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Biography of Al Capone
Al Capone was one of the most interesting and notorious people in the 1920’s. He was born in Brooklyn, New York on Jan. 17, 1899 to Gabriel and Teresa Capone who immigrated to the United States from Naples, Italy. Capone came from a large family, he was the fourth of nine children. As a child, Al was very intelligent when it came to street smarts. Although he was near illiterate. At age eleven he joined his first gang, the Bim Booms gang, where he learned to defend himself with a knife. When Capone was in the sixth grade, he was responsible for beating a female teacher and knocking her down. Then when he was criticized by the principal he became angry and never returned to school again. After quitting school he got many small jobs during the day, but during the night he was an expert pool shark.
Then he joined the Five Pointers gang, the most powerful gang in Brooklyn, who was headed by Johnny Torrio. Capone became fast friends with Torrio and Capone moved up in the gang quickly. Then during an altercation with another man he was slashed in the face with a knife and received a four inch cut on his left cheek. This is how he received the nickname "Scarface" which he hated. He would tell people he got the cut while serving in World War I, which he never did. He also covered the scar up with powder and only showed his right side for pictures. When Johnny Torrio moved his operations to Chicago Capone went with him because he was indicted for two murders. Capone worked for Torrio as a bouncer in his club and often put drunks in the hospital. He was charged with assault numerous times but was always let off because of Torrio’s police connections.
The underworld of Chicago was run by "Big Jim" Colosimo who was the uncle of Johnny Torrio. Torrio became very jealous of Colosimo and wanted to kill him, so he got his right hand man Al Capone to do the job. "Big Jim" Colosimo was killed on May 11, 1920 mostly because the prohibition act had just passed and Colosimo wasn’t interested in bootlegging liquor. Torrio and Capone then became the leaders of bootlegging and the underworld in Chicago.
Capone and Torrio became very rich and powerful, and their street mob had over 1,000 members. Then one day Torrio was gunned down and Capone became the king of Chicago. Although being the king of Chicago had its downsides too, he had numerous threats on his life, shot at on streets, and poison slipped in his food. Capone then eliminated all of his rival gangs one by one. Then came one of Capones biggest mistakes when he had the Bugs Moran gang killed by his men dressed as policemen in the St. Valentines Day Massacre. This brought national attention to him and federal agents came to try and convict him and send him to jail. They couldn’t convict him on murder so they convicted him on tax evasion. So Capone was sentenced to eleven years in jail. Capone was then transferred to Alcatraz where syphilis, which he contacted from one of his whorehouses, was rotting out his brain. Soon he had the mental capacity of a twelve year old. He was then sent to his home in Florida and lived the out the rest of his life there. Al Capone died Jan.25, 1947 and was sent to Chicago to be buried. So ended the life of the most powerful man of Chicago in the 1920’s.
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Five Points Gang, Bootleggers, English-language films, The Untouchables, North Side Gang, Johnny Torrio, Al Capone, Bugs Moran, Capone, Frankie Yale, Chicago Outfit
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