Al Capone Facts

Calvin Coolidge

Summary of Al Capone
Summary: Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone (1899-1947) was the son of Italian immigrants who gained world-wide celebrity and notoriety during the Prohibition Era as Al "Scarface" Capone. His rise to fame involved violence, gang warfare, bribery and corruption in New York and then Chicago where he became the powerful, brutal and wealthy crime boss of the South Side Italian gang, the Chicago Mafia. His alleged involvement with the St. Valentine's Day massacre (February 14, 1929), that targeted his bitter rival George “Bugs” Moran, received unprecedented publicity that both fascinated and repelled the public. Despite his violent reputation and his connection with organized crime Al Capone assumed airs of respectability as a legitimate businessman and philanthropist. Some viewed him as a 'Modern day Robin Hood' others saw him as a dangerous mobster. One thing is certain......Al Capone was the most famous gangster in American History.

Al Capone Facts
Calvin Coolidge was the 30th American President who served in office from August 2, 1923 to March 4, 1929.  An important event during his presidency was Prohibition with the emergence of gangsters such as Al Capone and the rise of organized crime.


Al Capone

Al Capone, the most famous Prohibition gangster

Al Capone Facts: Fast Fact Sheet
Fast, fun facts and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) about Al Capone.

Who was the Al Capone? Al Capone was a notorious gangster during the Prohibition Era. He gained his notoriety due to his involvement with organized crime as the boss of the Chicago Mafia and his alleged involvement with the St. Valentine's Day massacre (February 14, 1929).

What was Al Capone's car?  Al Capone's favorite car was a 1928 Cadillac V-8 Town Sedan which was customized to his requirements by crooked auto dealer Joe Bergl. The Capone Cadillac car was protected by 3,000lbs of steel armour and bulletproof windows.

How did Al Capone die? On January 21, 1947 Al Capone had an apoplectic stoke which led to Bronchial Pneumonia (Bronchopneumonia). He died of heart failure on Saturday January 25,1947 at 7:25 pm at his home in Palm Springs.

Where was Al Capone buried? Al Capone was first buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Chicago's far South Side between the graves of his father and brother Frank. In March, 1950 their remains were moved to Mount Carmel Cemetery on the far West Side of Chicago.

Al Capone Facts for kids
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts, trivia and information on Al Capone

Trivia and 40 Interesting Facts about the Al Capone

Al Capone Fact 1: He lived the American Dream becoming a Millionaire before he was 30 years old. His lavish lifestyle included expensive, elegant clothes and diamond jewelry, customized cars, houses and boats.

Al Capone Fact 2: He was one of 7 children born to Gabriel and Teresa Capone who had immigrated from Naples in Italy to  Brooklyn, New York City in 1894. He was the fourth of five sons and two daughters. His brother names were Salvatore (Frank) Raffaele (Ralph "Bottles") and Vincenzo. The names of his sisters were Rosalia (Rose) and Mafalda.

Al Capone Fact 3: He quit school in the sixth grade at age fourteen and joined two "kid gangs" the Brooklyn Rippers and the Forty Thieves Juniors.

Al Capone Fact 4: Al Capone's nickname was due to the three scars on his left cheek. In 1917 he was slashed across the face by Frank Gallucio whilst working as a bouncer for gangster Frankie Yale in a in Coney Island night club called the Harvard Inn.

Al Capone Fact 5: Al Capone was recruited to the James Street Boys gang by Johnny "The Brain" Torrio, one of the most successful Italian-American gangsters in Brooklyn.

Al Capone Fact 6: Johnny Torrio moved to Chicago in 1909 at the request of "Big Jim" Colosimo, an Italian-American Mafia crime boss who built a criminal empire in Chicago based on prostitution, gambling, and racketeering.  Extortion by the Black Hand ‘La Mano Nera’ was a serious threat to Colosimo's operation in Chicago that Johnny Torrio would help him tackle.

Al Capone Fact 7: In 1918 Al met a tall slim pretty Irish girl named Mae Coughlin at a party. The couple married the same year. The following year Mae bore their first & only child, Albert (later nicknamed Sonny) Johnny Torrio was his Godfather.

Al Capone Fact 8: In 1919 Al Capone beat Irish "White Hand" gang member Artie Finnegan to a pulp in a saloon brawl. White Hand Gang boss William "Wild Bill" Lovett let it be known that he was hunting for a scar-faced man. Johnny Torrio transferred Al from New York City to 'lie low' in Chicago

Al Capone Fact 9: Gangsters traditionally made their money from prostitution, extortion, gambling, and theft but the passage of the 18th Amendment on Prohibition provided the opportunity to develop another illegal activity, bootlegging of illegal beer & whiskey.

Al Capone Fact 10: The 18th Amendment on Prohibition was ratified on January 16, 1919. The 18th Amendment was enacted by the Volstead Act which went into effect January 29, 1920. The Prohibition Era (1920 to 1933) was born and saw the rise of speakeasies, roadhouses and bootlegging which led to widespread political corruption.

Al Capone Fact 11: The lucrative business of bootlegging saw the rise in the criminal activities and gang warfare of the Prohibition Gangsters which would later result in the infamous 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

Al Capone Fact 12: In May 1920 "Big Jim" Colosimo was murdered by an unknown assailant. Johnny Torrio and Al Capone, took over control of his v ast crime empire. They negotiated peace & cooperation amongst the various Chicago gangs by organizing them into distinct territories ruled exclusively by each gang. In 1923Al Capone established his headquarters at the Lexington Hotel, at the corner of east 22nd Street (Cermak Road) and south Michigan Avenue, in Chicago.

Al Capone Fact 13: Johnny Torrio retired in 1925 with $30 million after North Side gangsters almost killed him. At the age of just 26 years old Al became the boss of the Chicago mob earning millions of dollars from illegal breweries and a transportation network that reached to Canada.

Al Capone Fact 14: Combining the methods of the Italian Mafia with those of American big business, Al Capone evolved one of the most efficient financial enterprises in the Prohibition Era - which became known as organized crime. His rivals were gangsters such as George "Bugs" Moran and Earl "Hymie" Weiss.

Al Capone Fact 15: The National Crime Syndicate was the name given by the press to the organized crime syndicate established at the 'peace meeting'. It later became known as Murder, Inc.

Al Capone Fact 16: The bribery and corruption of the police, politicians, judges, Prohibition agents and city officials and the cooperation of Mayor Big Bill Thompson, enabled Capone to operate his crime empire with relative impunity. By 1924 he had gained control of the suburb of Cicero, and had installed his own mayor. Chicago's Police Chief Healy admitted about 60% of his policemen were in the bootleg business, or in the pay of gangsters.

Al Capone Fact 17: By 1927, Al Capone and his Chicago Mafia were pulling in approximately $60 million per year and controlled the sale of liquor to over 10,000 speakeasies.

Al Capone Fact 18: In 1928 he bought a palatial, waterfront $40,000 mansion in Palm Springs, Florida designed in the latest Art Deco style. The security minded gangster chose this retreat, 1,300 miles away from Chicago.

Al Capone Fact 19: Al Capone's car was customized for his protection by crooked auto dealer Joe Bergl:

● The 1928 Cadillac V-8 Town Sedan armor plated car had 3,000lbs of steel armor fitted and a bulletproof gas tank
● The car was green with black fenders (same colors as police cars)
● It had bulletproof windows and a police siren. The back window dropped down so machine guns could be fired
● Speed: 120mph
● The car had device that created a smoke screen via the exhaust system
● The gangster paid $20,000 for the car

Al Capone Car

Al Capone Fact 20: The violence of the St Valentine’s Day Massacre on 14 February 1929 attracted unprecedented publicity. Seven members of the “Bugs” Moran mob were machine-gunned against a garage wall by attackers posing as police. The massacre was generally ascribed to the Capone mob, although Al himself was in Florida.


Trivia and 40 Interesting Facts about the Al Capone

Famous Al Capone Quotes
The following quotes were made by the famous American gangster in the 1920s and 1930s.

Famous Al Capone Quotes

Al Capone Quotes: "I am just a businessman, giving the people what they want,"

Al Capone Quotes: "All I do is satisfy a public demand."

Al Capone Quotes: "You can get a lot farther with a smile and a gun than you can with just a smile."

Al Capone Quotes: "All I ever did was sell beer and whiskey to our best people. All I ever did was to supply a demand that was pretty popular."

Al Capone Quotes: "They've hung everything on me except the Chicago fire."

Al Capone Quotes: On the stock market crash of 1929: "I deny absolutely that I am responsible."

Al Capone Quotes: "There's a lot of people in Chicago who've got me pegged for one of those mobsters you read about in the storybooks, but I'm not as black as I'm painted! I'm human, I've got a heart in me & I'll help any guy that needs help! I can't stand to see anybody hungry or cold or helpless. I'll bet I've given a million dollars to the poor! So I couldn't be the worst man in the World."

Famous Al Capone Quotes

40 Facts about the Al Capone for kids
The following fact sheet continues with trivia and interesting facts about Al Capone

Trivia and 40 Interesting Facts about the Al Capone

Al Capone Fact 21: Nicknames: Al Capone loathed the nickname "Scarface" which had been given to him by the press.

The picture of Al "Scarface" Capone shows the horrific scars on the left side of his face.

His close associates called him "Snorky", slang for a sharp dresser. He was also known by the pseudonym 'Al Brown' and the nicknames "King Alphonse" and the "Big Fella". The FBI had another nickname for him - "Public Enemy Number One".

Al "Scarface" Capone

Al Capone Fact 22: In 1929 the New York Times had observed "Probably no private citizen in American life has ever had so much publicity in so short a period". Al Capone attempted to improve his image by financing a Soup Kitchen during the Great Depression. His action strengthened his persona as a 'Modern day Robin Hood'. For additionalfacts and information please refer to the Social Effects of the Great Depression.

Al Capone Fact 24: On May 17, 1929, Scarface and his bodyguard were arrested in Philadelphia for carrying concealed deadly weapons by John J. Creedon and James "Shooey" Malone. The members of the Outfit were sentenced to terms of 1 year each. Al served his time and was released in 9 months for good behavior on March 17, 1930.

Al Capone Fact 25: Al Capone wanted to be a celebrity and created a flamboyant public image. He even employed a press agent called Damon Runyon. He photo was featured on the cover of Time Magazine on March 24 , 1930

Al Capone Fact 26: The FBI: The gang warfare of the period were not within the Bureau’s investigative authority. The FBI's involvement arose from his reluctance to appear before a federal grand jury on March 12, 1929 in response to a subpoena.

Al Capone Fact 27: The FBI: The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) set up a special squad to take on Al Capone at the end of 1930, headed by Special Agent Eliot Ness.

Al Capone Fact 28: The FBI and Eliot Ness: Eliot Ness (April 19, 1903 – May 16, 1957) was an American Prohibition agent, famous for his efforts to enforce Prohibition in Chicago, Illinois, and was the leader of a team of law enforcement agents nicknamed "The Untouchables".

Al Capone Fact 29: The FBI and Eliot Ness: The squad of the  "Untouchables" led by Eliot Ness tailed the lorries of the Chicago Mafia which collected empty beer barrels from speakeasies and returned them to Capone’s breweries. Once the FBI agents had identified the Mob's warehouses, they busted one after another with their battering ram.

Al Capone Fact 30: The FBI and Eliot Ness: The efforts of the squad of "Untouchables" were rewarded when, in June 1931, just 6 months after its formation, Al Capone and his associates were indicted on more than 5,000 Prohibition-related offences.

Al Capone Fact 31: The FBI and Eliot Ness: There was considerable legal wrangling and was decided it would be difficult to get a jury to go against someone with the celebrity status of Al Capone who had provided alcohol to willing customers. It was decided that it would be easier to have him found guilty for tax evasion.

Al Capone Fact 32: On June 16, 1931 Al Capone went to court to answer tax evasion and prohibition charges. George E.Q. Johnson United States district attorney and prosecutor Jacob I. Grossman went after Capone for income tax charges and won. Federal prosecutor, Dwight H.Green, helped put Al behind bars. Michael J. Ahern, part of Capone's team of lawyers, was the chief defender.

Al Capone Fact 33: On November 24, 1931 he was sentenced by Judge James H. Wilkerson to 11 years in jail, fined $50,000 and charged $7,692 for court costs, in addition to $215,000 (plus interest) due on back taxes.

Al Capone Fact 34: Following Capone's conviction for income tax evasion Frank Nitti nominally assumed power of the but it was run by Paul Ricca and Tony Accardo for over 60 years.

Al Capone Fact 35: After lodging appeals, he waited for the results in the Cook County Jail. His appeals were denied and he entered the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta and was then transferred to Alcatraz.

Al Capone Fact 36: The US Treasury seized his armor-plated, bulletproof car in 1931 when "Scarface" was sent to jail for tax evasion. Rumor has it that Secret Service men briefly used the car for the protection of President Franklin Roosevelt during WW2. The infamous 1928 Cadillac car is now on display at the Gangster Museum in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Al Capone Fact 37: Al Capone was released on November 16, 1939, after having served 7 years, 6 months and 15 days in jail

Al Capone Fact 38: On release from jail he entered a Baltimore hospital for brain treatment and then retired to his Florida estate

Al Capone Fact 39: He suffered had an apoplectic stoke on January 21, 1947 which led to Bronchial Pneumonia (Bronchopneumonia). Al Capone died of heart failure on Saturday January 25,1947 at 7:25 pm at his home in Palm Springs, Florida.

Al Capone Fact 40: Al Capone was initially buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Chicago's far South Side between the graves of his father and brother Frank. In March, 1950 their remains were moved to Mount Carmel Cemetery on the far West Side of Chicago.

Trivia and 40 Interesting Facts about the Al Capone

Facts about Al Capone: Prohibition
For visitors interested in the history of Prohibition refer to the following articles:

Al Capone Facts - President Coolidge Video
The article on Al Capone provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important people during his presidential term in office. The following Calvin Coolidge video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 30th American President whose presidency spanned from August 2, 1923 to March 4, 1929.

Trivia and Interesting Facts about Al Capone

● Interesting Facts about Al Capone for kids and schools
Interesting facts and trivia about Al Capone for kids
● Al Capone facts and organized crime in US history
Al "Scarface" Capone
● Fast, fun facts and trivia about Al Capone
Gangsters and organized crime
● Prohibition and Al Capone for schools, homework, kids and children

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