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Al Capone Biography Essay

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     “When I sell liquor, they call it bootlegging. When my patrons serve it on silver trays on Lake Shore Drive, they call it hospitality.”-Al Capone [Woog, 25]
      Al Capone was one of the most notorious gangsters during the 1920’s. He was a self-made business man. He had a ready smile and a quick handshake, which if you did not play your cards right, could turn out to be fatal. It took 500 gangland murders to make Capone the boss of Chicago. He was public enemy number one. Capone single handedly gave Chicago the nickname “The Lawless City.”
     Alphonse Capone was born in Brooklyn, New York, on January 17, 1899. He grew up in a very rough neighborhood and became a part of two gangs during this time. He was a very bright kid, yet he quit school in the sixth grade at age fourteen. He worked several jobs, such as a clerk at a candy store and a pin boy at a bowling alley, in between scams.
After a while he became part of the well known Five Points gang and worked for the fellow gangsters. While he was working one night as a bouncer at the Harvard Inn, he insulted a patron and her brother attacked Capone leaving him with his infamous facial scars which later gave him his nickname “Scarface.”
In 1918, Capone met a girl named Mary Coughlin who gave birth to their son Albert "Sonny" Francis. Coughlin and Capone married later that year.
He was first arrested on a disorderly conduct charge while working for fellow gangster Frankie Yale. At this time he also murdered two men to prove his willingness to kill, but he was not tried because of the gangland etiquette of “silence.” Capone was let off of all charges due to lack of proof. After Capone hospitalized a rival gang member, Yale sent him to Chicago until things blew over. He arrived there in 1919.
     When Capone settled into Chicago, Yale sent him to work for his old mentor, John Torrio. Once Torrio realized Capone’s potential, he took him under his wing and let Capone become his partner in the bootlegging business. By 1922, Capone was Torrio’s number two man and was his partner in everything. Torrio was shot by rival gang members and forced to leave Chicago, so naturally Capone made himself boss. Capone was well liked and trusted by his men and soon called “The Big Fellow.” He quickly prove...


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...Likeville, MN: Northstar      Maschek Books, 1987
•     Esslinger, Michael. “Al (Scarface) Capone”. Alcatraz History. 1pp. 17      March. 2005 /.
•     Famous Cases: Alphonse Capone. Federal Bureau of Investigation. 3pp.      5      March. 2005      .
•     Goldfarb, Joel. “Capone”. Encyclopedia of World Biography. 1993
•     Helmer, William J. “Al Capone”. World Book Encyclopedia. 2005
•     Landesco, John. Organized crime in Chicago. Chicago: University of      Chicago Press, 1968.
•     Paton, John, et al., eds. Crimes and Punishment Vol. 2 New York:      Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 1986.
•     Waller, Irle. Chicago Uncensored: Firsthand Stories About the Al      Capone Era. New York: Exposition Press, 1965.
•     Woog, Adam. Gangsters. San Diego: Lucent Books, 1953. 25-35


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