Research About Life Path of Al Capone

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Al "Scarface" Capone

I chose the topic of Al Capone for this 6 weeks paper because he had the reputation as being one of Chicago s most fierce and notorious gangsters of his time. Capone was one of the most famous and powerful gangsters in United States history. Capone led a vicious life of crime, and he lived it like a king. During the 1920's, he built a criminal empire in Chicago that became model for present-day organized-crime operations. In spite of his reputation, Capone was treated as a celebrity. He was often seen riding in an armored limousine to theaters and sports arenas, where he entertained guests in private boxes. Capone was one of the most feared man of his times, and still his name is one of the most recognized names in America today. His actions he did some 70 to 80 years ago still haunt the Windy City.

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Alphonse Capone was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on January 17, 1899 to poor Italian immigrants. In 1919, Capone came to Chicago to work for a racketeer. A series of gangland shootings soon left a violent and clever Capone in control of much of the city s large-scale criminal activities. His gang dominated liquor, gambling, and prostitution rackets. It fought of rival gangs with submachine guns, and corrupted police and politicians with bribes.

One story I thought was interesting was the one about how Capone acquired the nickname Scarface. Capone's job at the Harvard Inn was to be the bartender and bouncer and, when necessary, to wait on tables. In his first year, Capone became popular with his boss and the customers. Then his luck turned suddenly when he waited on the table of a young couple. The girl was beautiful and the young Capone was entranced. He leaned over her and said, Honey, you have a nice ass and I mean that as a compliment. The man with her was her brother Frank Gallucio. He jumped to his feet and punched the man who insulted his sister. Capone flew into a rage and Gallucio pulled out a knife to defend himself. He cut Capone's face three times before he grabbed his sister and ran out of the place. While the wounds healed well, the long ugly scars would haunt him forever.

The most interesting, I thought, was the infamous St. Valentine s Day Massacre. Neither McGurn nor Capone ever thought that the planned assassination of Bugs Moran would be an event that would be notorious for many decades to come. Capone was lolling so lavishly in Florida, so how could he be held responsible for the murder of a bootlegger. Machine Gun McGurn was given complete control of the hit. McGurn's plan was a creative one. He had a bootlegger lure the Moran gang to a garage to buy some very good whiskey at an extremely attractive price. The delivery was to be made at 10:30 A.M. on Thursday, February 14. McGurn's men would be waiting for them, dressed in stolen police uniforms and trench coats as though they were staging a raid. At the garage, the Keywells spotted a man who looked like Bugs Moran . The assassination squad got into their police uniforms and drove over to the garage in their stolen police car. Playing their part as police raiders to the hilt, McGurn's men went into the garage and found seven men, including the Gusenberg brothers who had tried to murder McGurn. The bootleggers, caught in the act, did what they were told: they lined up against the wall obediently. The four men in police uniforms took the bootleggers' guns and opened fire with two machine guns, a sawed-off shotgun and a .45. The men slumped to the floor dead, except for Frank Gusenberg who was still breathing. To further perpetuate this charade, the two

policemen in trench coats put up their hands and marched out of the garage in front of the two uniformed policemen. Anyone who watched this show believed that two bootleggers in trench coats had been arrested by two policemen. The four assassins left in the stolen police car. It was a brilliant plan and it was brilliantly executed except for one small detail --the target of the entire plan, Bugs Moran, was not among the men executed. Moran was late to the meeting, seeing the police car pulling up just as he neared the garage. Moran took off, not wanting to be caught up in the raid.

In the end, Capone was indited and became a prisoner at the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta and quickly became its most famous prisoner. There were charges almost immediately that he was living like a king. While that was certainly an exaggeration, he clearly lived better than the rest of the prisoners. He had more socks, underwear, sets of sheets, etc. than anyone else. He maintained these extravagances by virtue of a hollow handle in his tennis racket in which he secreted several thousand dollars in cash. In August of 1934, Capone was sent to Alcatraz. His days of living like a king in prison were gone. Capone would run nothing on or from Alcatraz; he wouldn't even know what was happening outside. There would be no smuggled letters or messages. For his remaining years, Capone slowly deteriorated in the quiet splendor of his Palm Island palace. His wife Mae stuck by him until January 25, 1947 when he died of cardiac arrest, his grieving family surrounding him. Alphonse Scarface Capone s legend had finally come to rest, at the age of 48.

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