to her friends; Nicole Richie, Adrianne Curry, Nicole Eggert, and her sister, Nikky Hilton. To show his gratefulness for Paris Hilton’s friendship, Fratto famously gifted her a $250,000 chopper from his company that was bejeweled with more than 100,000 Swarovski crystals. It reportedly took 6 months to make the chopper and all the jewels were placed on it by hand.
Johnny Fratto Had Other Pursuits That Included Being a Regular on The Howard Stern Show
The Howard Stern Show is a radio show where listeners could call in and speak to the host, Howard Stern, on the issues he was talking about. Johnny Fratto came to be on the show as he would often call in and tell incredulous stories of his life. He later transitioned to actually being on the show. While Fratto worked on Howard Stern, he became the talent manager to Eric Lynch who was also part of The Wack Pack on the Show.
Fratto has also done some writing, however, his involvement with the production of power bikes was his major source of income.
The Talent Manager Died as a Result of Cancer
Johnny Fratto died on the 5th of November, 2015. He was said to have battled with lung cancer for a long time and had been living his life managed by health officers. Fratto fought his ailment as much as he could until it finally took his life. As at the time of his death, he was said to have been surrounded by his immediate family members.
Upon his death, there was an outpour of goodwill messages to his family. His longtime friend, Howard Stern, in celebration of Fratto’s life, dedicated an episode of his show to him. He also took to Twitter to send in his condolences to the family of his friend.
RIP Johnny Fratto – You know what to do, you know what to do
— Howard Stern (@HowardStern) November 5, 2015
The Controversy Caused By Johnny Fratto’s Posthumous Book
Even in death, Johnny Fratto found a way to make money. Before he died, he had written his autobiography titled ‘Would You Read This Book If I Threatened to Kill You?’. The book details his experience as a son of a Mob boss in Midwest America. It was published two years after his death in 2017.
The book sparked some controversy as Fratto made reference to the true nature of Tom Cruise’s sexuality. Cruise was one of the celebrities that Johnny Fratto had become close to. The actor had spoken to him on the best way to portray someone in the Mafia when he was cast in the 1986 film, The Colour of Money. Fratto revealed that despite rumors about the actor’s sexuality, he was completely a heterosexual.