Life and Legend 2 The Life and Legend of Al Capone Alphonse Capone, the son of an Italian - American family was leader of the Chicago Mafia during the 1920's, and a key figure in the distribution of alcohol during the prohibition years. Contrary to Capone's positive and nurturing upbringing he chose a life of crime under the influence of the accomplished gangster Johnny Torrio. Al Capone's defiant attitude towards authority resulted in him becoming one of America's most infamous figures of crime.
Alphonse (Al) Capone's father Gabriel Capone brought his family from Naples, Italy to New York in 1894. Gabriel brought his family over when he was thirty-seven years old and his wife was twenty-seven. They brought along with them two kids, Vincenzo and Raffaele. When Gabriel came over to New York he wanted to open up a barbershop, near Brooklyn where the family settled. In 1895 Gabriel and his wife Teresa celebrated the birth of their son Salvatore.
Four years later they had their son Alphonse Capone, not knowing he was destined to become one of America's most notorious gangsters. Capone was raised in a quiet and peaceful family environment. Capone's father preferred verbal punishment instead of physical discipline. There was no tragedy or any violence that would have sent Capone into a life of crime. (www.crimelibrary.com/capone/caponemain.htm).
When Gabriel opened up his barbershop the Capone family had to move to a new location that was more convenient or the store. This move introduced Capone to a variety of cultural backgrounds. These cultural influences would later contribute to his Life and Legend 3 role in crime. Due to the prejudice American schools imposed on European kids, Capone was not encouraged to excel in his academics. (www.crimelibrary.com/capone/caponemain.htm).
Capone's first encounters with violence took place when he was eleven, he joined a gang who introduced him to stealing and fighting. He joined a gang called the 'Forty-thieves Juniors.' (Stockdale, 1998). At the age of fourteen Capone got mad at his teacher, the teacher hit him so he hit her back. Capone got expelled and never went to school again. (www.crimelibrary.com/capone/caponemain.htm). In the new area where Capone moved he was introduced to his mentor Johnny Torrio.
Capone started off running small errands for Johnny Torrio and doing this Capone made some cash. Capone impressed Torrio so he started to give Capone more jobs.
Capone was referred to Frankie Yale by Johnny Torrio to work at Frankie's bar as bartender and bouncer. The bar that Frankie owned was called the Harvard Inn. At the early age of 16 Capone was helping Yale to control his gambling, prostitution, extortion, and protection rackets. (Stockdale, 1998).
It was at the Harvard Inn where Capone received the nickname he hated, Scarface.
Capone was waiting on a table at the Harvard Inn, and he spotted a woman he thought was very attractive. He walked over to the woman, not knowing she was sitting with her brother and made a suggestive comment about her behind.
The man with her was her brother Frank Gallucio. He jumped to his feet and punched the man who insulted his sister. Capone flew into a rage and Gallucio Life and Legend 4 pulled out a knife to defend himself. He cut Capone's face three times before he grabbed his sister and ran out of the place. While the wounds healed well, the long ugly scars would haunt him forever. (www.crimelibrary.com/caponescar.htm).
A year later Capone went on trial for a few murders but escaped prosecution due to lost evidence and the witnesses couldn't remember what happened. Around the same time of the trials is when he met his wife Mae Coughlin, she was two years older than Capone was. Capone and his wife had their first son Albert was born before their marriage in December 1918.( Stockdale, 1998).
In1920 the prohibition laws were passed to thirty-six of the forty-eight states. Torrio had breweries set up and ready so Torrio can supply bars with illegal alcohol. Big Jim Colosimo did not like the idea and because he was so wealthy he did not want to distribute alcohol because he was too much in love with his new wife. Torrio partnered up with Capone to kill Colosimo. Capone called Frankie Yale to do the job. On May 11 1920 Colosimo got a call saying there was a shipment of whiskey that needed a delivery, Colosimo went to work it out at his cafe. Colosimo never came out alive; he was killed at close range by Frankie Yale himself. After Big Jim Colosimo was killed Torrio became the head of the most powerful gang in Chicago. (Stockdale, 1998). Torrio and Capone started to move their operations into the suburb's of Cicero where they bribed the entire town, government, and police department. Shortly after opening up their operations in Cicero, Torrio went on a vacation bring his elderly mother back to Italy. This left Capone in charge of the operations in Cicero. Capone brought in his Life and Legend 5 brother Salvatore as the front man of the Cicero City Government. At that time Capone focused on the Hawthorne racetrack. Later on that year Salvatore Capone was killed by Chicago police. Frank pulled his guns on the police and the police shot him. The police said it was self-defense. After his brother's death, on May 8th Capone went and shot a man by the name of Joe Howard in the head because he was messing around with Capone's friend Jack Guzik. (www.crimelibrary.com/caponescar.htm).
At the age of 23 years old Capone became Torrios partner at the top of the crime world. If Capone went to a bar and the bar refused to buy Capone's beer, Capone would bomb the place and then give money to have it rebuild it. So when that happened the place automatically started to buy beer off Capone. Torrio and Capone made over one hundred and twenty million dollars a year. . (Al Capone, Biography-1997).
Capone found out that his trusted friend and hit man Frankie Yale was stealing East Coast shipments from him. On July 1 1928 Capone's gunmen killed Frankie Yale. (Al Capone, Biography-1997). One of Capone's most infamous crimes was the Valentines Day Massacre. Moran and his gang were stealing liquor from Capone. Capone had a guy buy the name of Jack McGurn organize the attack. Mc Gurn had a bootlegger get Moran and his gang into a garage to buy whiskey the price was very low. At 10:30 AM on Thursday, February 14 McGurn and his men went into the garage, two men were dressed up as police, and two were dressed in regular cloths. Morans men thought it was a raid so they put their hands on the wall and Mc Gurn and his men opened fire at them. (www.crimelibrary.com/caponescar.htm). After the Valentine's Day Massacre Capone found out that three men were plotting against him. The guys were Life and Legend 6 Joseph Guinta, John Scalise, and Albert Anselmi. Capone and his hit men found these guys, accused them of betrayal, and started beating them with baseball bats and then shooting them when they were done. After they were shot their bodies were dumped miles away from where this took place. (Stockdale, 1998). On Saturday, October 17, 1931 Capone was found guilty of some counts of tax evasion. Judge Wilkerson sentenced Capone to eleven years. Capone had to pay $50,000 in fines and $30,000 in court costs. Capone was denied bail and went to Cook County Jail to wait and find out what penitentiary he would be going to. "Well, I'm on my way to do eleven years," he said, looking at Ness. "I've got to do it, that's all. I'm not sore at anybody. Some people are lucky. I wasn't"(www.crimelibrary.com/capone/caponepublic.htm).
When Capone was sent to jail people say that he was living like a king. Capone really wasn't living like a king at all he had were extra socks and extra clothing. Capone was sent to Alcatraz in August 1934. When he got there he stopped living like a king because he could not receive any mail or packages from outside the Penitentiary. (www.crimelibrary.com/capone/caponefinal.htm).
Capone got the disease syphilis from on of his prostitutes when he was very young man. While he was in jail the syphilis got worse and went into a stage called tertiary stage called neurosyphilis. By 1938 Capone was confused and disoriented. Capone got his sentence lowered to six years and five months but he ended spending his last year in a hospital section for syphilis treatment. He was released form the hospital in November 1939. His Life and Legend 7 wife Mae brought him to a hospital in Baltimore where he was treated until March 1940. Alphonse Capone died on January 25, 1974, he died of cardiac arrest. His wife Mae stayed by his side until the very end. Capone was buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery. Capone died at the age of forty-eight, a very young age. (/www.crimelibrary.com/capone/caponefinal.htm.) Al Capone's defiant attitude towards authority resulted in him becoming one of America's most infamous figures of crime. He was the main distributor of alcohol during the prohibition years. He was the most notorious gangster of his time. He bribed fifty percent of Chicago's police force and seemed to be invincible. Capone's most infamous crime was the Valentines Day massacre, which put him into the history books. Capone at one time was at the head of the crime world, but was brought down very fast.