"You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone." - Al Capone
Alphonse Gabriel Capone (January 17, 1899 – January 25, 1947), popularly known as Al Capone, was an American gangster who led a crime syndicate dedicated to the smuggling and bootlegging of liquor and other illegal activities during the Prohibition Era of the 1920s and 1930s.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, to southwest Italy emigrants Gabriele and Teresina Capone, Capone began his career in Brooklyn before moving to Chicago and becoming the boss of the criminal organization known as the Chicago Outfit (although his business card reportedly described him as a used furniture dealer).
By the end of the 1920s, Capone had gained the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation following his being placed on the Chicago Crime Commission’s “public enemies” list. Although never successfully convicted of racketeering charges, Capone’s criminal career ended in 1931, when he was indicted and convicted by the federal government for income tax evasion.
- 1 Early Life
- 2 Early Criminal Days
- 3 Orgin of the nickname
- 4 Personal Life
- 5 Chicago
- 6 Cicero,Illinois
- 7 Power and wealth in Chicago
- 8 Capone`s Image
- 9 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
- 10 Federal income taxes and downfall
- 11 Prison Time
- 12 Death
- 13 Popular Culture
- 14 Trivia
- 15 Capone Character Pictures
- 16 Real life Capone Gallery
Early Life[edit | edit source]
Capone was born to Gabriele Capone (December 12, 1864 – November 14, 1920) and his wife Teresina Raiola (December 28, 1867 – November 29, 1952) in Brooklyn, on January 17, 1899. Gabriele was a barber from Castellammare di Stabia, a town about 15 miles (24 km) south of Naples, Italy. Teresina was a seamstress and the daughter of Angelo Raiola from Angri, a town in the province of Salerno in southwestern Italy.
The Capones had emigrated to the United States in 1894 and settled in the Navy Yard section of downtown Brooklyn. When Al was 14, the Capone family moved to 21 Garfield Place in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The new home was where Al met Mae Josephine Coughlin, whom he married a few years later at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church, and gangster Johnny Torrio.
Gabriele and Teresina had seven sons and two daughters: Vincenzo Capone (1892 – October 1, 1952), Raffaele Capone (January 12, 1894 – November 22, 1974), Salvatore Capone (January 1895 – April 1, 1924) Alphonse Gabriel Capone (January 17, 1899 – January 25, 1947), Erminio Capone (born 1901, date of death unknown), Umberto Capone (1906 – June 1980), Matthew Capone (1908 – January 31, 1967), Rose Capone (born and died 1910) and Mafalda Capone (later Mrs. John J. Maritote, January 28, 1912 – March 25, 1988).
Early Criminal Days[edit | edit source]
Capone’s life of crime began early. As a teenager, he joined two gangs, the Brooklyn Rippers and the Forty Thieves Juniors, and engaged in petty crime.
Capone left school in the sixth-grade at age 14, after being expelled for punching a teacher at Public School 133. He then worked at odd jobs around Brooklyn, including in a candy store and a bowling alley. After his initial stint with small-time gangs, Capone joined the notorious Five Points Gang, headed by Frankie Yale. It was at this time he began working as a bartender and a bouncer at Yale’s establishment, the seedy Harvard Inn. It was there that Capone got the scars that gave him the nickname “Scarface”.
Capone was still working for Frankie Yale and is thought to have committed at least two murders before being sent to Chicago in 1919, mainly to avoid the retribution of Bill Lovett, a violent lieutenant in the White Hand Gang, who was busy searching for Capone who had supposedly hospitalized one of his subordinates. Capone was familiar with Chicago, having been sent there previously by Yale in order to help crime boss James “Big Jim” Colosimo dispose of a troublesome group of Black Hand extortionists. Capone went to work for Colosimo’s empire under Giovanni “Johnny” Torrio, another Brooklyn native.
Capone also met a man named Anthony Accetturo, who he helped in many things. Accetturo repaid him by killing Capone’s slight enemies. Accetturo was at Capone’s court hearing for tax evasion.
Orgin of the nickname[edit | edit source]
When he was working as a waiter for a young couple, he leaned down and said to the woman, “Honey, you have a nice ass and I mean that as a compliment.” Her brother, Frank Gallucio, pulled a knife and slashed Capone in the face three times before leaving the bar with his sister. Word of the fight eventually reached Yale, who forced Capone to apologize to Gallucio.
This incident caused Yale to take Capone under his wing and eventually led to his rule over the Chicago Outfit. It is speculated that Capone forgave Frank Gallucio and even hired him as a bodyguard later in his career.
However, the knife wounds left gruesome scars, which plagued Capone for the rest of his life. He truly disliked this sobriquet and once, allegedly, killed another man because he called him that.
Personal Life[edit | edit source]
On December 30, 1918, Capone married Mae Josephine Coughlin, an Irish woman, who, shortly before their marriage, had given birth to his son, Albert Francis (“Sonny”) Capone. The couple lived in Brooklyn before moving to Amityville, Long Island, to be close to “Rum Row.”
Chicago[edit | edit source]
Torrio immediately recognized Capone’s talents, and soon Capone was elevated to running the Four Deuces bar and given responsibility for much of the alcohol and prostitution rackets in the city of Chicago. With prohibition in full effect, there was a fortune to be made in bootlegging. Colosimo’s reluctance to move into this area of crime led to his murder on May 11, 1920, in the foyer of his own nightclub. Yale was later arrested for the murder, but the case collapsed through lack of evidence. Torrio was now in charge and promoted Capone to be his second in command.
The Capone family moved to Chicago for good, buying a red-brick bungalow at 7244 South Prairie Avenue on the city’s South Side. The house served as Al Capone’s first headquarters.
Cicero,Illinois[edit | edit source]
After the 1923 election of reform mayor William Emmett Dever in Chicago, Chicago’s city government began to put pressure on the gangster elements inside the city limits. To put its headquarters outside of city jurisdiction and create a safe zone for its operations, the Capone organization muscled its way into Cicero, Illinois. This led to one of Capone’s greatest triumphs: the takeover of Cicero’s town government in 1924.
The 1924 town council elections in Cicero became known as one of the most crooked elections in the Chicago area’s long history, with voters threatened at polling stations by thugs. Capone’s mayoral candidate won by a huge margin but only weeks later announced that he would run Capone out of town. Capone met with his puppet-mayor and personally knocked him down the town hall steps, a powerful assertion of gangster power and a major victory for the Torrio-Capone alliance.
For Capone, this event was marred by the death of his brother Frank at the hands of the police. As was the custom amongst gangsters Capone signaled his mourning by attending the funeral unshaven, and he cried openly at the gathering. He ordered the closure of all the speakeasies in Cicero for a day as a mark of respect.
Much of Capone’s family put down roots in Cicero as well. In 1930, Capone’s sister Mafalda’s marriage to John J. Maritote took place at St. Mary of Czestochowa, a massive Neogothic edifice towering over Cicero Avenue in the so-called Polish Cathedral style.
Power and wealth in Chicago[edit | edit source]
Severely injured in a 1925 assassination attempt by the North Side Gang, the shaken Torrio turned over his business to Capone and returned to Italy. Capone was notorious during the Prohibition Era for his control of large portions of the Chicago underworld, which provided the Outfit with an estimated US$10 million per year in revenue. This wealth was generated through all manner of illegal enterprises, although the largest money-maker was the sale of liquor.
Demand was met by a transportation network that moved smuggled liquor from the rum-runners of the East Coast and The Purple Gang in Detroit and local production in the form of Midwestern moonshine operations and illegal breweries. With the funds generated by his bootlegging operation, Capone’s grip on the political and law enforcement establishments in Chicago grew stronger. Through this organized corruption, which included the bribing of Mayor of Chicago William “Big Bill” Hale Thompson, Capone’s gang operated largely free from legal intrusion, operating brothels, casinos and speakeasies throughout Chicago. Wealth also permitted Capone to indulge in a luxurious lifestyle of custom suits, cigars, gourmet food and drink (his preferred liquor was Templeton Rye from Iowa), jewelry and female companionship.
However, this unprecedented level of criminal success drew the attention of Capone’s rivals, particularly his bitter rivalries with North Side gangsters such as Dion O’Banion, Bugs Moran and lieutenant Earl “Hymie” Weiss. Such opposition led to attempts to assassinate Capone throughout the 1920s. He was shot in a restaurant, and he had his car riddled with bullets more than once.
These attacks prompted Capone to order the outfitting of his Cadillac with armor plating, bullet-proof glass, run-flat tires, and a police siren. However, most of the would-be assassins were incompetent, and Capone was never seriously wounded. But, it should be noted that although Capone was never hurt, every attempt on his life left him increasingly shaken and slightly afraid of Moran who most certainly had an involvement in almost every attempt. Members of the gang that had wounded Torrio shot into the headquarters of Capone’s gang, which was disguised as a doctor’s office and an antique dealer’s shop. Nobody was hurt in the raid (Capone’s bodyguard threw him to the ground at the first sound of gunfire), although the headquarters was riddled with bullet holes. This event scared Capone to no end and forced him to call for truce, one that would be short-lived.When the headquarters moved to the Lexington Hotel, Capone had it filled with his armed bodyguards around the clock. For his trips away from Chicago, Capone was reputed to have had several other retreats and hideouts located in Brookfield, Wisconsin; Saint Paul, Minnesota; Olean, New York; French Lick, as well as Terre Haute, Indiana; Dubuque, Iowa; Hot Springs, Arkansas; Johnson City, Tennessee; and Lansing, Michigan. Tunnels found under the city of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, are said to have been another hideout of Capone’s. As a further precaution, Capone and his entourage would often suddenly show up at a one of Chicago’s train depots and buy up an entire Pullman sleeper car on night trains to places like Cleveland, Omaha, Kansas City and Little Rock/Hot Springs, Ark. where they would spend a week in a luxury hotel suite under assumed names (with the apparent knowledge and blessing of local authorities). In 1928, Capone bought a retreat on Palm Island, Florida. In retrospect, these security measures seem excessive and based on paranoid ideation. Nevertheless, Capone’s fear of being killed was quite understandable in light of the North Side’ repeated attempts to eliminate him. The fusilade launched against his headquarters where at least ten gunmen blasted away at him for over ten minutes must have been particularly unnerving. Capone considered Moran to be a homicidal lunatic (for good reason) and lived in continuous fear of him and his gang of brutal thugs. Even in his last days, as he lay ravaged by syphilis, Capone raved on about Moran (as well as communists and foreigners) whom he was convinced was still plotting to do him in from the confines of his Ohio prison cell.
Capone`s Image[edit | edit source]
Part of the reason Capone was taken to task in this way was his status as a celebrity. On the advice of his publicist, he stopped hiding from the media by the mid-1920s and began to make public appearances. When Charles Lindbergh performed his famous transatlantic flight in 1927, Capone was among the first to push forward and shake his hand upon his arrival in Chicago.
Capone often tried to whitewash his image and be seen as a community leader. For example, he started a program, which was continued for decades after his death, to fight rickets by providing a daily milk ration to Chicago school children. Also during the Great Depression, Capone opened up a few soup kitchens for the poor and homeless.
Capone was a man with style, and if he ever killed someone himself, or one of his henchmen killed an important person, hundreds of dollars worth of flowers was sent to the funeral, and even Capone and some of his men went to the funeral. In one instance, one of Capone’s rival gang leaders was killed by his men, and Capone sent $5,000 worth of flowers to the funeral. In one fight between Capone’s men and another gang, an innocent woman was shot, not fatally, and required hospital treatment. Capone paid for all the hospital fees.
Capone could often be seen sitting in box seats with his son and bodyguards at Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs games. He, his brother Ralph, and Gusik regularly went to the race tracks in Chicago as well as during their security forays into Arkansas and Nebraska. He was also an opera fan and liked circuses and rodeos where he would buy huge blocks of tickets and distribute them among low income neighborhoods.
Capone and Nitti were both fans of “New Orleans” jazz music and were instrumental in the rise of such talents as Louis Armstrong and others who regularly played at Capone speakeasies on the South Side. Bob Hope related performing, when he was an up and comer, at one of these clubs where he was terrified of the prospects of bombing in front of such a crowd.
He gained a great deal of admiration from many of the poor in Chicago for his flagrant disregard of the Prohibition law that they despised. He was viewed for a time as a lovable outlaw, partially because of his extravagant generosity to strangers and often lending a hand to struggling Italian-Americans. His nightclub, the Cotton Club, became a hot spot for new acts such as Charlie Parker and Bing Crosby. He was often cheered in the street.
Such efforts, however, did not change his reputation for violence and murder within the city. Capone did not help his own PR problems by being linked to an incident where two men were bludgeoned to death with baseball bats after they were thought to be disloyal to the Outfit. The brutal murders of the St. Valentine’s Day massacre also didn’t help, as they made people view Capone as a killer and socially unacceptable.
Capone headed a list of “public enemies” corrupting the city compiled by the chairman of the Chicago Crime Commission, Frank J. Loesch, in April 1930. The list was published by newspapers nationwide, and Capone became known as “Public Enemy No. 1.”
St. Valentine’s Day Massacre[edit | edit source]
Al Capone orchestrated the most notorious gangland killing of the century, the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side. Although details of the killing of the seven victims in a garage at 2122 North Clark Street are still in dispute and no one was ever indicted for the crime, their deaths are generally linked to Capone and his henchmen, especially Jack “Machine Gun” McGurn. McGurn is thought to have led the operation, using gunmen disguised as police and toting shotguns and Thompson submachine guns.
The massacre was Capone’s effort to dispose of Moran. The North Side gang had become increasingly bold in hijacking the Outfit’s booze trucks and encroaching on the South Side and Capone was ready to put it to an end. After all efforts to secure a truce had failed, Capone, his accountant/chief extortionist Jake “Greasy Thumb” Gusik and Frank “The Enforcer” Nitti agreed that they’d have to risk the political heat that would come from wiping out Moran and his gang or face eventual elimination at the hands of the North Siders. They assigned the task to McGurn and told him to use “outside torpedoes” to avoid implication. McGurn secured the services of triggermen from New York, Tennessee, Detroit and downstate Illinois.They rented an apartment across from the Clark Street trucking garage that served as a Moran headquarters to monitor their targets’ habits and movements and placed a call to the garage offering to sell a truckload of whiskey stolen by freelancing Sicilian immigrants from a Capone shipment. Such freelancers often hijacked such shipments from both gangs and sold them to the highest bidders so no suspicions were aroused in the Moran camp. The stolen booze (high-grade Canadian whiskey) was brought to the the garage and the deal was done.
As hoped, the entire Moran gang was there. Unknown to the North Siders, these “freelancers” were being paid by McGurn to set them up for the kill. On January 13, the freelancers called again and set up another transaction for the next day. The freelancers were expected to drive the truck right into the garage, where McGurn hoped the entire Moran gang would again be assembled. At the set time, a stolen Chicago police car pulled up and uniformed “officers” entered the building along with others who had been standing nearby.
Apparently, the gang members thought that they had been scammed and that they had been set up for a raid. They sheepishly lined up to cooperate in the belief that their lawyers would fix things downtown as they had many times before. Moran, spotting what he thought to be a police car outside, decided to keep walking and did not enter the garage.
It is believed that a local optometrist (who supplemented his income through bootlegging and liked to hang out at the garage with the gang members) had been mistaken that morning for Moran because he was of similar height and wore the same color gray hat and coat favored by the North Side chieftain. After the bogus Moran entered, the lookouts triggered the “raid.”
Forensic evidence shows that the seven victims were almost cut in two by machine gun fire and that many of the victims had their faces shot off by shotgun blasts for good measure. People in the neighborhood saw the police go in and heard what they thought were a series of backfires which were common at a garage. The “police” later led some men out to the car and left.
The grisly scene was discovered after the mechanic’s dog began to howl so loudly that neighbors went in to see what was wrong. One of the Moran gang survived long enough to be questioned in a hospital before he died. True to gangland fashion, he refused to cooperate with the police in the slightest degree, obedient to the unwritten code of honor then prevalent among the Chicago underworld.
Although Moran escaped, all his chief deputies were killed and his illegal liquor operation in Chicago rapidly declined. When asked by reporters if he believed Capone was behind the killings, Moran scornfully replied “Only Capone kills like that!”
An indignant Capone countered, “Oh yeah? Listen … they don’t call that guy ‘Bugs’ for nothing!” in a reference to Moran’s reputation for savagery. With his remaining resources, Moran marked Capone and his key underlings for extermination.
Capone arranged to have himself jailed in Philadelphia for a year to avoid numerous “murder for hire” outfits that were hunting for him. McGurn was gunned down at a bowling alley on the anniversary of the garage slaughter and two others involved in the kllling disappeared.
Moran eventually ran out of resources and fled to Ohio, allowing Capone to return to Chicago, where he quickly found himself in the legal quagmire that effectively removed him from power. It is generally thought that Capone precipitated his own decline with the garage killings. Graphic photos of bodies lying in pools of blood were plastered all over the papers.
A secret convocation of Chicago civic leaders initiated an all-out effort to drive Capone from power. Nevertheless, had Capone and his gang done nothing, the North Side gang likely would have succeeded in killing their rivals and taking over the entire city. Moran and his associates were driven by a visceral hatred of the “South Side Scum” whom they considered to be sexual deviants and degenerates who dealt in prostitution and drug peddling and allowed debased jazz musicians to play in their bars and brothels.
Moran had also repeatedly vowed to avenge the deaths of his close friends and mentors O’Banion and Weiss (the latter being gunned down on the steps of Trinity Cathedral). It is said that Nitti became enraged with McGurn (whom he considered to be a rival) over Moran’s escape and the unfavorable publicity that ensued.
Federal income taxes and downfall[edit | edit source]
lthough Capone always did his business through front men and had no accounting records in his own name (even his mansion was in his wife’s name), Al Alcini started linking him to his earnings. The federal income tax laws allowed the federal government to pursue Capone on tax evasion, their best chance of finally convicting him.
Pursuing Capone were Treasury agent Eliot Ness and his hand-picked team of incorruptible U.S. Prohibition agents, “The Untouchables,” and internal revenue agent Frank Wilson of the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Internal Revenue. During a routine warehouse raid, they discovered in a desk drawer what was clearly a crudely coded set of accounts. Ness then concentrated on pursuing Capone for his failure to pay tax on this substantial illegal income. This story has become a legend and the subject of books and films.
Capone was tried in a federal court in 1931. The Alcinis tried to help Capone, but he pleaded guilty to the charges on advice of his legal counsel hoping for a plea bargain. But after the judge refused his lawyer’s offers, and the jury was replaced on the day of the trial to frustrate Capone’s associates’ efforts to bribe or intimidate the original panel, Al Capone was found guilty on five of 22 counts of tax evasion for the years 1925, 1926, and 1927, and willful failure to file tax returns for 1928 and 1929. Capone’s legal team offered to pay all outstanding tax and interest and told their client to expect a severe fine. The judge sentenced him to eleven years in a federal prison and one year in the county jail, as well as an earlier six-month contempt of court sentence; he ultimately served only six and a half years because of good behavior. He also had to pay fines and court costs totalling 80,000 dollars.
Prison Time[edit | edit source]
In May 1932, Capone was sent to Atlanta, a tough federal prison, but he was able to take control and obtain special privileges. He was then transferred to Alcatraz, where tight security and an uncompromising warden ensured that Capone had no contact with the outside world. Capone entered Alcatraz with his usual confidence, but his isolation from his associates, and the repeal of Prohibition, meant his empire was beginning to wither. He attempted to earn time off for good behavior by being a model prisoner and refusing to participate in prisoner rebellions. When Capone attempted to bribe guards he was sent to solitary confinement.
During his early months at Alcatraz, Capone made an enemy by showing his disregard for the prison social order when he cut in line while prisoners were waiting for a haircut. James Lucas, a Texas bank robber serving 30 years, reportedly confronted the former syndicate leader and told him to get back at the end of the line. When Capone asked if he knew who he was, Lucas reportedly grabbed a pair of the barber’s scissors and, holding them to Capone’s neck, answered “Yeah, I know who you are, greaseball. And if you don’t get back to the end of that fucking line, I’m gonna know who you were.”
Capone earned the contempt of many of the inmates in Alcatraz when he refused to take part in a prisoners’ strike after a sick inmate, accused of malingering, was denied medical treatment and died. Continuing his work in the prison laundry, Capone was continually harassed by other prisoners and often called a “scab” or “rat.” He was eventually allowed to remain in his cell until the strike was resolved.
Shortly after returning to work, an unidentified inmate threw a heavy lead sash at Capone’s head, but he suffered only a deep cut on the arm after being pushed out of the way by convicted bank robber Roy Gardner.
Reassigned to mopping up the prison bathhouse, Capone was nicknamed the “wop with the mop” by inmates. He was later stabbed in the back by Lucas, who was sentenced to solitary confinement. Capone was hospitalized for a week. He suffered further harassment and unsuccessful attempts on his life throughout his prison sentence, including spiking his coffee with lye and attacking him as he was walking towards the dentist’s office. He remained under protection from several inmates (possibly from payoffs by the Chicago Outfit).
Though he adjusted relatively well to his new environment, his health declined as his syphilis (contracted as a youth) progressed, and he spent the last year of his sentence in the prison hospital, confused and disoriented. Capone completed his term in Alcatraz on January 6, 1939, and was transferred to the Federal Correctional Institution at Terminal Island in California, to serve his one-year misdemeanor sentence. He was released on November 16, 1939, spent a short time in a hospital, then returned to his home in Palm Island, Florida.
Death[edit | edit source]
Capone’s control and interests within organized crime had decreased rapidly after his imprisonment, and he was no longer able to run the Outfit after his release. He had lost weight, and his physical and mental health had declined, most noticeably with the onset of dementia probably caused by the third stage of untreated syphilis Capone had contracted in his youth.
On January 21, 1947, Capone had an apoplectic stroke. He regained consciousness and started to improve but contracted pneumonia on January 24, and suffered a cardiac arrest the next day (possibly associated with the complications of third-stage neurosyphilis).
Alphonse Capone was originally buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery, in Chicago’s far South Side between the graves of his father, Gabriele, and brother, Frank. However, in March 1950, the remains of all three family members were moved to Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois, west of Chicago.
Popular Culture[edit | edit source]
In a book of photographs titled "New York City Gangland", both Capone and his NYC bootlegging ally Guiseppe "Joe The Boss" Masseria appear in Prohibition-era "bathing beauty" portraits.
In Mario Puzo's 1969 novel, The Godfather, Capone played a small role in the fictionalized mob war of 1933. In reality, Capone was in prison by 1933.
In the musical Annie, which takes place in December 1933, an unnamed cabinet member states that "We still haven't caught Al Capone!". In reality, he was already in prison.
Capone was featured in the Kinky Friedman novel The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover.
In Kim Newman and Eugene Byrne's novel Back in the USSA, Al Capone is President and Chairman of the alternate history United Socialist States of America, serving as an analog of Joseph Stalin. Jimmy Hoffa and Frank Nitti take the place of Vyacheslav Molotov and Lavrenti Beria. Also more recently, a historical fiction book was written by Gennifer Choldenko called Al Capone Does My Shirts.
In Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy, Capone's spirit possesses the body of a man named Brad Lovegrove, allowing him to eventually form a group he calls The Organization that takes over the planet of New California and wages war against the Confederation.
Movies and Television
In The Onion satirical journal, CPA-ONE was a prominent member of an office accounting gang led by Herbert Kornfeld. Film and Television Capone has been portrayed on screen by:
- Rod Steiger in Al Capone (1959).
- Neville Brand, The George Raft Story (1961).
- Neville Brand, The Untouchables (1959–1961)
- José Calvo, Due mafiosi contro Al Capone (1966).
- Jason Robards, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967).
- Buddy Lester, Poor Devil (1973)
- Ben Gazzara, Capone (1975).
- Robert De Niro, The Untouchables (1987).
- Eric Roberts, The Lost Capone (1990)
- William Forsythe, The Untouchables (1993–1994)
- William Devane, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (Episode 2.7, That Old Gang of Mine, 1994)
- Anthony LaPaglia, Road to Perdition (2002).(Deleted Scene)
- Jon Bernthal, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009).
Actors playing characters based on Capone include:
- Wallace Beery played the character Louis 'Louie' Scorpio in The Secret Six (1931).
- Ricardo Cortez played Goldie Gorio in Bad Company (1931).
- Paul Lukas, Big Fellow Maskal in City Streets (1931).
- Paul Muni, Antonio 'Tony' Camonte in Scarface (1932).
- Jean Hersholt, Samuel 'Sam' Belmonte in The Beast of the City (1932).
- Edward Arnold, Duke Morgan in Okay, America! (1932).
- C. Henry Gordon, Nick Diamond in Gabriel Over the White House (1933).
- John Litel, 'Gat' Brady in Alcatraz Island (1937).
- Barry Sullivan, Shubunka in The Gangster (1947).
- Ralph Volkie, Big Fellow in The Undercover Man (1949).
- Edmond O'Brien, Fran McCarg in Pete Kelly's Blues (1955).
- Lee J. Cobb, Rico Angelo in Party Girl (1958).
- George Raft as Spats Colombo and Nehemiah Persoff as Little Bonaparte in Some Like It Hot (1959).
- Al Pacino, Tony Montana in Scarface (1983).
- Al Pacino, Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice in Dick Tracy (1990).
In the anime Soul Eater, BlackStar and Tsubaki's target when introduced are the demonic souls Al Capone and his gang of 98 men. He ends every sentence with the words, "You know?", adding to the mafia stereotype.
Jon Polito of Miller's Crossing voiced Al Capone in an episode of the Cartoon Network animated series Time Squad.
Al Capone is referenced heavily in Prodigy's track "Al Capone Zone", produced by The Alchemist and featuring Keak Da Sneak.
Al Capone transcribed a love song called Madonna Mia while in prison. In May 2009, his rendition of the song was recorded for the first time in history.
Prince Buster achieved UK top 20 success in 1967 with "Al Capone".
Al Capone was mentioned in the song "The Night Chicago Died" by the British band Paper Lace, which describes a fictionalized battle between Al Capone's gang and the Chicago police.
In 1990, the Serbian band Riblja Corba released their album Koza Nostra, which features a song, "Al Kapone", which mentions the gangster.
In the Queen song Stone Cold Crazy, Freddie Mercury claims to be "dreaming I was Al Capone".
"Young Al Capone" was a song by the punk band Rancid off the album "Rancid 2000."
The Violent Femmes mention Al Capone in their song "To The Kill" with the lyrics: 'I ain't know kid Chicago, I ain't know Al Capone.' 'I said I don't live in Chicago, I don't know no Al Capone'
Canadian band Stereos mention Al Capone in their song "Turn It Up" with the lyrics: "I won't just kill it, I'mma Al Capone it"
In Tintin in America, boy reporter Tintin captures Capone but, because of a policeman's blunder, Capone escapes. Al Capone is the only real person featured in any Tintin book.
Capone and Eliot Ness are regular supporting characters in the Franco-Belgian comics series Sammy, written by Raoul Cauvin.
In the manga series Soul Eater, Al Capone appears as a Mob Boss for people who devour human souls.He is killed later on by a bodyguard who was protecting a young witch.
In the manga series One Piece, the pirate captain, Capone 'Gang' Bege is based on Al Capone.
In the first issue of the 1980s miniseries Kid Eternity, Al Capone is one of the historical figures that the main character summons to aid him in his battle.
In Savarese by Robin Wood the main character fails a plot to assassinate a man, who later turns out to be Capone.
In the PlayStation 2 role playing game Shadow Hearts: From the New World, Capone must be rescued from Alcatraz by the party when an assassin is sent to kill him. He is deeply indebted to the party thereafter, assisting them on a number of occasions. In the PlayStation 2 game Scarface: The World Is Yours there is a selectable car which is said to be Capone's car.
In Worms 3D, there is a selectable soundbank called "Capone". When chosen, the worms in the team speak with a distinctive gangster accent and use various famous Italian slang words made popular by many gangster movies and television shows.
Capone's Chicago has provided a theme for numerous dining establishments. Restaurants named Capone's exist in cities as far-flung as Norristown, (Pennsylvania, USA), Vancouver (BC, Canada) and Taipei (Taiwan).
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Finding his grave: Plot: Section 35. At the Roosevelt entrance go right approx 6 markers and there is a large gray marker with the name Capone on it.
- Al Capone was said to admire bank robbers and would often allow bandits safe haven in Chicago under the mob's protection. However, after Frank Nitti took over the mob following Al Capone's conviction for tax evasion, he cut off such resources to outlaws like Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, and Alvin Carpis because of the "heat" that was being brought down on the mobs because of the FBI's furious hunt for these men.
- One child: Albert Francis (4 December 1918 - 8 July 2004). Albert did not follow in his notorious father's footsteps, instead, he supported his wife and their four daughters with a variety of jobs, and, aside from a shoplifting conviction in 1965, was a law-abiding citizen. In 1966, he changed his name to Albert Brown; "Brown" was one of his father's many aliases. His godfather was Al's mentor, real-life godfather Johnny Torrio.
- The distinguishing scars on Capone's face that gave him his famous nickname came from an incident in 1918 while he was working in a saloon. One night he approached a woman named Lena Galluchio and made a crude sexual advance. Her brother Frank, a well-known thief nicknamed "The Galluch", insisted that Capone apologize. Capone refused and without a word Galluchio slashed his face twice with a razor.
- Was sentenced to 11 years in prison for income tax evasion.
- Was incarcerated at Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco.
- Was released in 1939 after serving five years at Alcatraz. He attempted to regain control of organized crime in Chicago, but could not. He then retired to Florida.
- Older brother Vince Capone, a.k.a Richard 'Two-Gun' Hart, was a policeman in Nebraska. He was involved with stopping illegal bootlegging during Prohibition, while brother Al profited from it in Chicago.
- Well into the 1960s, The Guinness Book of World Records listed him holding the record for the highest personal income. He listed his trade as "second hand furniture dealer."
- He rose from the position of saloon bouncer to the leading crime boss of Chicago in a period of only six years.
- He, and some of his future associates, were members of New York's notorious Five Points Gang.
- During his confinement in the federal penitentiary at Atlanta, it was discovered that he was still able to run his empire from his cell, which had been converted into an apartment. He was then transferred to the new federal prison at Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, where his means of communications were virtually cut off.
- His son was nicknamed "Sonny." Mario Puzo used this as the nickname for the son of Vito Corleone in his book "The Godfather." Both Capone and Vito Corleone were played by Robert De Niro.
- He was the first to open free "soup kitchens" in Chicago at the beginning of the Great Depression. He also arranged to buy clothing for the needy.
- More than a decade after his death, his infamy was re-established due to the Allied Artists biopic Al Capone (1959) with Rod Steiger in the title role. More importantly, however, later that same year he became a central figure in the hit television series "The Untouchables" (1959), where he was portrayed, on a recurring basis, by Neville Brand.
- His estate tried to halt the production of the hit television series "The Untouchables" (1959). Their final tactic was to claim that the series was unfairly profiting from the Capone name.
- Spent eight months, from August 1929 to March 1930, in the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia for possession of a concealed weapon. He stopped in Philadelphia while returning to Chicago from an outing in Atlantic City and was stopped by police, who frisked him and found the weapon on him.
- His lawyer, who testified against him in court, was named Edward O'Hare, or "Easy Eddie." Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is named for his son, Edward "Butch" O'Hare Jr. Butch O'Hare, of course, is the WWII Medal of Honor winner who saved his aircraft carrier by single-handedly shooting down seven to eight Japanese bombers.
- Great-uncle of Dominic Capone.
- Brought to Chicago by Johnny Torrio to help his aunt's husband, crime boss Jim Colosimo, take out his opposition. It was rumored that Capone later assassinated Colosimo on Torrio's orders.
- One of Capone's all-time favorite tunes was George Gershwin's classic "Rhapsody in Blue".
- Eight of his accomplices were charged (1943) with extortion of $2.5 million from the Cinema Technicians Union.