User Tools

Site Tools


Al Capone

Early Years

Capone spent his early years near his home on the docks of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He was a good student in his youth, but when he was 14, he struck a teacher in the face while attending P.S. 133. According to some sources, Capone was expelled, while others claim he left school on his own. In any event, he never returned. 1)


Capone went to work after graduating from high school, working at a candy store, a bowling alley, and a local bindery. 2)

Semi-Pro Baseball Player

With his brother Ralph, he was a player on a semi-pro Brooklyn baseball team. 3)

Belonged To Several Gangs

At the same time as he worked respectable employment, Capone was a member of street gangs that specialized in minor crime and destruction. In addition to the South Brooklyn Rippers and Junior Forty Thieves, Capone joined Johnny Torrio's James Street Boys gang, where he became Torrio's protégé; and at 16, Capone joined the Five Point Gang, named after the notorious 19th-century Manhattan slum.4)


Capone allegedly insulted the sister of a local petty offender called Frank Galluccio, who then cut him across the face three times with a pocket knife. Two men approached “Alfonzo Capone” and cut his cheek with a knife.5)

Rise To Power

Dean O'Banion, the leader of the Irish North Side Gang, was assassinated outside his florist shop on Torrio's orders in November 1924. That gang reacted the following year, attempting to assassinate Torrio in a gunfight. Torrio was wounded but lived; after some time in prison, he resigned, handing over control of the Chicago-based criminal organization to the 26-year-old Capone.6)

Chicago Outfit

Capone's organized crime syndicate, informally known as the “Chicago Outfit,” made him one of the country's most notorious—and wealthy—mobsters: Capone's gang made roughly $100 million each year in the 1920s through illegal operations including as gambling, bootlegging, and racketeering.7)

James Vincenzo Capone

While one Capone got his money by breaking the worldwide constitutional ban on the “production, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors,” another made his money by enforcing it. Al's eldest brother, James Vincenzo Capone, left New York in his early twenties and took the name Richard James Hart (after silent film western idol William S. Hart). In the end, he worked as a federal prohibition agent in Nebraska. 8)

Miami - Chicago Plan

When Al Capone purchased a property on Miami Beach's Palm Island in 1928, he was met with hostility. Instead, Miami implemented the “Chicago Plan,” which called for Capone's arrest whenever he came inside city limits—at one point, he was arrested three times in ten days, frequently on a vagrancy charge that was allegedly tailor-made for Capone. The gangster was arrested several times but was only imprisoned once. 9)

Soup Kitchen

A year after the 1929 stock market crash, which precipitated the Great Depression, Capone opened a soup kitchen at 935 South State Street in Chicago, advertising “Free Soup, Coffee, and Doughnuts for the Unemployed.” It wasn't entirely selfless: Capone most likely used it as a public relations maneuver to sway public opinion in his favor following the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.10)

Untouchables Scene Really Happened

While some of the film's facts were twisted to fit a story (while Costner's Ness has a family, the real lawman was unmarried at the time), one notable sequence was inspired by a historical event. In May 1928, after learning that some of his accomplices were trying to murder him, Capone summoned them all to a meal, drank them all, and then beat each guy to death with a baseball bat. 11)

Public Enemy NO. 1

On April 23, 1930, the Chicago Crime Commission, directed by attorney Frank J. Loesch, produced its first Public Enemies List, which included 28 men. Al Capone took first place. 12)

Capone In Prison

It wasn't Capone's bloodthirsty actions that landed him in jail; it was his refusal to pay the piper. Federal prosecutors contended that Capone had failed to pay income taxes between 1925 and 1929, and a jury convicted him guilty. Capone was sentenced to 11 years in prison and ordered to pay $50,000 in fines and court expenses. Capone was also ordered to pay $215,000 in late taxes and interest. 13)

Rock Islanders

After serving the initial part of his term at the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, Capone was sent to the newly opened Alcatraz Island in August 1934. He was permitted to join the Rock Islanders, an inmate band, because of his exemplary behavior there. Capone was a banjo player. Capone is even rumored to have penned a song called “Madonna Mia.”14)


Capone got syphilis in his early days in Chicago, most likely via a prostitute. He was not treated, and he developed neurosyphilis early in his tenure in Alcatraz. In February 1938, his strange behavior led to a diagnosis of syphilis of the brain. Capone was treated with a new medicine called penicillin after his parole, but his physical and mental health deteriorated. 15)


On January 25, 1947, the 48-year-old former criminal died of heart failure in Florida. 16)

al_capone.txt · Last modified: 2021/08/05 03:53 by aga