Historical Figures: Alphonse Capone

Renknowned America gangster Al Capone was the biggest bootlegger during the prohibition era, and was involved in other activities such as smuggling and prostitution, effectively running the Chicago Underworld.

Tommy Gun

Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone was born on January 17th in 1899 in Brooklyn, New York. Capone is the best known gangster of all time due to his crime syndicate during the prohibition act of the 1920's.

Alphonse was kicked out of school at the young age of 14 and feel in with gangs on the streets of New York. He left New York for Chicago in his early 20's and was taken under the wing of Johnny Torrio, who became his mentor in the Five Points Gang.

in 1925, Torrio was injured in an attack by the North Side Gang and returned to Italy, leaving Capone to run the Outfit. During the prohibition, Capone accumulated an income of $100 million per year through gambling and prostitution, though most of the money came from bootlegging liquor.

Capone made his headquarters the Lexington Hotel in Chicago, which became a heavily guarded building. Because of his huge illegal income, Capone had the funding to bribe police and other law-enforcement, including Chicago Mayor at the time, William Thompson.

After the famous St Valentine's Day Massacre, in which seven members of the North Side Irish gang, led by Capone's rival Bugs Moran, were killed, The Lexington Hotel was dubbed "Capone's Castle".

In 1932 Capone was sent to a jail in Atlanta, and within two years was transferred to the newly created Alcatraz prison, on an island off San Francisco. Capone's power diminished on the new, island prison because of his severe isolation, being disallowed contact with his colleagues, and with the lifting of the Prohibition ban in 1933.

On release in 1939 Capone returned to his Florida mansion with the mental capacity of a 12 year old due to effect of neurosyphilis. On January 25th, 1947, Capone suffered a fatal cardiac arrest and died in his home.