Best Known For
A child from an Italian immigrant family, Al Capone (a.k.a. 'Scarface') rose to infamy as the leader of the Chicago mafia during the Prohibition era.
Al Capone - Taking Him Out (4:57)
Al Capone - Rise to Power (2:59)
Al Capone - Random Facts (2:00)
Al Capone - Sentenced (0:35)
Al Capone was a famous outlaw and leader of the Mob in Chicago. It took Eliot Ness and the secret six of Chicago to take down Al Capone on tax evasion.
Al Capone rose to power with a deadly combination of raw brutality and brainpower. "Scarface" wanted to be loved, but wasn't afraid to murder anyone that crossed him.
Al Capone is best known as the Prohibition-era leader of organized crime in Chicago, however, there's more than meets the eye to this criminal mastermind.
Deadly gangster Al Capone was sentenced to jail for tax evasion in 1931.
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Despite a brief hiatus when Capone married middle-class Irish girl Mae Coughlin and settled down as a bookkeeper, he was soon to return working for his old boss Johnny Torrio in Chicago. The unexpected death of Capone's father was a turning point. It is believed that the sudden freedom from parental influence was the reason that he stopped trying to maintain a law abiding,
As Capone's reputation grew he still insisted on being unarmed as a mark of his status. But he never went anywhere without at least two bodyguards. He was even sandwiched between bodyguards when traveling by car. He also preferred to travel under cover of night, risking travel by day only when absolutely necessary. With his business acumen, Al became Torrio's partner and took over as manager of the Four Deuces - Torrio's headquarters in Chicago's Levee area. The Four Deuces served as a speakeasy, gambling joint and whorehouse under one roof.
A crackdown on racketeering in Chicago meant that Al Capone's first mobster job was to move operations to Cicero. With the assistance of his brothers Frank (Salvatore) and Ralph, Capone infiltrated the government and police departments. Between them they took leading positions within Cicero city government in addition to running brothels, gambling clubs and racetracks.
Capone kidnapped opponents' election workers and threatened voters with violence. He eventually won office in Cicero but not before his brother Frank had been killed in a shoot out with Chicago's police force.
Capone had prided himself on keeping his temper under wraps but when friend and fellow hood Jack Guzik was assaulted by a small time thug, Capone tracked the assailant down and shot him dead in a bar. Due to lack of witnesses, Capone got away with the murder, but the publicity surrounding the case gave him a notoriety that he had never had before.
After the attempted assassination of Capone's friend and mentor Johnny Torrio the frail man left his legacy of nightclubs, whorehouses, gambling dens, breweries and speakeasies to Capone. Capone's new found status saw him moving his headquarters to the luxurious Metropole Hotel as part of his personal crusade to become more visible and court celebrity. This included fraternizing with the press and being seen at places like the opera. Capone was different from many gangsters who avoided publicity. Always smartly dressed, he set out to be viewed as a respectable businessman and pillar of the community.
Capone's next mission involved bootleg whiskey. With the help of his old friend Frankie Yale in New York, Al set out to smuggle huge quantities into Chicago. The events would lead to what became known as The Adonis Club Massacre where Capone had Yale's enemies brutally attacked during a Christmas party.
Capone's bootlegging whiskey trail from Chicago to New York was making him rich, but an incident involving Billy McSwiggin, known as the "hanging prosecutor," was to prove a major setback for the unassailable gangster.
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Bootleggers, smugglers, drug dealers, hit men—all these occupations are the provenance of mobsters, who operate in ethnic, family and business networks. Mobsters' real life crimes, and Hollywood's fascination with them, has earned them a special place in the American imagination. From Al Capone's Chicago crime ring to Bugsy Siegel's Las Vegas racket, these mobsters have made their names notorious from coast to coast.
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