Al Capone is one of the most notorious mobsters of all time. Despite his fame as the boss of The Chicago Outfit, there are many facts about this man that few people know. Here are some interesting and surprising facts about this gangster.
- Although he was best-known as the boss of The Chicago Outfit, he was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 17th January 1899. It was there he began his criminal career.
- His Mafia nickname was Al ‘Scarface’ Capone. However, he hated this reference to his scar, so very few people called him this to his face.
- In 1918, Capone married an Irish-Catholic girl called Mary Coughlin. She had given birth just 18 days before the wedding. Capone was only 19 at the time, so his parents had to sign to give him permission to marry.
- Al and Mary only had one child, Albert Francis ‘Sonny’ Capone.
- Johnny Torrio was Al Capone’s mentor is the gangster world and taught him everything he knew about racketeering. When Torrio was almost shot dead in 1925, he retired and Al Capone became the boss of The Chicago Outfit.
- Capone’s criminal and business activities were varied and widespread. They included gambling houses, restaurants, speakeasies, breweries, brothels, distilleries and racetracks.
- Although Capone is known for his criminal activities, he also had a kind and generous side. Not only did he give food and fuel to the poor in the winter months, but he also opened one of the first soup kitchens in the Great Depression.
- Committed many crimes, including murder. He got away with many of these due to a good relationship with the local law and government figures. However, it was the Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929 that was his undoing. Seven of his rivals were killed in the shooting and this brought him to the attention of the federal government.
- In 1931, Capone was charged with 22 counts of tax evasion and approximately 5,000 counts of violating the Prohibition laws.
- Al Capone was sentenced to 11 years in Alcatraz where he was prisoner number 85. He was paroled due to ill health in 1939 but did not die until 1947 at the age of 48 following a stroke and a heart attack.
- Main Image: Al Capone Mug Shot [Wikimedia Commons]