Infamous Chicago gangster, Al Capone was the fourth of 9 children of Italian immigrants from Naples. He was born in the Williamsburgh section of Brooklyn. Capone was a born sociopath. In the 6th grade he beat up a teacher and promptly quit school. He picked up his education from the streets becoming 'street smart' when he joined the James Street gang. This was run by Johnny Torrio who later graduated Capone into the Five Points gang. It was here that he became friends with Lucky Luciano - another infamous member of the gangster era. By his late teens he was hired by Torrio and Frankie Yale as a bouncer in saloon-brothel in Brooklyn. In 1918 he was involved in a bar fight over a girl with hoodlum Frank Galluccio. Gallucio scarred Capone's face and he picked up his moniker - 'Sacrface'. Capone would however tell that he got his scar while fighting for the 'lost batallion' in France during the Great War when he did not even enlist. By 1919 he was already suspected of 1 or 2 murders, so he moved to Chicago to work under Torrio's uncle Big Jim Colosimo, a Chicago whoremaster. Torrio and Colosimo had a dispute over bootlegging during the prohibition era. Torrio was for bootlegging. He hatched a plot with Capone to have him 'bumped off'. They got Frankie Yale to assassinate him. Over the next few years the new Torrio-Capone regime went to war with rival bootlegging gangs in Chicago. In 1924 they killed Dion O'Banion head of the Irish North Side gang. The war however still went on for several years. Capone's younger brother Frank Capone died in hail of bullets in 1924. In February 1925, Torrio who was badly injured in a shootout decided to retire. He told Capone "it's all yours". At the 'tender' age of 26, Capone realized that he was in control of 1,000 gun men and dealing with an organization that involved a $300,000 a week payroll. Capone made a smooth transition from a simple gun-toting thug to a 'business executive'. He had half the city's cops on his payroll. Capone infiltrated higher offices and had governors and even congressmen 'in his pockets'. He controlled votes by terrorizing the voters. He claimed he 'owned' Chicago. So great was his power that he once publicly hit the Mayor of Cicero for doing something without his clearance on the steps of City Hall. The police looked the other way. Capone was probably the first equal oppurtunity employer among mob bosses. He hired Blacks, Jews, Irish and Poles as long as they were trustworthy. Capone even purged Chicago of Mustache Petes. His business card claimed that he was a 'second-hand furniture' salesman. Capone ran gambling, prostitution and boot-legging and basically gave people what they wanted. He was soon very popular and was even cheered at the ballpark while respectable citizens like Herbert Hoover were not. Capone even managed to gain the support of other gangs, incorporating them into his own. He was however always concerned for his own safety and had himself surrounded by bodyguards including Gallucio the man who had scarred him! Capone was shot at several times and even had his soup poisoned. On Valentine's Day in 1929 Capone ordered his bloody 'St. Valentine's Day Massacre'. He wanted to kill rival bootlegger Bugs Moran, leader of the former O'Bannion gang. Capone's men dressed as police officers raided their wearhouse and shot dead 7 men - but Moran was not one of them. Following the massacre public opinion about Capone began to change. The most infamous of his own personal killings involved his own men John Scalise and Albert Anselmi. Capone threw a banquet in their honour and then bashed in their brains with an Indian club for trying to betray him. The authorities couldn't get him for murder so they charged him with tax evasion and sent Capone to the federal penitentiary in Atalanta for 11 years. In 1934 he was transfered to Alcatraz which had just become a federal prison to hold the nations worst criminals. However in 1939 he was released because of the ravages of neurosyphilis. Capone had become 'stir crazy' while on 'the Rock'. He lived the last 8 years of his life at his family mansion in Florida.
Al Capone was a famous mobster.
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