Frank Caprio Age, Wife, Family, Biography & More

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Hometown: Providence, Rhode Island
Wife: Joyce Caprio
Age: 86 Years

Judge Frank Caprio

Full nameFrancesco Caprio [1]Frank Caprio - Facebook
Profession(s)Lawyer, Politician
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 9”
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourGray
Awards, Honours, Achievements • In 2003, he became the first recipient of the Enrico Caruso Award from the Providence Opera for his major contributions to the arts.
• Caprio was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law by Suffolk University School of Law in 1991 and later received the same honor from Providence College in 2008. In 2016, the University of Rhode Island recognized his contributions with an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service. Furthermore, in 2022, Bishop Hendricken High School conferred an honorary degree upon Frank Caprio, and his two sons, Frank T. and David, both alumni of the school, had the honor of presenting it to him.
Frank Caprio receiving an honorary degree from his sons Frank T. and David at Bishop Hendricken High School
• He was inlcuded in the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.
• The University's Multicultural Center honored the judge with the "Lifetime Diversity Award" in recognition of his significant contribution to turning the idea of the Multicultural Center into a reality.
• In August 2018, he received the Producer’s Circle Award at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.
Personal Life
Date of Birth24 November 1936
Age (as of 2022) 86 Years
BirthplaceFederal Hill, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S
Zodiac signSagittarius
SignatureFrank Caprio's autograph
HometownProvidence, Rhode Island, U.S
SchoolCentral High School, Providence, Rhode Island
College/University• Providence College, Rhode Island, US
• Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts, US
Educational Qualification(s)• Bachelor of Arts at Providence College, Rhode Island [2]The University of Rhode Island
• Doctor of Law (JD) Suffolk University Law School in Boston in 1965 [3]Suffolk Law Magazine
Religion/Religious ViewsChristianity [4]Providence College
Food HabitNon-Vegetarian [5]Rhode Island Monthly
Relationships & More
Marital StatusMarried
Wife/SpouseJoyce (Tibaldi) Caprio
Frank Caprio with his wife, Joyce Caprio
ChildrenSon(s)- Frank T. Caprio (lawyer and politician), David Caprio (lawyer and politician), Paul Caprio, John Caprio
Frank Caprio and Frank T. Caprio's picture
Frank Caprio with his wife, Joyce Caprio, and son, David Caprio
Standing from left to right are Frank T. Caprio, Gabriella and Ashley Caprio (Frank T.’s wife and daughter), John Caprio, Marissa Caprio Pesce, Paul Caprio, and David Caprio. Sitting Joyce Caprio and Frank Caprio
Daughter- Marissa Caprio Pesce
Frank Caprio with his wife, Joyce Caprio, and daughter, Marissa Caprio Pesce
ParentsFather- Antonio Caprio (worked as a fruit peddler and milkman)
An image of Frank Caprio's father, Antonio Caprio
Mother- Filomena (Dello Iacono) Caprio (homemaker)
Frank Caprio with his mother, Filomena Caprio
SiblingsBrother(s)- Antonio Jr. (deceased; teacher), Joe Caprio (Executive producer of Caught In Providence)
Frank Caprio with his brother Joe Caprio Antonio Caprio Jr.
Frank Caprio with his brother Joe Caprio
Sister- None

 Judge Frank Caprio

Some Lesser Known Facts About Frank Caprio

  • Frank Caprio is an American lawyer and politician who served as the Chief Judge of the Municipal Court of Providence from 1985 to 2023. He is known for the TV show ‘Caught in Providence,’ which features his courtroom proceedings. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a Member of the Providence City Council (1962-1968).
  • Frank’s father immigrated to Providence from Teano, Italy, and was one of ten siblings in his family. His maternal family hails from Naples, Italy. His mother was born in Providence and was one of eight children of her parents.
  • Frank was born into a Catholic family during the Great Depression before World War II. Growing up in a close-knit Italian-American immigrant community, he spent his childhood living in a cold-water flat in a three-story six-unit tenement on Federal Hill, Providence. His family used to go to the bathhouse down the street in order to take a hot shower as there was no hot water at home. On one cold day, while the family was gathered around the stove to stay warm, Frank’s father said,

    Someday, you are going to be a lawyer. You’re a good talker, and you can help people. But remember one thing: You cannot charge poor people. You’ll make it up with the rich people.”

    That’s when Frank determined to become a lawyer.

    A old picture of Frank Caprio with his parents and siblings

    An old picture of Frank Caprio with his parents and siblings

  • In his teens, Frank pursued various odd jobs like shining shoes, delivering newspapers, and working on a milk truck.

    Ten-year-old Frank Caprio, with older brother Anthony, delivering milk

    Ten-year-old Frank Caprio, with older brother Anthony, delivering milk

  • His father, Antonio, who worked as a milkman, would often bring his sons along and tell them that if they didn’t wish to follow the same career path, they must find a way to get to college.
  • Antonio instilled the principles of diligence, the significance of education, compassion, and a dedication to serving others in his sons. Frank saw his father settle milk bills for customers who were struggling financially, although his own family resided in a modest apartment with limited resources.
  • Antonio completed his education only up to the seventh grade. He was a hard-working man who woke up at 4 a.m. every morning to earn for his family. He earned the nickname “Tup-a-toffee” following an incident during a particularly chilly winter day. Antonio pushed his cart loaded with goods to a nearby diner to enjoy a warm cup of coffee. However, due to his frozen face, he couldn’t pronounce “cup of coffee” and ended up saying “tup a toffee” instead.
  • During his childhood, his father wrote him a very inspiring letter which read,

    The street is wide the road is long and very bumpy and very tough going. But I know you will proceed honorably and with your head held high to the end of the highest learning.”

  • In an interview, while talking about the same Frank said that Antonio had signed the letter as though it were an official document.

    A picture of Antonio Caprio's letter to Frank Caprio

    A picture of Antonio Caprio’s letter to Frank Caprio

  • Frank was an all-state wrestler during his high school days. He was also voted “Most Energetic” by his Central High School class.

    A picture of Frank Caprio as a member of State Championship wrestling team 1954

    A picture of Frank Caprio as a member of the State Championship wrestling team in 1954

  • He worked three jobs to pay for his bachelor’s degree at Providence College. Recalling the same in an interview, he said,

    I washed dishes, I polished cars and I’d get up at two o’clock in the morning on Sundays and work at the Journal subbing, which was what they called putting the paper back together.”

  • Next up was enrolling in a law school. He was accepted at Boston University, but he didn’t have the money to attend it. Therefore, he decided to enrol in Suffolk University Law School in Boston, but still, he didn’t have enough money to pay for its tuition. There were no scholarships or college loans back then. In an interview, he recalled telling his mother that he was going to put off law school for a year to work. When Filomena heard her son’s decision to drop a year, she gave him three bank books filled with weekly deposits of tiny amounts from 50 cents to $5 and instructed him to enrol in a law college. Talking about the same in an interview, Frank said,

    I went through the bank books and saw these deposits, 50 cents, 75 cents — the biggest deposit was five dollars. My parents sacrificed for us knowing that they had no chance to further their own station. I was privileged to be born poor and to have loving parents.”

    However, Frank did not take the money, but he promised he would work his way through the law college.

  • Thereafter, he secured a job as an American history and civics teacher at Hope High School to sustain himself through Suffolk University’s evening program.
  • During his time teaching at school and pursuing his law degree, he simultaneously took on the role of a wrestling coach.
  • He also served as a member of the Rhode Island Army National Guard from 1954 to 1962 in the 876th Combat Engineer Battalion. While in the National Guard, he had assignments at both Camp Varnum in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and Fort Indiantown Gap in Pennsylvania.
  • While attending the Law college, Frank got married to Joyce (Tibaldi) Caprio.
    Frank and Joyce Caprio's wedding picture

    Frank and Joyce Caprio’s wedding picture

    Their eldest son, Frank T. Caprio, was born in 1966. He is a member of the Democratic party and served as the 29th General Treasurer of Rhode Island from 2007 to 2011. Their son David Caprio served as a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives from District 34 from 2003 to 2011. Their daughter Marissa Caprio Pesce was married to John R. Pesce, who died in February 2018.

  • Motivated by John F. Kennedy’s appeal for public service, Frank Caprio made the decision to run for the position of Providence city councillor in 1962, and he emerged victorious in the election. He served as a Providence city councillor until 1968.

    A old picture of Frank Caprio Caprio celebrating his Providence City Council victory with his father (in glasses) and supporters in 1962

    A old picture of Frank Caprio Caprio celebrating his Providence City Council victory with his father (in glasses) and supporters in 1962

  • Frank began his career as a lawyer in 1965. Later, he established the Caprio Law Firm, which he runs alongside his sons Frank Jr. and David Caprio.

    Frank Caprio in his early days as a lawyer

    Frank Caprio in his early days as a lawyer

  • He ran in the 1970 election for the position of Rhode Island’s Attorney General but was defeated by the Republican candidate Richard J. Israel.
  • In 1975, he was elected as a delegate to the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention. After that, he was chosen as a delegate to five Democratic National Conventions.
  • In 1978, he ran as a Democratic candidate for mayor of Providence, Rhode Island.
  • He became the Providence Municipal Court Judge in 1985. He mainly heard cases that were not related to criminal matters. Over time, he was reappointed as a Providence Municipal Court Judge six times by the mayor of Providence and the city council.
  • Frank’s brother Joe began recording the proceedings of Frank’s courtroom when he got some time on local TV. It was Frank’s wife, Joyce, who suggested they use this time to film her husband in court. Eventually, Joe turned these recordings into a TV show called “Caught in Providence,” released under Citylife Productions. The show first aired on PEG access television in Rhode Island and was later picked up by the ABC station WLNE-TV in 2000, including a run on ABC 6.
  • In 2017, when Frank was 80, he gained massive popularity when videos of him passing judgment with a mix of compassion and humour went viral on Facebook. Sociable’s John Methia, who is also Citylife Production’s senior producer, posted the videos to social media sites like Facebook and YouTube. In the same year, the television syndication company Debmar-Mercury noticed the potential of the videos. Debmar-Mercury shed the national spotlight on Caught in Providence by premiering episodes twice during weekdays on Fox channel.
  • Frank gathered a fan base. He was seen as a judge who was caring and understanding and who took all circumstances into consideration before making decisions.
  • One particular video that brought Frank into the limelight featured a woman named Andrea Rogers who had piled tickets and fines of $400. In the video, the woman breaks down as she mourns her murdered son, who was stabbed to death. The kind-hearted judge dismissed the tickets of the troubled woman.
  • Frank also did some amusing things in his courtroom. Sometimes, he asked kids to come up to the judge’s bench and help make decisions about their parents. He also made high school students promise to go to college instead of paying fines for their tickets.

    A still from the TV show Caught in Providence featuring Judge Frank Caprio with a child

    A still from the TV show Caught in Providence featuring Judge Frank Caprio with a child

  • In a specific case, Frank invited a seven-year-old boy to help him decide if his dad should pay $90, $30, or no money for a parking mistake. The boy chose $30, and the judge said it was okay, but he told the dad to take his son out for a pancake breakfast. This video became extremely popular and received thousands of views after it went viral.
  • “Caught in Providence” received Daytime Emmy Award nominations in 2021, 2022, and 2023.
  • Frank Caprio had a remarkable 38-year career as the Chief Judge of the Municipal Court of Providence and retired on 13 January 2023.
  • Apart from Caught in Providence, he also appeared in the American reality television series Parking Wars on A&E.
  • Frank is also involved in real estate investment and is a co-owner of a waterfront restaurant called Coast Guard House in Narragansett, Rhode Island. He purchased this historic restaurant in 1978 along with two friends. The building originally served as a US Lifesaving Station from 1889 to the 1940s and has withstood natural disasters like Hurricane Bob in 1991 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

    Coast Guard House

    Coast Guard House

  • He held the position of Chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education for a decade. This board oversees the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and the Community College of Rhode Island.
  • Later, Frank started appearing on the show “Cooking (at Home) with the Caprios!” alongside his son, David Caprio.

    Frank Caprio and David Caprio on the show Cooking (at Home) with the Caprio's!

    Frank Caprio and David Caprio on the show Cooking (at Home) with the Caprio’s!

  • He established the Antonio “Tup” Caprio Scholarship Fund at Suffolk University School of Law. This scholarship, named after Frank’s father, is given to students from Rhode Island who are dedicated to improving access to legal services in underserved areas. Furthermore, he has also created scholarships in his father’s honour at Providence College and Providence’s Central High School.
  • Frank has been involved with several charitable organizations, including Boys Town of Italy, the Nickerson House Juvenile Court, and the Rhode Island Food Bank. In 1983, he co-chaired the Rhode Island Statue of Liberty Foundation, raising funds for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
  • He has served as a member of the Board of Regents of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Governor’s Pre-K through 16 Council on Education. He was also part of PC’s Providence President’s Council for 20 years.
  • He was the commencement speaker for Boston University School of Law’s Class of 2020.
  • In 2021, Frank Caprio initiated the Filomena Fund, which is named after his mother. This fund provides financial assistance and support to individuals facing difficulties in paying their traffic fines. The fund’s creation was inspired by a heartfelt letter and a small donation from a single mother in Indiana who contacted Caprio. After Frank shared her letter on television, he received similar contributions from people around the world which led him to establish Filomena Fund.
  • Frank’s son John Caprio once dated American singer Paula Abdul.
  • He is a permanent director of the Aurora Club Civic Association in Providence Federal Hill, where he has been a member for more than fifty years. Caprio modernized the Aurora Club by admitting the first woman member. His efforts led the club to become more inclusive with diverse religions and ethnicities.
  • He is a fan of the professional baseball team Boston Red Sox. Caprio threw the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park on 25 July 2019 when the Red Sox played against the New York Yankees.
  • He is an avid dog lover and has owned 6 St. Bernard dogs named Caesar over a span of 50 years. He had the first around 1973.

    Frank Caprio with his dog Caesar in 1973

    Frank Caprio with his dog Caesar in 1973