Al Capone

By Austin Yattoni

Al Capone was born in Brooklyn, New York, on January 17, 1899. He dropped out of school after sixth grade and joined a street gang led by Johnny Torrio. Capone joined Torrio when he went to Chicago, along with Giacomo Colosimo. Torrio and Colosimo got into a fight about whether or not to get into bootlegging during prohibition. Torrio had Colosimo killed and made Capone his right hand man as they got into the business of illegal alcohol distribution.

After being wounded in an assassination attempt, Torrio made Al Capone the boss of the Chicago Outfit in 1925. He became feared by rival gangs because of his violent and brutal nature, eliminating other gangs. The St. Valentine's Day Massacre on February 14, 1929, might be the most famous of all of these. Seven member os "Bugs" Moran’s gang were gunned down in a garage after being put up against the wall by fake policemen. The Chicago Outfit is given credit for this even though Al Capone was conveniently in Florida at the time.

St. Valentine's Day Massacre

Law enforcement officers had a tough time arresting Al Capone. He was arrested for Contempt of Court and conceal carrying deadly weapons. He simply paid the fine and was on his way. The United States Treasury Department was looking at it from a different angle, tax evasion. On October 17, 1931, Capone was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to eleven years in Federal prison, fined $50,000, charged $7,692 for court costs, and $215,000 plus interest due on back taxes.

Capone's Mugshot

Capone was first sent to the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, but eventually ended up in Alcatraz in 1934. His health began to deteriorate, and he was released after 6 and a half years for good behavior in 1939. He traveled to his home in Florida where he spent time with his family. Al Capone died on January 25, 1947, of cardiac arrest at age 48.