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The Rise And Fall Of Al Capone

Essay, Research Paper The Rise and Fall of Al Capone Alphonse Capone was born in New York City by two parents Gabriel and Teresa Capone. Capone’s parents immigrated to the United States in

Essay, Research Paper

The Rise and Fall of Al Capone

Alphonse Capone was born in New York City by two parents Gabriel

and Teresa Capone. Capone’s parents immigrated to the United States in

1893 from Naples, Italy. Capone came from a large family and was the

fourth oldest of nine children. (Kobler 10). As a child, Capone was very

wise when it came to living on the streets of New York. He had a clever

mind when it came to knowing his environment. Capone was not very bright

when it came to school. Capone was an illiterate. He came from a poor

neighborhood in Brooklyn, so education was not a priority.

At about the age of eleven Capone became a member of a juvenile

gang in his neighborhood. Al Capone’s philosophy was that laws only

applied to people who had enough money to live by them.

The name of the gang Capone became a member of was called the Bim

Booms gang. In this gang, Capone was taught how to defend himself with a

knife, and with a gun. By the time Capone reached the sixth grade he had

already become a street brawler. Capone never responded well to authority

and for this very reason his schooling would soon come to an end. While

attending school, Capone was responsible for beating a female teacher and

knocking her to the ground. The principal of the school rushed in and

punished young Capone and for this very reason he would never return to

school again. (Sifakis 603)

After dropping out of school, Capone took up jobs such as working as

a pin-setter at a bowling alley, and working behind the counter at a candy

store. Capone was terrific at pool, winning every eightball tournament held in

Brooklyn. He also became an expert knife fighter. Although the Bim

Booms gang was the first gang Capone ever entered, he was quickly picked

up by the Five Pointers . The Five Pointers was the most powerful gang in

New York city. The gang was headed by Johnny Torrio, and was made up of

over 1,500 thugs who specialized in burglary, extortion, robbery, assault, and

murder. While working as a strong arm enforcer under Torrio, Capone

learned all the lethal tricks that would help him reach a pinnacle point in

organized crime. Capone was very grateful to Torrio. Torrio first set Capone

out to do all of his dirty work . Capone was sent to beat up loan shark

victims behind on their payments, then a pimp, beating up girls who were

holding out on their nightly take. Torrio finally got Capone a job as a bouncer

at the Harvard Inn. By this time Capone was recognized by his gang as being

a vicious fighter with both fists and knives. He also became an excellent

shooter with both a revolver and automatic weapons. This was due to many

months of shooting empty bottles in the basement at the Harvard Inn. Capone

was later promoted to bartender at the Harvard Inn. At this time Capone

recieved the scar which would give him his famous nickname, Scarface . It

is really not known how Capone ended up with a scar that extended four

inches across his left cheek. Capone often lied about how he got the scar.

On December 18, 1918, Capone was married at the age of 19, to a 21

year old Irish girl named Mae Coughlin. A short time later Albert Francis

Capone was born to the couple. At the same time this was going on, in New

York, Johnny Torrio moved his operations to Chicago. Torrio’s prospects in

New York looked low because Capone was charged for two murders. He

was released when a witness lost her memory, and evidence suddenly

vanished from the court. Al Capone knew that he had Torrio to thank for

this. A few days later, Capone got into a fight with another man and killed

him. Rather than being charged again, Capone called Torrio and received an

invitation to move to Chicago. (Nash 604)

As Capone arrived in Chicago, Capone was given a job as a bouncer at

Torrio’s newest club, The Four Deuces. Capone was known as an aggressive

man, hospitalizing most of the drunks he evicted. Men were hospitalized

with broken arms, broken legs, and skull fractures. Capone was repeatedly

arrested for assault, but was always released thanks to Torrio’s police

connections. While working at The Four Deuces, Capone strangled at least

twelve men with his bare hands. The bodies were dragged to the basement

through a trap door that led to the alley behind the club. There a fast getaway

car would always be waiting for Capone to flee in. The underworld of

Chicago at the time was being run by a man named “Big Jim” Colosimo.

Colosimo was a flamboyant man. He dressed in expensive suits and was

covered in diamond jewelry. He was always seen eating at expensive

restaurants, and owned all the brothels, saloons, and gambling establishments

in Chicago. (Nash 605)

Johnny Torrio grew very jealous of Colosimo and soon sent for his

most loyal hitman, Al Capone. When Capone arrived in Chicago, he was

assigned the small jobs as a bouncer and bartender to disguise Torrio’s real

reason for sending for him. “Big Jim” Colosimo was killed on the night of

May 11, 1920. (Nash 606) The reason for his death was due mostly to the

prohibition act to be passed in 1920. The prohibiton act was a law that forbid

alcohol to be distributed to all the bars in Chicago. Torrio, the nephew of

Colosimo, often asked him to start an underground operation that could

supply all the bars with beer and liquor, but Colosimo would never let him.

After Capone s hit on Colisimo, Torrio agreed to give Capone control of his

new alcohol distributing operations. (Allsop 56)

Al Capone’s mob ran the streets of Chicago. While Capone’s street

mob was at its peak, it had over 1,000 members and half of the Chicago

police force. Capone’s payroll at the time consisted of police officers, state’s

attorneys, mayors, legislators, governors, and even congressmen. (Nash 608)

At the time Capone was known as the “King of Chicago”. Being the king of

Chicago had its downfalls. There were numerous threats on his life caused by

rival mob members. Capone was shot at in the streets, and even had poison

slipped into his food at clubs. In a near death experience a rival gang

member, Dion O’Banion, shot 1,000 rounds into the Hawthorn Inn where

Capone was staying. After he had cheated death, the arranging of O’Banion’s

death would be marked as one of Capone’s greatest accomplishments. This

assassination was performed by Capone’s two best hitmen, John Scalise and

Albert Anselmi. Unfortunately for Al Capone, the hit on Dion O Banion was

not very successfull. The killing of O Banion led to hostility between one of

O Banions fellow leaders, Bugs Moran. Capone s sought to strike first on

Moran and his gang before it was to late. The plan to knock off Moran s

gang was later nicknamed The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Capone’s men

dressed as police officers and lined seven of O Banion and Morans gang

members up across a garage wall. The gang offered no resistance because

they thought it was a regular police routine. Instead Capone’s men opened up

over 1,000 rounds of machine gun fire slaughtering the gang members.

Unfortunately for Capone, Bugs Moran was not present among the seven men

who were killed. (Nash 112) After Capone’s

failed attemp to knock off Moran, his opperations became very sloppy.

Capone s eventual downfall was caused by one of his own business agents

who ran Capone’s dog and horse race tracks. The man’s name was Eddie

O’Hare. O Hare was working undercover under the IRS. He informed the

IRS where books containing Capone’s income could be taken. Capone had

never paid any tax s and for this very reason he was brought up on charges of

tax invasion in front of the federal court. Capone tried to bribe the federal

government by offering them $400,000 to drop the case against him, but they

rejected the offer. Capone was convicted and given the maximum sentence

which was a $50,000 fine, court costs of $30,000, and eleven years in jail.

(Nash 116 ) Capone started his sentence in an Atlanta prison. In 1934 he

was transferred to Alcatraz, also known as The Rock . Five years later he

was released from Alcatraz due to a case of untreated syphilis he recieved

from sleeping with prostitutes. Later that year, Al Capone was judged insane

and was released to the care of his family. (Sifakis 613 )

In January 1947 Capone had a massive brain hemorrhage and died.

His body was removed from his estate in Florida and transferred back to the

seen of his underworld triumph, Chicago. The family held a private

ceremony at the cemetery, but were affraid of grave robbers taking the body

so they reburied Capone in a secret place in Mt. Carmel Cemetery. (Kobler

122)

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