Al Capone is an important figure in organized crime history. He has been labeled as the most iconic gangster of all time.
Al Capone was born on 17th January 1899, in Brooklyn, New York. His family moved to Chicago when he was seven years old and was involved in criminal activity. Al took part in a number of illegal activities such as petty theft, extortion, and prostitution during his teenage years. In 1919 he joined a mob group known as The South Side Gang led by Johnny Torrio who was also employed by the city’s biggest crime boss, James “Big Jim” Colosimo.
About Al Capone
His full name is Alphonse Gabriel Capone. Capone’s rise to underworld fame came after he rose to the position of boss of the Chicago Outfit. The Outfit was an association of Mafia crime families which included the Chicago Outfit, Brooklyn Gang, and Cleveland Gang. His criminal empire expanded further in 1925 when he took over the Unione Siciliana which was a Mafia “family” founded by Sicily’s most powerful gangster Don Vito Cascio Ferro. In 1931 Capone and his brother Frank left The Chicago Outfit and set up a more successful version known as The National Syndicate.
Life of Capone
Al Capone was born on 17 January 1899 in Brooklyn, New York. His parents were Gabriele and Teresina Capone and he grew up with his older brother named Vincenzo who was six years older than him. Capone father was a barber and both his parents had immigrated from Naples, Italy.
Al Capone was an average student, but he had great determination and joined the University of Chicago to study law but left in just three months. After leaving school, he took up a job as a bouncer in one of the Italian sections in Chicago.
His personal life
Capone married Mae Josephine Coughlin, his childhood sweetheart in 1918, but she left him in 1930. He then married Virginia Hill and had a daughter with her in 1929, which died shortly after birth. His third wife was Frances and she left him after he went to jail for tax evasion.
Capone’s crime career
Al Capone became involved in the illegal business of selling alcohol during the Prohibition period. Capone’s criminal empire expanded further when he took over the Unione Siciliana which was a Mafia family founded by Don Vito Cascio Ferro who was from Sicily.
His criminal days
In 1920 Capone was arrested for carrying a gun. He claimed that he was carrying the gun for his own protection and that it had not been used to commit any crime. In 1922 Capone led his first murder with his friend Joe Howard in which they shot Frank Gallucio, an enemy of Johnny Torrio. Four years later, on 10 September 1926, Torrio was shot and wounded by two men on a speeding motorcycle while returning from a funeral. Torrio’s suspected attacker was Albert Anselmi who had worked with Capone earlier at Colosimo’s restaurant.
New York City
Through his connections, Al Capone rose to leadership in the national crime syndicate. In May 1927, he was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon but was soon released. In the same year, Capone ordered the execution of a Northside gangster named Dean OBanion for $10,000 who had not paid them $20,000. A few months later Capone’s men killed O’Banion’s successor Hymie Weiss and Weiss’s driver Lewis Mckee.
Capone then ordered the death of all Northsiders (besides Bugs Moran) and on 10 November an assassin under his orders killed Anthony Lombardo and his bodyguard Frank “Jelly” Nash on Clark Street.
Move to Chicago
Capone’s residence at his main base in Chicago. In 1928, Capone was sentenced to 11 years of hard labor for an income tax evasion charge. On Al Capone’s release, he moved to Chicago with his wife Mae and their three children. On 8 October 1929, Capone was involved in a scuffle outside the Lakeview Restaurant after he had finished dinner and was arguing with the owner about a $100 bill that had not been paid. He left the restaurant with Josephine’s cousin Nick Fischetti and Bill “The Killer” DeSimone who were passing by. At this time, three men approached Capone asking him to get out of their way while they were riding a motorcycle. The three men were Bugs Moran, Jack “Legs” Diamond, and Alfonse “The Black Hand” Gefusco.
Capone’s men chased after the motorcycle and got it stopped with their car in a back alley. The three men jumped out of the motorcycle and Capone was hit in the shoulder with a pistol by Moran. Capone got up using his gun and fired six shots at Moran, who was shot two times in the chest. Diamond also tried to attack him but was hit with two bullets as well. The final man standing, Gefusco, rushed to Capone’s aid when he saw him bleeding from a wound on his head.
Al Caponesurvived the shooting and Moran, Diamond, and Gefusco ended up in court and were tried for attempted murder. In May 1930, all three were found guilty of assault with intent to kill, conspiracy to commit murder, and illegal weapons possession. The court sentenced them to life in prison but the ruling was soon overturned by a higher court which ruled that the men had acted in self-defense. Capone was declared an innocent party after it was discovered that he did not have possession of a firearm or drive the car used to chase them.
In November 1931, Capone went into hiding fearing that he would be arrested on federal income tax evasion charges again.
Feud with Aiello
In 1929, Capone’s men had killed Angelo Genna, the leader of the Unione Siciliane. He had his enemies feel the heat after he heard that they were conspiring against him. After the deal with Moran, Capone tried to get his hands on a bootlegging business controlled by Jack “Legs” Diamond and Jack McGurn in Cicero, Illinois. This was because he was not satisfied with their offer on how to divide their territories after they had killed a Northside gangster named Bugs Moran.
Al Capone was seen as a potential foe by the Democrats and in 1933, he did not get the support of them for the mayoral election. He had to go into hiding on 19 February 1933 when federal agents looking for him arrived in Cicero. He later found refuge at the home of his friend Frank Stearns who lived in Miami Beach. Capone was later arrested but soon released following protests from public figures such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, and Samuel Gompers who denounced his arrest.
Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre
Capone was feared by many people as his men were known to have killed at least 11 people during the Prohibition period. This was because it was common for him to have several henchmen who worked with him such as Frank “The Enforcer” Nitti, Johnny “The Ear” Mc urlan, and Bugs Moran who carried out murders on his behalf. The first murder that Capone ordered was that of the leader of the Northside Gang, Dean OBanion in July 1929.
Capone’s influence grew in the illegal booze business during Prohibition after he and his friends forced other bootleggers to stop using bullets and switch to machine guns.
Feud with Aiello ends
In May 1931, Al Capone had a meeting with Frankie Yale who was the boss of the Yale gang in Brooklyn. He proposed to Yale that they do business together and that they each take over the territory of McGurn, Diamond, and Moran. Capone wanted them dead. On 26 May that year, he arranged for two killers to shoot them outside their headquarters at the Adonis Club which resulted in McGurn’s death. In September that year, Aiello was shot dead by Diamond and his men after returning from a doctor’s appointment for an eye infection.
In 1934, Capone was involved in a quarrel with the North Siders over the control of vice rackets and prostitution. Even though he was not directly involved in this incident, he ordered his men to attack the Northside Gang at their headquarters in Cicero.
National Prohibition ended on December 5, 1933. And Capone proceeded to benefit from bootlegging by establishing a network for producing alcohol. In November 1935, he began to break away from his old friends. Those who had been influential to him during Prohibition including Frank Wilson. Who quit in June that year after a disagreement over extortion fees.
The Chicago Police Department and the IRS wanted Al Capone on tax evasion charges. He was tried in two courts and both cases ended in failure. In the first case, it was uncovered that the government had not followed. Due process in their attempts to obtain evidence against him. In the second case, it was uncovered that he did not have to pay taxes for his businesses. Since he had been living outside the United States for more than six months in 1932.
The New York Times reported on 26 October 1931 that Capone paid $32,000 to settle tax evasion charges. After being challenged by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Capone died on January 25, 1947, at age 48 as a result of a heart attack. Some of his friends reported that he was still trying to do business after he died. Others reported that he had been drinking whiskey continuously in the last weeks of his life. Because he was depressed over not being able to see his wife Mae Capone. Or eat properly due to arthritis and diabetes.
The legacy of Al Capone is one marked by violence and cruelty. He is widely known as one of the most notorious Chicago gangsters. Who owned several profitable businesses during Prohibition in the 1920s. And the 1930s while living in poverty in Little Italy, Chicago.