- Kobler, John. Capone: the Life and World of Al Capone. New York: Da Capo Press, 1992.
- Bergreen, Laurence. Capone: the Man and the Era. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994.
Al Capone was possibly the largest and most feared mafia boss America has ever seen. This 1920's gangster made his mark on the world through organized crime during the Prohibition era. He is solely attributed with Chicago's reputation as a lawless city.
Alphonsus Capone was born on January 17, 1899 in Brooklyn, New York. As a child he was a member of the Brooklyn Rippers and the Forty Thieves Juniors "kid gangs." Capone quit school at age fourteen in the sixth grade. He worked a few odd jobs in Manhattan in a bowling alley and a candy store. Then Capone took a position as a bouncer in Frankie Yale's Brooklyn dive and the Harvard Inn. While working at the Inn he was attacked by a man and received the facial scars that would give him the byname "Scarface."
Capone met Anne "Mae" Coughlin at a dance in 1918. Later that year on December 4, 1918 she gave birth to their son, Albert "Sonny" Francis. Less than a month later they were married.
Capone became a member of the Five Points gang in Manhattan. During this time he hospitalized a rival gang member in a fight. Feeling the heat from the conflicting group, he moved his family to Chicago. He began to work for John Torrio, an old partner and mentor of Yale. Capone was soon helping to manage Torrio's bootlegging business. He quickly gained the respect of Torrio and became his number two man.
After being shot by an opposing gang member, Torrio left Chicago. Capone became boss of the "outfit." Torrio's men respected Capone and...