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Al Capone
Biographical information
Other names:
Scarface, Big Al, Big Boy, Public Enemy No. 1, Snorky
Birthname: Alphonse Gabriel Capone
Born: (1899-01-17)January 17, 1899
Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
Died: January 25, 1947(1947-01-25) (aged 48)
Deathplace: Palm Island, Florida, U.S.
Charges: Tax evasion
Convicted of: Tax evasion
Penalty: 11 years' imprisonment (1931)
Known for: Racketeeering, Bootlegging, Boss of the Chicago Outfit, and engineer of the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre
Physical description

Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone (January 17, 1899 – January 25, 1947) was an Italian-American mobster who was the notorious boss of the powerful Chicago Outfit for almost a decade. Al Capone rose to power and fame in the mid 1920s, quickly becoming the most powerful and dangerous gangster in America, he was known for ruling Chicago with an iron fist, having an iron-fisted rule over his multi-billion dollar criminal empire, making a vast fortune from alcohol bootlegging, prostitution, and illegal gambling, killing anyone who stands in his way or threatens his reign over his empire, and controlling the police, judges and politicians in Chicago. Capone apparently reveled in attention, such as the cheers from spectators when he appeared at ball games. He made donations to various charities and was viewed by many as "modern-day Robin Hood". However, the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, in which seven gang rivals were murdered in broad daylight, damaged the public images of Chicago and Capone, leading influential citizens to demand government action and newspapers to dub Capone "Public Enemy No. 1". Al Capone had a celebrity status and a robin-hood complex who donated millions of dollars to children hospitals, fed the homeless, built soup kitchens all over the country, built homes for the homeless, bought gifts and toys for kids, and helped the poor public with money, food, clothes, homes and supplies. Capone is widely regarded as a legendary and iconic gangster who is unarguably the most famous gangster of all time.

During his regime, Capone was the most powerful and dangerous crime lord in the world, and also one of the richest and most powerful people in the world. Capone became a billionaire by 1927, having a net worth of a staggering $3 billion in 1929, Capone was able to exert and widely expand his astonishing wealth by bribing politicians, law enforcement and government officials with huge pay-offs all over Chicago, and around the country so he can freely operate and rule his empire with impunity without interference from law enforcement or government agents, which was successful for Capone for years. For seven years, Capone ruled Chicago thru a reign of terror, he controlled and terrorized the streets of Chicago thru violence, extortion, corruption, murder, fear, and intimidation, and would spread fear through the city by ordering his hitmen and foot soldiers to frequently commit brutal public murders in order to continually retain his power and control over Chicago and his empire, and to assure everyone what happens if you dare cross him. Capone would order his men to bomb a store, business or restaurant for being late to pay him 'protection' money. On a weekly basis all businesses in Chicago had pay 30% to 50% of their weekly earnings to Capone in order to operate without it being either shut down or burned down by Capone's organization. Capone was extremely powerful, and he exerted his power by ordering his men to kill, torture or beat people in front of a large crowd of people to spread and maintain the fear of him in the city, and would often bomb a business to send a brutal message to everyone in the city to fear and respect him or in his own words "pay the price." Capone was incredibly feared but respected, loved, even worshipped by his men and even by hundreds of thousands of people around America for helping children, feeding and helping the poor, donating to charities, donating large amounts of money to children's hospitals, and building houses for thousands of homeless families and building countless soup kitchens all over North America. Capone was loved, admired and respected by many people all over North America because he helped so many people by giving money, homes, food, clothes, and toys to children. Capone often helped the poor and children, no matter what race, color, religion, or culture they were or were from, Capone would help them with whatever they needed help with. Countless historians, journalists, law enforcement officials, investigative reporters, and even former mafia associates, claim that Al Capone did do a'lot of evil things and committed a'lot of unspeakable acts of violence, but was a man that did doa'lot of great things for the homeless and children.

Longtime New York Mafia boss Joseph Bonanno said of Capone in Sicilian; "Capone was the most generous, magnetic, charming, intelligent, and charismatic person that you'd ever meet in your life, there was a irresistible magnetism about him, charm, charisma, intellect, knowledge, and power, he was very intelligent, very, very clever man, he was a genius, he was a mastermind, he could of been bigger than bill gates, he could of been the CEO of General Motors or the president of the United States if he would of went legitimately. I really respected and admired that man, He was already was a boss a the age of 21 or 22 years old, and he single-handedly created many multi-billion dollar empires, he was incredible. Capone was a jolly man, he really did want to help people and take care of people of other families, he helped and did so many great things for people not to keep the heat off of him but because he truly wanted to help people, especially children, he loved children, he despised seeing a child hurt or sad, he would always want to help a child, Al Capone wasn't an evil man, he was a good man, but he was a stone-cold killer, he did do things that a'lot of people in the world would consider evil, and was a very, very vicious and ruthless godfather that would order murders in a heartbeat, but we all ordered a'lot of murders, we were all killers, but men of honor, we didnt hurt nobody innocent, we only hurt bad people, or each other, we mainly hurt each other or other gangsters. Capone was as good, as smart, as tough, as brave, as ruthless, and as dangerous as they come, you'll never meet another Al Capone, nobody ever could outlive his name."

Capone ruled his underlings and soldiers thru fear, and fear was his trademark that he often expressed to his underlings, he would often personally commit unspeakable acts of violence to keep his men in line to assure them to never try to cross him or challenge him. Capone would savagely and ruthlessly torture, beat or murder someone in front of several of his top lieutenants to spread constant fear and intimidation, he once brutally killed two potential rivals by beating them to death with a baseball bat in front of all of top underlings, lieutenants, and soldiers to amplify and retain his title by law enforcement and the media as "the most powerful and dangerous criminal kingpin in the world." Capone allegedly hit the two potential rivals so many times to the point where their heads were completely obliterated, and Capone even once beheaded three members of the North Side Gang with a large, razor-sharp butcher knife in front of several of his underlings, after the incident, Capone's underlings became more and more petrified of him, and he never had another internal and external rival again, and not even an assassination attempt was made against him because he created such a sprawling and constant atmosphere of fear and terror throughout Chicago and around the country. Even though, Capone inspired fear, he also inspired love and loyalty, which he had by almost all of his underlings, lieutenants, hitmen and soldiers. Capone was worshipped by many of his men as a god-like figure, a'lot of his men even went as far as to prove their loyalty to him by jumping over him and piling on top of him when there was an assassination attempt of machine guns shooting at him, there has even been several of Capone's men that did die protecting him. Capone had a vast army of ruthless killers, professional hitmen, bodyguards, and foot soldiers, he had over 100,000 hitmen all over America willing to kill for him and even die for him, and according to the FBI at that time, "Capone had the best of the best killers, far better and far more dangerous than any criminal organization in the world."

Capone was untouchable for many years, ruled Chicago with an iron fist, and made billions of dollar a year. Due to his immense wealth and power, and having numerous police, judges, federal prosecutors, politicians, and high-ranking federal agents in his pocket, he was literally untouched by law enforcement and the government and was totally immune from federal prosecution, ruling his gigantic criminal empire with an iron fist, and with almost no interference from law enforcement. Since his death, Capone's immeasurable criminal empire, thrived and revolutionized, and became so much stronger, smarter, tougher, deadlier, and far more powerful than Capone could ever dream of it being, and his successors such as Anthony Accardo and Sam Giancana transformed into an $900 billion a year international organized crime empire, the omnipotent empire vastly expanded and amplified only becoming much wealthier and far more powerful on a daily basis. Capone expanded the bootlegging business through increasingly violent means, but his mutually profitable relationships with Chicago Mayor William Hale Thompson and the city's police meant he seemed safe from law enforcement. After Capone died, he developed an immortal image, and rapidly gained much more notoriety and fame all over the world, and becoming an icon, and becoming a legend for gangsters around the world, and people glorified him all over the world. Since the late 1920s, Capone has been a major subject to millions of articles, books, films, magazines, and TV shows. He is renowned as the most infamous and iconic crime figure of all time.

The federal authorities became intent on jailing Capone, and prosecuted him in 1931 for tax evasion. During a highly publicized case, the judge admitted as evidence Capone's admissions of his income and unpaid taxes, made during prior (and ultimately abortive) negotiations to pay the government taxes he owed. He was convicted and sentenced to 11 years in federal prison. After conviction, he replaced his defense team with experts in tax law, and his grounds for appeal were strengthened by a Supreme Court ruling, but his appeal ultimately failed. Capone showed signs of neurosyphilis early in his sentence, and became increasingly debilitated before being released after almost eight years of incarceration. On January 25, 1947, he died of cardiac arrest after suffering a stroke.

Early Life

Alphonse Gabriel Capone was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York on January 17th of 1899 to Gabriele and Teresina, Neapolitan immigrants of six years. He was the fifth out of nine children. Contrary to popular belief, Al Capone did not quit school in the 6th grade but his brother Raffaele did. Al Capone was the first child in his family to graduate from high school. He worked in a variety of street gangs, more importantly the teenage-run James Street Gang headed by Capone’s future mentor Johnny “Papa” Torrio. In school and in this gang, Capone met life long friend and future Mafia boss Lucky Luciano who would later be responsible for inventing the modern American Mafia and the Five Families. He joined the Five Points Gang as a teenager, and became a bouncer in organized crime premises such as brothels. In his early twenties he moved to Chicago and became a bodyguard and trusted factotum for Johnny Torrio, head of a criminal syndicate that illegally supplied alcohol—the forerunner of the Outfit—and was politically protected through the Unione Siciliana.


New York City - Capone initially became involved with small-time gangs that included the Junior Forty Thieves and the Bowery Boys. He then joined the Brooklyn Rippers, and then the powerful Five Points Gang based in Lower Manhattan. During this time, he was employed and mentored by fellow racketeer Frankie Yale, a bartender in a Coney Island dance hall and saloon called the Harvard Inn. Capone inadvertently insulted a woman while working the door, and he was slashed with a knife three times on the left side of his face by her brother Frank Galluccio; the wounds led to the nickname "Scarface" which Capone loathed. The date when this occurred has been reported with inconsistencies. When Capone was photographed, he hid the scarred left side of his face, saying that the injuries were war wounds. He was called "Snorky" by his closest friends, a term for a sharp dresser.

Move to Chicago - In 1919, Capone left New York City for Chicago at the invitation of Johnny Torrio, who was imported by crime boss James "Big Jim" Colosimo as an enforcer. Capone began in Chicago as a bouncer in a brothel, where he contracted syphilis. Timely use of Salvarsan probably could have cured the infection, but he apparently never sought treatment. In 1923, he purchased a small house at 7244 South Prairie Avenue in the Park Manor neighborhood on the city's south side for US$5,500. In the early years of the decade, his name began appearing in newspaper sports pages where he was described as a boxing promoter. Torrio took over Colosimo's crime empire after Colosimo's murder on May 11, 1920, in which Capone was suspected of being involved.

Torrio headed an essentially Italian organized crime group that was the biggest in the city, with Capone as his right-hand man. He was wary of being drawn into gang wars and tried to negotiate agreements over territory between rival crime groups. The smaller North Side Gang led by Dean O'Banion (also known as Dion O'Banion) was of mixed ethnicity, and it came under pressure from the Genna brothers who were allied with Torrio. O'Banion found that Torrio was unhelpful with the encroachment of the Gennas into the North Side, despite his pretensions to be a settler of disputes. In a fateful step, Torrio either arranged for or acquiesced to the murder of O'Banion at his flower shop on November 10, 1924. This placed Hymie Weiss at the head of the gang, backed by Vincent Drucci and Bugs Moran. Weiss had been a close friend of O'Banion, and the North Siders made it a priority to get revenge on his killers.

Al Capone was a frequent visitor to RyeMabee in Monteagle, Tennessee "when he was traveling between Chicago and his Florida estate in Miami.

Nickname and Namesake

Torrio and partner/fellow mafioso Frankie Yale hired teenage Al Capone in 1917 to be a bouncer in their bar and brothel where he disrespected the sister of mobster Frank Galluccio. Galluccio handled the situation by slashing young Capone in the face with a knife, leaving a gash on Capones left cheek, earning him the nickname “Scarface (Al)”. Al Capone later told people he was wounded while serving in the Lost Battalion in the Great War of France, however Al Capone had never served in the military.

Capone’s Big Break

In 1919 Capone’s mentor “Papa Johnny” Torrio had been summoned by uncle “Big Jim” Colosimo in Chicago to assist him in running prostitution rackets. Colosimo at the time had been the biggest pimp in Chicago. Meanwhile Capone had a run-in with the law for a murder. In avoidance of prosecution, Capone went to Chicago in place of Torrio. By time Al made it to Chicago, Big Jim and Papa Johnny had a big conflict over mob business in Chicago when Torrio saw the lucrative business opportunities prohibition had brought. Torrio wished for and expected Uncle Jim to begin running alcohol bootlegging operations. The wealthy Jim Colosimo had no interest in this idea for he was doing just fine in his prostitution businesses. Colosimo had no interest in Torrio having the bootlegging business either and ordered him not to get into it, which brought the realization to Torrio that his uncle was only in the way and had to be taken out. Johnny Torrio and his apprentice Al Capone organized Big Jim’s assassination and hired hitmen to carry it out while they went under the radar. The partners in crime soon started taking over criminal enterprises in Chicago with threats of war if the organizations failed to cooperate.


In January 1925, Capone was ambushed, leaving him shaken but unhurt. Twelve days later, Torrio was returning from a shopping trip when he was shot several times. After recovering, Torrio effectively resigned and handed control to Capone, age 26, who 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. As many as 100 people were killed in such bombings during the 1920s. Rivals saw Capone as responsible for the proliferation of brothels in the city

Capone indulged in custom suits, cigars, gourmet food and drink (his preferred liquor was Templeton Rye from Iowa, 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.

Al Capone 

Capone based himself in Cicero after using bribery and widespread intimidation to take over during elections for the town council. This made it difficult for the North Siders to target him.Capone's driver was found tortured and murdered, and there was an attempt on Weiss's life in the Chicago Loop. On September 20, 1926, the North Side Gang used a ploy outside the Capone headquarters at the Hawthorne Inn, aimed at drawing him to the windows. Gunmen in several cars then opened fire with Thompson submachine guns and shotguns at the windows of the first-floor restaurant. Capone was unhurt and called for a truce, but the negotiations fell through. Three weeks later, Weiss was killed outside the former O'Banion flower shop North Side headquarters. In January 1927, the Hawthorne's restaurant owner, a friend of Capone's, was kidnapped and killed by Moran and Drucci.

Capone became increasingly security-minded and desirous of getting away from Chicago.As a precaution, he and his entourage would often show up suddenly at one of Chicago's train depots and buy up an entire Pullman sleeper car on a night train to a place like Cleveland, Omaha, Kansas City, Little Rock, or Hot Springs, where they would spend a week in luxury hotel suites under assumed names. In 1928, Capone paid $40,000 to beer magnate August Busch for a 14-room retreat at 93 Palm Avenue on Palm Island, Florida, in Biscayne Bay between Miami and Miami Beach.Capone never registered any property under his name. He did not even have a bank account, but always used Western Union for cash delivery, not more than $1,000.

Political alliances

The protagonists of Chicago's politics had long been associated with questionable methods, and even newspaper circulation "wars", but the need for bootleggers to have protection in city hall introduced a far more serious level of violence and graft. Capone is generally seen as having an appreciable effect in bringing about the victories of Republican William Hale Thompson, especially in the 1927 mayoral race when Thompson campaigned for a wide open town, at one time hinting that he'd reopen illegal saloons.[32] Such a proclamation helped his campaign gain the support of Capone, and he allegedly accepted a contribution of $250,000 from the gangster. In the 1927 mayoral race, Thompson beat William Emmett Dever by a relatively slim margin.Thompson's powerful Cook County political machine had drawn on the often-parochial Italian community, but this was in tension with his highly successful courting of African Americans

Capone continued to back Thompson. Voting booths were targeted by Capone's bomber James Belcastro in the wards where Thompson's opponents were thought to have support, on the polling day of April 10, 1928, in the so-called Pineapple Primary, causing the deaths of at least 15 people. Belcastro was also accused of the murder of lawyer Octavius Granady, an African American who challenged Thompson's candidate for the African American vote, and was chased through the streets on polling day by cars of gunmen before being shot dead. Four policemen were among those charged along with Belcastro, but all charges were dropped after key witnesses recanted their statements. An indication of the attitude of local law enforcement to Capone's organization came in 1931 when Belcastro was wounded in a shooting; police suggested to skeptical journalists that Belcastro was an independent operator. The 1929 Saint Valentine's Day Massacre led to public disquiet about Thompson's alliance with Capone and was a factor in Anton J. Cermak winning the mayoral election on April 6, 1931

Saint Valentine's Day Massacre

Mugshot of Al Capone, Courtesy of the

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. Moran was the last survivor of the main North Side gunmen; his succession had come about because his similarly aggressive predecessors Vincent Drucci and Hymie Weiss had been killed in the violence that followed the murder of original leader Dean O'Banion.

To monitor their targets' habits and movements, Capone's men rented an apartment across from the trucking warehouse and garage at 2122 North Clark Street 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 faux police lined the seven victims along a wall without a struggle, then signaled for accomplices with machine guns. The seven victims were machine-gunned and shot-gunned. Photos of the victims shocked the public and damaged Capone's reputation. Within days, Capone received a summons to testify before a Chicago grand jury on violations of the federal Prohibition Law, but he claimed to be too unwell to attend at that time.


Capone was arrested by FBI agents on March 27, 1929 as he left a Chicago courtroom after testifying to a grand jury investigating violations of federal prohibition laws, on charges of having committed contempt of court by feigning illness to avoid an earlier appearance.[47] In May 1929, Capone was sentenced to a prison term in Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary, having been convicted within 16 hours of being arrested for carrying a gun during a trip there. A week after he was released, in March 1930, Capone was listed as the number one "Public Enemy" on the unofficial Chicago Crime Commission's widely publicized list.

In April 1930, Capone was arrested on vagrancy charges when visiting Miami Beach, the governor having ordered sheriffs to run him out of the state. Capone claimed that Miami police had refused him food and water and threatened to arrest his family. He was charged with perjury for making these statements, but was acquitted after a three-day trial in July.In September, a Chicago judge issued a warrant for Capone on charges of vagrancy, and then used the publicity to run against Thompson in the Republican primary. In February 1931, Capone was tried on the contempt of court charge. In court, Judge James Herbert Wilkerson intervened to reinforce questioning of Capone's doctor by the prosecutor. Wilkerson sentenced Capone to six months, but he remained free while on appeal of the contempt conviction.

FBI's Al Capone files

Tax evasion

In 1927, the Supreme Court ruled that illegally earned income was subject to income tax; Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. rejected the argument that the Fifth Amendment protected criminals from reporting illegal income. The IRS special investigation unit chose Frank J. Wilson to investigate Capone, with the focus on his spending. The key to Capone's conviction on tax charges was proving his income, and the most valuable evidence in that regard originated in his offer to pay tax. Ralph, his brother and a gangster in his own right, was tried for tax evasion in 1930. Ralph spent the next three years in prison after being convicted in a two-week trial over which Wilkerson presided. Capone ordered his lawyer to regularize his tax position. Crucially, during the ultimately abortive negotiations that followed, his lawyer stated the income that Capone was willing to pay tax on for various years, admitting income of $100,000 for 1928 and 1929, for instance. Hence, without any investigation, the government had been given a letter from a lawyer acting for Capone conceding his large taxable income for certain years. In 1931, Capone was charged with income tax evasion, as well as with various violations of the Volstead Act (Prohibition) at the Chicago Federal Building in the courtroom of Judge James Herbert Wilkerson. U. S. Attorney George E. Q. Johnson agreed to a deal that he hoped might result in the judge giving Capone a couple of years, but Judge Wilkerson had been aware of the deal all along and refused to allow Capone to plead guilty for a reduced sentence. On the second day of the trial, Judge Wilkerson overruled objections that a lawyer could not confess for his client, saying that anyone making a statement to the government did so at his own risk. Wilkerson deemed that the 1930 letter to federal authorities could be admitted into evidence from a lawyer acting for Capone.

Much was later made of other evidence, such as witnesses and ledgers, but these strongly implied Capone's control rather than stating it. The ledgers were inadmissible on grounds of statute of limitations, but Capone's lawyers incompetently failed to make the necessary timely objection; they also ran a basically irrelevant defense of gambling losses. Judge Wilkerson allowed Capone's spending to be presented at very great length. There was no doubt that Capone spent vast sums but, legally speaking, the case against him centered on the size of his income. Capone was convicted and was sentenced to eleven years in federal prison in November 1931, fined $50,000 plus $7,692 for court costs, and was held liable for $215,000 plus interest due on his back taxes. The contempt of court sentence was served concurrently. New lawyers hired to represent Capone were Washington-based tax experts. They filed a writ of habeas corpus based on a Supreme Court ruling that tax evasion was not fraud, which apparently meant that Capone had been convicted on charges relating to years that were actually outside the time limit for prosecution. However, a judge interpreted the law so that the time that Capone had spent in Miami was subtracted from the age of the offenses, thereby denying the appeal of both Capone's conviction and sentence.


Al Capone mug shot

Capone was sent to Atlanta U.S. Penitentiary in May 1932, aged 33. Upon his arrival at Atlanta, the 250-pound (110 kg) Capone was officially diagnosed with syphilis and gonorrhea. He was also suffering from withdrawal symptoms from cocaine addiction, use of which had perforated his septum. Capone was competent at his prison job of stitching soles on shoes for eight hours a day, but his letters were barely coherent. He was seen as a weak personality, and so out of his depth dealing with bullying fellow inmates that his cellmate, seasoned convict Red Rudinsky, feared that Capone would have a breakdown. Rudinsky was formerly a small time criminal associated with the Capone gang, and found himself becoming a protector for Capone. The conspicuous protection of Rudinsky and other prisoners drew accusations from less friendly inmates, and fueled suspicion that Capone was receiving special treatment. No solid evidence ever emerged, but it formed part of the rationale for moving Capone to the recently opened Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary off the coast of San Francisco.

At Alcatraz, Capone's decline became increasingly evident as neurosyphilis progressively eroded his mental faculties. He spent the last year of his sentence in the prison hospital, confused and disoriented. Capone completed his term in Alcatraz on January 6, 1939, and was transferred to the Federal Correctional Institution at Terminal Island in California to serve out his sentence for contempt of court. He was paroled on November 16, 1939.

Later years and death

After Capone was released from prison, he was referred to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for the treatment of paresis (caused by late-stage syphilis).[1] Hopkins refused to admit him based solely on his reputation, but Union Memorial Hospital took him in. Capone was grateful for the compassionate care that he received and donated two Japanese weeping cherry trees to Union Memorial Hospital in 1939. A very sickly Capone left Baltimore on March 20, 1940, after a few weeks inpatient and a few weeks outpatient, for Palm Island, Florida.

In 1946, his physician and a Baltimore psychiatrist performed examinations and concluded that Capone had the mental capability of a 12-year-old child. Capone spent the last years of his life at his mansion in Palm Island, Florida. On January 21, 1947, Capone had astroke. He regained consciousness and started to improve but contracted pneumonia. He suffered a fatal cardiac arrest the next day. On January 25, 1947, Al Capone died in his home, surrounded by his family; he wаs buried аt Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois.

Chicago aftermath

The main effect of Capone's conviction was that he ceased to be boss immediately on his imprisonment, but those involved in the jailing of Capone portrayed it as considerably undermining the city's organized crime syndicate. Far from being smashed, the Chicago Outfit continued without being troubled by the Chicago police, but at a lower-level and without the open violence that had marked Capone's rule. Organized crime in the city had a lower profile once Prohibition was repealed, already wary of attention after seeing Capone's notoriety bring him down, to the extent that there is a lack of consensus among writers about who was actually in control and who was a figurehead 'front boss'. Prostitution, labor union racketeering, and gambling became moneymakers for organized crime in the city without incurring serious investigation.

In popular culture

This article appears to contain trivial, minor, or unrelated references to popular culture. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject's impact on popular culture, providing citations to reliable, secondary sources, rather than simply listing appearances. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2018) Capone is one of the most notorious American gangsters of the 20th century and has been the major subject of numerous articles, books, and films. Particularly, from 1925 to 1929, shortly after Capone relocated to Chicago, he enjoyed status as the most notorious mobster in the country. Capone cultivated a certain image of himself in the media, that made him a subject of fascination. His personality and character have been used in fiction as a model for crime lords and criminal masterminds ever since his death. The stereotypical image of a mobster wearing a blue pinstriped suit and tilted fedora is based on photos of Capone. His accent, mannerisms, facial construction, physical stature, and parodies of his name have been used for numerous gangsters in comics, movies, music, and literature.


  • Capone is featured in a segment of Mario Puzo's The Godfather as an ally of New York mob boss Salvatore Maranzano in which he sends two "button men" at the mob boss' request to kill Don Vito Corleone; arriving in New York, the two men are intercepted and brutally killed by Luca Brasi, after which Don Corleone sends a message to Capone warning him not to interfere again, and Capone apparently capitulates.
  • Capone appears in Hergé's comic book Tintin in America, one of only two real-life characters in the entire The Adventures of Tintin series.
  • A reincarnated Capone is a major character in science fiction author Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy.
  • Capone's grandniece Deirdre Marie Capone wrote a book titled Uncle Al Capone: The Untold Story from Inside His Family.
  • Al Capone is the inspiration for the central character of Tony Camonte in Armitage Trail's novel Scarface (1929), which was adapted into the 1932 film. The novel was later adapted again in 1983 with the central character of Tony Montana.
  • Jack Bilbo claimed to have been a bodyguard for Capone in his book Carrying a Gun for Al Capone (1932).
  • Al Capone is mentioned and met by the main character Moose in the book Al Capone Does My Shirts.

Film and television

Capone has been portrayed on screen by:

  • Rod Steiger in Al Capone (1959)
  • Neville Brand in The Scarface Mob (1959)
  • Neville Brand in the TV series The Untouchables and again in the film The George Raft Story (1961)
  • José Calvo in Due mafiosi contro Al Capone (1966)
  • Jason Robards in The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967)
  • Ben Gazzara in Capone (1975)
  • Robert De Niro in The Untouchables (1987)
  • Vincent Guastaferro in Nitti: The Enforcer (1988)
  • Ray Sharkey in The Revenge of Al Capone (1989)
  • Ray Sharkey in Capone Behind Bars
  • Eric Roberts in The Lost Capone (1990)
  • Titus Welliver in Mobsters (1991)
  • Bernie Gigliotti in The Babe (1992), in a brief scene in a Chicago nightclub during which Capone and his mentor Johnny *Torrio, played by Guy Barile, meet the film's main character Babe Ruth, portrayed by John Goodman.
  • William Forsythe in The Untouchables (1993–1994)
  • William Devane in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, season 2, episode 7: "That Old Gang of Mine" (1994)
  • F. Murray Abraham in Dillinger and Capone (1995)
  • Anthony LaPaglia in Road to Perdition (2002), in a deleted scene
  • Julian Littman in Capones Boys (2002)
  • Jon Bernthal in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)
  • Stephen Graham in Boardwalk Empire (2008–2014)
  • Isaac Keoughan in Legends of Tomorrow (2016)
  • Michael Kotsohilis in The Making of the Mob: Chicago (2016)
  • Cameron Gharaee in Timeless (2017)
  • Milo Gibson in Gangster Land (2017)
  • Tom Hardy in Capone (2020)

Actors playing characters based on Capone include:

  • Wallace Beery as Louis "Louie" Scorpio in The Secret Six (1931)
  • Ricardo Cortez as Goldie Gorio in Bad Company (1931)
  • Paul Lukas as Big Fellow Maskal in City Streets (1931)
  • Edward Arnold as Duke Morgan in Okay, America! (1932)
  • Jean Hersholt as Samuel "Sam" Belmonte in The Beast of the City (1932)[127]
  • Paul Muni as Antonio "Tony" Camonte in Scarface (1932)
  • C. Henry Gordon as Nick Diamond in Gabriel Over the White House (1933)
  • John Litel as "Gat" Brady in Alcatraz Island (1937)
  • Barry Sullivan as Shubunka in The Gangster (1947)
  • Edward G. Robinson as Johnny Rocco in Key Largo (1948)
  • Ralph Volkie as Big Fellow in The Undercover Man (1949)
  • Edmond O'Brien as Fran McCarg in Pete Kelly's Blues (1955)
  • B.S. Pully as Big Jule, an intimidating, gun-toting mobster from "East Cicero, Illinois" in the film adaptation of Guys and *Dolls (1955), reprising the role that Pully had originated in the Broadway musical.
  • Lee J. Cobb as Rico Angelo in Party Girl (1958)
  • George Raft as Spats Colombo and Nehemiah Persoff as Little Bonaparte in Some Like It Hot (1959)
  • Cameron Mitchell as Boss Rojeck in My Favorite Year (1982)
  • Harvey Atkin as "Al Koopone" (King Koopa) in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show episode "The Unzappables" (1989)
  • Al Pacino as Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice in Dick Tracy (1990)


  • Prince Buster, Jamaican ska and rocksteady musician, had his first hit in the UK with the single "Al Capone" in 1967.
  • The British pop group Paper Lace's 1974 hit song "The Night Chicago Died" mentions that "a man named Al Capone, tried to make that town his own, and he called his gang to war, with the forces of the law".
  • British rock band Queen referenced Al Capone in the opening of their 1974 song "Stone Cold Crazy", which was covered in 1990 by the American rock band Metallica.
  • In 1979, The Specials, a UK ska revival group, reworked Prince Buster's track into their first single, "Gangsters", which featured the line "Don't call me Scarface!"
  • Sketch of Capone made by Partizan fans in Belgrade, Serbia.
  • Al Capone is referenced heavily in Prodigy's track "Al Capone Zone", produced by The Alchemist and featuring Keak Da Sneak.
  • "Al Capone" is a song by Michael Jackson. Jackson recorded the song during the Bad era (circa 1987), but it wasn't included on the album. The song was released in September 2012 in celebration of the album's 25th anniversary.
  • Brazilian musician Raul Seixas has a song entitled "Al Capone", included in his 1973 debut album Krig-ha, Bandolo!.
  • Multiple hip hop artists have adopted the name "Capone" for their stage names including: Capone, Mr. Capone-E and Al Kapone.
  • The R&B Vocal Group The Fantastic Four recorded a song entitled "Alvin Stone:(the Birth & Death Of A Gangster)" in 1975 from their album of the same name. The main protagonist was a gangster with a name very similar to Al Capone
  • Al Capone is heavily referenced by American Rapper Rick Ross, he recorded a song called "Mafia Music" "Rest In Peace Al Capone" he also recreated and reenacted a scene from the 1987 movie The Untouchables in his music video.
  • American Rapper Lil Wayne, has referenced Al Capone in many of his Hip Hop songs, "Im a boss like Al Capone."
  • American Rapper Future, has referenced Al Capone in many of his Hip Hop songs, "Al Capone is a fucking idol."


  • Fans of Serbian football club Partizan are using Al Capone's character as a mascot for one of their subgroups called "Alcatraz", named after a prison in which Al Capone served his sentence.
  • Also, in honour of Capone, a graffiti representation of him exists in the center of Belgrade.
  • Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight Nikita Krylov is nicknamed "Al Capone". Coincidentally, he had his first UFC win in Chicago.


The Mafia Encyclopedia 3rd Edition by Carl Sifakis

True Crimes: Gangsters Outside the Law by Michael Newton

External links