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History of Alphonse Gabriel Capone (al Capone)

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Alphonse Gabriel Capone, often known as Al Capone was an American Mobster, a crime boss, and businessman. He was one of the most famous American gangsters that rose to infamy as the leader of the Chicago Outfit during the Prohibition era. He was born on January 17, 1899, in Brooklyn, New York to poor immigrant parents. Al Capone then went on to be the most infamous gangster in American history. In 1920 during the climax of Prohibition, Capone’s multi-million dollar Chicago outfit/crime ring maneuver in bootlegging, prostitution and gambling dominated the organized crime scene. Capone was to blame for many brutal acts of violence, mainly against other gangsters. The most famous of these acts was the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929. During his last few years in prison, Capone he was diagnosed with tertiary syphilis. After he was released, his condition worsened. Al Capone died at the age 48 of cardiac arrest in Palm Island, Florida on January 25, 1947.

Many New York gangsters in the early 20th Century came from impoverished backgrounds, but this was not the case for the legendary Al Capone. Far from being a poor immigrant from Italy who turned to crime to make a living, Capone was from a respectable, professional family. Al Capone was born to parents, Gabriele and Teresina Capone who were recent Italian Immigrants. He was the fourth child out of eight children. Capone’s father had an occupation of a barber and his mother was a seamstress. The Capones and their eight children lived in a usual immigrant lifestyle in a New York tenement.

Why Scarface? The American mobster, Al Capone had has three scars on the left side of his face. Capone usually told reporters that he got his scars from the great war or some barber as a young child. Although, after many years of being indirect, Al Capone finally admitted that the great war shrapnel was a dud. The time of his “war duty” did not add up. Capone was registered, but the war was over before Al was ever called up. What had really happened was that he got a youthful scrape in a brothel-saloon. A young criminal slashed Capone’s face with either a knife or razor across his left cheek. To cover his scars he applied talcum powder every day to discard the glow of those scars and he always preferred to take photos on his right side.

There was nothing in Al Capone’s or family that could have led to his rise to infamy as America’s most notorious gangster. Capone was reasonably a good student at Public School 7 in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, he began falling behind and had to repeat the 6th grade. Around that time he started playing hooky and hanging out at the Brooklyn docks. One day, Capone’s teacher hit him for insolence and he struck back. The principal gave him a beating, and Capone never again returned to school. By this time, the Capone family had moved out of the tenement to a better home in the outer part of the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. This is the place where Capone had met his future wife, Mary (Mae) Coughlin. After dropping out of school at age 14, Capone met Johnny Torrio who would be his mob mentor and number racketeer.

Al Capone met the gangster Johnny Torrio, which would prove the greatest influence on the would-be gangland boss. Johnny Torrio taught Capone the importance of sustaining an honorable front while running a racketeering business. Torrio represented a new dawn in the criminal enterprise by transforming a violently unrefined culture into a corporate empire. Capone decided to join Torrio's James Street Boys gang which eventually developed into to the Five Points Gang. Torrio ran numbers and gambling organization near where Capone lived. This is when Capone started running small errands for Torrio. The both of them stayed close when Torrio moved from Brooklyn to Chicago in 1909. Early on, Capone stuck to legitimate employment, working in a munitions factory and as a paper cutter. He did spend some time among the street gangs in Brooklyn, but aside from occasional scrapes, his gang activities were mostly uneventful. Capone was introduced to a gangster named Frankie Yale by Torrio in 1917. Yale hired Capone to be a bartender and bouncer at the Harvard Inn in Coney Island. This is where Capone received his three famous scars and earned his nickname “Scarface.”

In 1918, Capone married Mae Coughlin briefly after the birth of their first child named Albert Francis. His son’s godfather was Johnny Torrio. Now a husband and a father, Capone wanted to do right by his family, so he moved to Baltimore where he took an honest job as a bookkeeper for a construction company. But when Capone’s father died of a heart attack in 1920, Torrio invited him to come to Chicago. Capone jumped at the opportunity. Torrio was managing a business in gambling and prostitution, but with the ratification in 1920 of the 18th Amendment prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol, Torrio focused on bootlegging instead. Since Capone was a former petty thug and bookkeeper, he brought both his street smarts and his skills with numbers to Torrio’s operation in Chicago. Torrio decided to make Capone his partner after recognizing his street and numbers skills. At this time, Capone gained some notoriety as a drinker and an instigator, while Torrio was living under a low-profile. Capone was arrested for the first time when he hit a taxi while he was drunk. While being arrested, Capone used his connections from the city government to get his out of the arrest. Capone’s family moved from the Bronx to Chicago. When this happened, Capone fixed his notorious behavior and bought a home for his wife, son, mother, younger brothers and sister. In 1923, when Chicago elected a reformist mayor who announced that he planned to rid the city of corruption, Torrio and Capone moved their base beyond the city limits to suburban Cicero. Unfortunately, the election of 1924 for mayor in Cicero intimidated their operations. On March 31, 1924, Torrio and Capone established a daunting effort to guarantee their candidate would get elected. This is so they can be certain that they could continue doing business. During the election, some voters were unfortunately shot and killed. Resulting in the police responding to mercilessly shooting Capone’s brother, Frank in the middle of the street. Soon after, Capone became furious and wanted revenge. So, he murdered one official, a police officer and kidnapped many more people. He then went on to steal ballot boxes from all the polling stations. The Republicans ended up winning, a win for Al Capone.

Johnny Torrio decided to go back to Italy



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