Al Capone

Al Capone, Gangster, NYC

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Alphonse Gabriel Capone (January 17, 1899 - January 25, 1947), popularly known as Al Capone, was an American gangster who led a crime syndicate dedicated to the illegal trafficking of alcoholic beverages during the time of prohibition in the 1920s and 1930s. Born in Brooklyn, New York, to Neapolitan emigrants Gabriele and Teresina Capone, he began his career in Brooklyn before moving to Chicago and becoming the boss of the criminal organization known as the Chicago Outfit (although his business card reportedly described him as a used furniture dealer).

By the end of the 1920s, Capone had gained the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation following his being placed on the Chicago Crime Commission's "public enemies" list. Although never successfully convicted of racketeering charges, Capone's criminal career ended in 1931 when he was indicted and convicted by the federal government for income tax evasion.

Criminal Career

Capone was born to Gabriele Capone (December 12, 1864 - November 14, 1920) and his wife Teresina Raiola (December 28, 1867 - November 29, 1952) in Brooklyn, on January 17, 1899. Gabriele was a barber from Castellammare di Stabia, a town about 15 miles (24 km) south of Naples, Italy. Teresina was a seamstress and the daughter of Angelo Raiola from Angri, a town in the province of Salerno in south-western Italy. The Capones had emigrated to the United States in 1894, and settled in the Navy Yard section of downtown Brooklyn. When Al was fourteen, the Capone family moved to 21 Garfield Place, in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The new home was where Al met Mae Josephine Coughlin, whom he married a few years later at St. Mary's Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church, and gangster Johnny Torrio.

Gabriele and Teresina had seven sons and two daughters: Vincenzo Capone (1892 - October 1, 1952), Raffaele Capone (January 12, 1894 - November 22, 1974), Salvatore Capone (January 1895 - April 1, Alphonse Gabriel Capone (January 17, 1899 - January 25, 1947), Erminio Capone (born 1901, date of death unknown), Umberto Capone (1906 - June 1980), Matthew Capone (1908 - January 31, 1967), Rose Capone (Born and died 1910) and Mafalda Capone (January 28, 1912 - March 25, 1988).

Capone's life of crime began early. As a teenager, he joined two gangs, the Brooklyn Rippers and the Forty Thieves Juniors, and engaged in petty crime.

Capone left school in the sixth grade aged 14, after being expelled for punching a teacher at Public School 133. He then worked at odd jobs around Brooklyn, including in a candy store and a bowling alley. After his initial stint with small-time gangs, Capone joined the notorious Five Points Gang, headed by Frankie Yale. It was at this time he began working as a bartender and a bouncer at Yale's establishment, the seedy Harvard Inn. It was there that Capone got his nickname "Scarface". When he was working as a waiter for a young couple, he leaned down and said to the woman, "Honey, you have a nice ass and I mean that as a compliment". Her brother, Frank Gallucio, pulled a knife on Capone and slashed him in the face three times before leaving the bar with his sister. The knife wounds left gruesome looking scars on his face, which plagued him for the rest of his life. Word of the fight eventually reached Yale, who forced Capone to apologize to Gallucio. This incident caused Yale to take Capone under his wing and eventually led to his rule over the Chicago Outfit. It is speculated that Capone forgave Frank Gallucio and even hired him as a bodyguard later in his career. However, the scar on his face stayed for life, earning him the nickname "Scarface" which he truly disliked, and once, allegedly, killed another man because he called him that.

On December 30, 1918, Capone married Mae Josephine Coughlin, an Irish woman who shortly before their marriage had given birth to his son, Albert Francis ("Sonny") Capone. The couple lived in Brooklyn before moving to Amityville, Long Island, to be close to "Rum Row."

Capone was still working for Frankie Yale and is thought to have committed at least two murders before being sent to Chicago in 1919, mainly to avoid the retribution of Bill Lovett, a violent lieutenant in the White Hand Gang, who was busy searching for Capone who had supposedly hospitalized one of his subordinates. Capone was familiar with Chicago, having been sent there previously by Yale in order to help crime boss James "Big Jim" Colosimo dispose of a troublesome group of Black Hand extortionists. Capone went to work for Colosimo's empire under Giovanni "Johnny" Torrio, another Brooklyn native.

Capone also met a man named Anthony Accetturo, who he helped in many things. Accetturo repaid him by killing Capone's slight enemies. Accetturo was at Capone's court hearing for tax evasion

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