Al "Scarface" Capone
Reigned from 1925-1933
Capone was originally located in Manhattan, but was invited to begin working in the gang business by Johnny Torrio. Johnny Torio was the leader of an Italian organized crime group that was the biggest in the city. One night, Torrio was shot and injured by a rival gang member. After recovering Torrio handed over the control of the gang to Capone. He was at age 26, when he became the new boss of an organization that took in illegal breweries and a transportation network that reached to Canada, with political and law-enforcement protection. In turn, he was able to use more violence to increase revenue. Refusal by an establishment to purchase liquor from him often resulted in the premises being blown up. He used bribery and widespread intimidation to take over during elections for the town council. After working out of Chicago for a while, Capone based himself in Cicero. This made it difficult for the North Siders to target him
Capone indulged in custom suits, cigars, gourmet food and drink(usually liquor), and female companionship. He was particularly known for his flamboyant and costly jewelry. His favorite responses to questions about his activities were: "I am just a businessman, giving the people what they want"; and, "All I do is satisfy a public demand." Capone had become a national celebrity and talking point. Capone’s multi-million dollar Chicago operation in bootlegging, prostitution and gambling dominated the organized crime scene. Capone was annually making over $100 million a year so he most definitely had the money to provide for elegant lifestyle.
Saint Valentine's Day Massacre
Capone was widely assumed to have been responsible for ordering the 1929 Saint Valentine's Day Massacre in an attempt to kill Bugs Moran, the head of the North Side Gang. Capone's men rented an apartment across from the trucking warehouse and garage that served as Moran headquarters. On the morning of Thursday, February 14, 1929, Capone's lookouts signaled gunmen disguised as police to start a "raid." The fake police lined the seven victims along a wall without a struggle, then signaled for accomplices with machine guns. The seven victims were killed and the public blamed the incident on Capone. His reputation was severely hurt by this, and missed his jury hearing because he was too ill to attend.
Public Enemy No. 1
After the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, Capone was listed as Public Enemy Number 1. There was a $25,000 sum of money placed on his head. Many people and government officials tried to capture him. Unfortunately for the government, Capone had many police officers, judges, and other officials paid off to let him go free.
The Real Al Capone
There are many ideas and stereotypes about Capone that are not actually true. Watch and learn about the real Al Capone, and all of the interesting facets of his life.
Prison time and Death
Al Capone was sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion, not for any charges related to gangs or illegally selling alcohol, and fined $80,000. He was sent to Alcatraz prison and served only half of his sentence before being released on good behavior and bad health issues. Once he was released, prohibition was lifted so Capone's gang fell apart. Later in life, Capone moved to Palm Island, Florida where he was very sick from the symptoms of syphilis. On January 25, 1947, Al Capone died in his home surrounded by his family.