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Al Capone

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Submitted By jeronlo25
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Title: Al Capone: America’s most famous gangster

Abstract Al Capone: this name stirs up vivid memories in the minds of most Americans. It particularly mean much to residents of Chicago, Illinois, “the city of broad shoulders” so deservedly named after the gang leader who held an unquestionable grip on the its neighborhoods. Today, every gangster desires to be like “Scarface Al” as Capone was commonly referred. He is the epitome of what a gangster blueprint looks like that is engraved in the minds of those who had a first hand experience of his reign. Young as they may have been during Capone’s reign, they undoubtedly felt his power and effect.

Al Capone’s background Alphonse “Al” Capone was born in Brooklyn on January 17, 1899. He acquired “education in petty crime” in the neighborhoods of Brooklyn. His name “Scarface Al” originated from a razor slash across his face (Bergreen, 1994). He later moved to Chicago where he survived several gang wars by having his rivals eliminated. In 1929, Capone’s gang, dressed in police uniform massacred seven members of a rival gang, the “Bugs” Morgan gang. This was revenge of his best friend’s death and abduction of a consignment of liquor from Canada. This became the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. By the end of the 1920’s Capone was in charge of bootlegging liquor. This brought him an annual income of over $20 million.

The arrest and prosecution of Al Capone Despite his numerous crimes, including running illegal breweries, heading a gang and killing members of other gangs, Chicago police could not arrest and prove a case against Capone in court. However, the federal authorities finally captured him in 1931. Al Capone was so good at concealing his tracks that he could only be charged of tax evasion, a charge he vehemently contested arguing that the government cannot collect legal tax from illegal money Kobler, 1971). Of course, the government could. Capone was found guilty, fined $80,000 and sentenced to 11 years behind bars.

Conclusion A notorious gang leader, Al Capone’s life has been dramatized in several films over the years. He was released from jail in November 1939 suffering from syphilis. He spent the final years of his life in Florida, innocently of course. He died of cardiac arrest at his Florida estate on January 25, 1947.

1. John, Kobler .Capone: The Life And World Of Al Capone. Georgia: University of Alberta Press, 1971.
2. Laurence, Bergreen. Capone: The Man And The Era. Washington: the National Academies Press, 1994.

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