Book Summary: Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale and Stan Redding

Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale and Stan Redding Book Cover

Catch Me If You Can is a memoir written by Frank Abagnale, who was a famous con artist, forger, and impostor in the 1960s. The book was co-authored by Stan Redding and published in 1980. The book tells the story of Abagnale’s life, from his early childhood to his eventual capture by the FBI. The book is divided into several chapters, each of which focuses on a different aspect of Abagnale’s life and career.

Chapter 1: Early Life

The first chapter of the book introduces the reader to Abagnale’s early life. Abagnale was born in New York City in 1948 to French and Italian parents. His parents divorced when he was young, and he was raised primarily by his mother. Abagnale was a bright child and excelled in school, but he was also a bit of a troublemaker. He was expelled from several schools for various infractions, including truancy and fighting.

Chapter 2: The Beginning of the Con

The second chapter of the book details how Abagnale got started in the world of con artistry. Abagnale was always good at forging signatures and creating fake documents, and he began using these skills to defraud people. He would often pose as a representative of a company or organization and ask people for money or personal information. Abagnale was very successful at this, and he was able to amass a considerable fortune before he was eventually caught.

Chapter 3: The FBI and the Chase

The third chapter of the book focuses on Abagnale’s interactions with the FBI. Abagnale was eventually caught by the FBI, but he was able to escape from prison and go on the run. He was eventually caught again, but he was able to escape once more. Abagnale was eventually captured for good when he was caught trying to cash a fraudulent check in France. The FBI was very interested in Abagnale because of his unique skill set and because he had managed to elude capture for so long.

Chapter 4: Life in Prison

The fourth chapter of the book details Abagnale’s life in prison. Abagnale was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his crimes, but he was eventually released after serving only five years. While in prison, Abagnale was able to use his skills to help the FBI catch other criminals. He was also able to earn a degree in sociology and become a respected member of the prison community.

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Chapter 5: Life After Prison

The fifth chapter of the book details Abagnale’s life after prison. Abagnale was able to find work as a consultant for the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. He was also able to start his own company, which specialized in fraud prevention and detection. Abagnale was able to use his experiences as a con artist to help others avoid being scammed. He also became a popular speaker and wrote several books on the subject of fraud.


Catch Me If You Can is a fascinating look at the life of a master con artist. Abagnale’s story is one of incredible skill and daring, but it is also a cautionary tale about the dangers of fraud and deception. The book is well-written and engaging, and it provides readers with a unique insight into the world of con artistry. Overall, Catch Me If You Can is a must-read for anyone interested in true crime or the art of deception.

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