Al Capone was an infamous gangster with well known ties to organized crime. His Chicago Outfit was long suspected in many criminal activities, including bootlegging, prostitution, gambling, and murder. Yet Capone was careful to sufficiently distance himself from the criminal activity that made him wildly wealthy so that authorities were never able to gather sufficient evidence to prosecute Capone for his illegal activities. The man who grew up in a poor immigrant neighborhood wholly embraced and profited from organized crime, but his failure to pay income taxes led to his downfall.
Gabriele and Teresina Capone were married and had three children in Italy before immigrating to the United States, where Alphonso Capone was the first of the nine Capone children to have been conceived and born in America. Born on January 17, 1899, in Brooklyn, New York, Capone initially lived with his family in a run down neighborhood, his residence essentially a slum with no indoor plumbing ("Al Capone - Made In America").
Shortly after his birth, however, the family moved to a better place in Brooklyn. He and his family lived on the second floor of the barber shop where Capone's father worked, though the family still lived the lower middle class life as did most people during that time (Schoenberg 19).
Capone's parents were not abusive. The Capone children apparently respected their parents' authority and listened as their mother and father shared their middle class values with them. Both parents were subdued in matters of discipline. Neither struck the children. Gabriele talked and preached to his children, who gave him their attention ("The Capones").
The neighborhood in which Capone grew up was active and crowded with children. John Kobler captures the atmosphere of the neighborhood in The Life and World of Al Capone:Life in the sector where Al...