Alphonse Gabriel Capone was born in Brooklyn, New York 17 January 1899. His parents, Gabriele Capone and Teresina Raiola, were immigrants from Italy. January 17, 1899 was as marked his official birth date, however, on the 1900 US Federal Census, Al Capone (in Brooklyn, NY with his family, siblings) was a boy of 2 years old with his birth listed as May 1898. His draft records indicate the official date.
|Al and his mother|
Al was a dissident from an early age, and was kicked out of the Catholic schools. Growing up, his mentor was Johnny Torrio, a gangster. At the time of the draft for World War I, Al was working as a paper cutter for United Paper Box Co. in Brooklyn. He was 5'7" tall, medium build, with grey eyes and dark brown hair. He hadn't yet acquired his legendary scar.
On December 30, 1918, Al married Mary Mae Josephine Coughlin in New York. Mae, an Irish gal, worked as a sales clerk in a neighborhood department store. Their son, Albert "Sonny" Francis Capone, was born Dec. 4, 1918.
According to the book "Uncle Al - the Untold Story from Inside His Family" by Deirdre Marie Capone, Al's grand niece, Mae Coughlin was not Sonny's biological mother. Al had a relationship with a young woman who died in or shortly after childbirth, and Al's mother Theresa, "arranged" the marriage between Mae and Al, with the understanding that Mae would raise Sonny as her own. The infant contracted syphilis from his mother, and dealt with the effects of such his entire life. Mae reportedly couldn't have children, so she agreed and raised and loved Sonny as her own.
Wanting to go straight for his family's sake, he moved to Baltimore with Mae and Sonny, and worked as a bookkeeper. Following the death of his father, though, he answered Torrio's call and headed for Chicago.
Al lived with his wife Mae and son in a large home in Chicago Heights, following their move to Illinois. When Al's father died in 1923, the rest of his family moved to Chicago to be closer and lived in a house provided by Al.
|The Chicago Capone home|
He also owned Capone Estate at 93 Palm Island in Biscayne Bay near Miami, which he had purchased in 1928.
Al loved baseball and frequently attended games.
Al worked as a bartender at the Harvard Inn in New York City. One night a man named Frank Gallucco came in with his sister and Al made an "unfavorable comment" about her. Frank pulled out a pocket knife and slashed Al's face, leaving him with a permanent scar, four inches long across the left cheek, the origin of his nickname "Scarface."
Around 1921, Al moved to Chicago to work for Johnny Torrio, a "gentleman gangster" with specific ideas and codes of honor concerning his business enterprises. He was famous for being a numbers racketeer but did keep a good income from prostitution coming in on the side. Al became the head of the "Chicago Outfit", a crime syndicate during the Prohibition era, focusing on illegal alcohol, following Torrio's retirement in 1925. On the record, he stated he sold used furniture.
Al Capone's plan to wipe out "Bugs" Moran went wrong at the St. Valentine's Day Massacre on February 14, 1929. It brought too much attention to the gangster, and gave Eliott Ness what he needed to finally nab Capone. Eliott Ness was more than an aggravation to Capone, always busting up distilleries and stopping Capone's gang from making deliveries.
|Al's Philadelphia Prison Cell|
Federal charges in June 1931 involved income tax evasion for which he was convicted. There were twenty-two counts of tax evasion for a sum of over $2,000. First sent to an Atlanta, Georgia Federal Prison then after to California and the infamous Alcatraz Prison. On November 16, 1939, Al Capone was released after having served seven years, six months and fifteen days, and having paid all fines and back taxes. He returned to his villa in Miami to live with Mae and Sonny.
Al Capone died January 25, 1947 in his home in Miami, Florida of apoplexy and bronchopneumonia brought on by untreated syphilis. He was buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois and later reburied at Mount Carmel Cemetery, Chicago.
On 9 Jan 2009 Alice Luckhardt wrote:
Living her whole life in Miami,FL, Alice L. Walters Leffler took on some private duty nursing so she could be more flexible with her time and be available to Lefty, her war injuried husband. In 1946, Alice was sent on a nursing assignment but for which she had not been given any prior information. Only thing she was to report to 93 Palm Isle Estate along Biscayne Bay. Reaching the residence, she found a small fortress with concrete walls and heavy wooden doors. Alice was not 100% sure but she thought this might be the home of the Chicago gangster, Al Capone. She did know he had a Miami home since 1928 and in 1939 he had been released from prison. Once she entered the front entrance and was escorted by large burly men to a room off the main hallway the truth was now learned. Yes, she was at the Capone residence and the former gangster himself was the patient. In 1946, his physician and a Baltimore psychiatrist, after examination, both concluded Al Capone had the mentality of a 12-year-old child due to the effects of syphilis, plus he suffered from dementia. Alice was to serve as one of his private duty nurses. The hours and the pay were good, so she took the position. Capone may not have been the ruthless gangster of the 1920s and 30s anymore but he still had his coalition of supporters and followers. During one incident this became very clear to Alice. She needed to administer some of his daily medication at a precise time. When she was barred by some his thugs from entering his room to give him the medicine just because he was on the phone, she knew she could not be the efficient nurse she need to be in this type of environment. Even using her most commanding tone, “I am his nurse, Mr. Capone has to take this medicine under my supervision, let me in now!" In spite of her insistence the refusal remained in place, Alice then knew it was time to quit.
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On 13 Feb 2018 at 15:52 GMT Scott Lee wrote:
On 6 Oct 2017 at 07:00 GMT Debbie (Fink) Thomas wrote:
On 5 Oct 2017 at 20:14 GMT Heather Douglas wrote:
On 23 May 2015 at 20:28 GMT Julie (Fiscus) Ricketts wrote:
Cemetery where he is buried:
Category: Mount Carmel Cemetery, Hillside, Illinois
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