He was born in 1906 as the first son of Vincenzo Zappa (1876) and Rosaria di Lorenzo (1875). They arrived in the US in 1907. He married twice. His first marriage bore him a daughter: Ann Zappa. On 11 June 1939  he married Rose Marie Colimore and fathered three sons Frank (1940-1993), Bobby (1943-2018) and Carl (1948-2020) and one daughter Candy (1951).
As recorded in the 1930 US Census, he was living at home with his parents aged 24 along with his 17 year old brother Sedio Zappa. In the 1940 Census he is living with his wife Rose Marie Colimore at her parents house. Both homes are in Baltimore. He is listed as Frank Zappa in both censuses.
Francis Zappa, whose musical ability extended to playing "strolling crooner" guitar, was a scientist with a degree from the University of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He worked at various times as an analyst, engineer and metallurgist for the Lockheed and Convair aircraft corporations. His occupation required the family to move to Florida in 1944 and back to Maryland in 1946, to Edgewood beside the Aberdeen Proving Ground. He was then employed at the Naval Research Center & School in Monterey in 1951 and he and his family relocated to Pacific Grove, California.
He can be seen on the cover of We're Only In It For The Money, on the far left, above a skull and below the first Zappa dummy from the left.
Author of the book "CHANCES: And How to Take Them"; Art-Craft, 1966.
Zappa dedicated a chapter of The Real Frank Zappa Book to him.
- According to the 1930 and 1940 US Census