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The Life and Times of Al Capone

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The Life and Times of Al Capone

by Bill Rollindubeys

Alphonse Capone was born in New York City by two parents Gabriel

and Teresa Capone. Capone's parents immigrated to the United States in

1893 from Naples, Italy. Capone came from a large family and was the

fourth oldest of nine children. (Kobler 10). As a child, Capone was very

wise when it came to living on the streets of New York. He had a clever

mind when it came to street smarts. As far as school goes, Capone was a

near-illiterate. He came from a poor neighborhood in Brooklyn, so education

was not a top priority.

At about the age of eleven Capone became a member of a juvenile

gang in his neighborhood. While this was taking place, around the year

1900, about eleven percent of all the foreign born population in the United

States were Italian. Capone was forced to either deal with a miserable low

wage job with a hopeless future or make an improvement for himself by

committing first minor, then serious crimes. Al Capone's philosophy was

that laws only applied to people who had enough money to live by them.

While in the "Bim Booms" gang, Capone was taught how to defend himself

with a knife, and with a gun. By the time Capone reached the sixth grade he

had already become a street brawler. Capone never responded well to

authority and for this very reason his schooling would soon come to an end.

While attending school, Capone was responsible for beating a female teacher

and knocking her to the ground. The principal of the school rushed in and

punished young Capone and for this very reason he would never return to

school again. (Sifakis 603)

After dropping out of school, Capone took up jobs such as working as

a pin-setter at a bowling alley, and working behind the counter at a candy

store. Capone was terrific at pool, winning every eightball tournament held in

Brooklyn. He also became an expert knife fighter. Although the "Bim

Booms" gang was the first gang Capone ever entered, he was quickly picked

up by the "Five Pointers". The "Five Pointers" was the most powerful gang in

New York city. The gang was headed by Johnny Torrio, and was made up of

over 1,500 thugs who specialized in burglary, extortion, robbery, assault, and

murder. While working as a strong arm enforcer under Torrio, Capone

learned all the lethal tricks that would help him get from rags to riches in no

time at all. Capone was very grateful to Torrio. Torrio first set Capone out to

do all of his "dirty work". Capone was sent to beat up loan shark victims

behind on their payments, then a pimp, beating up girls who were holding out

on their nightly take. Torrio finally got Capone a job as a bouncer at the

Harvard Inn. By this time Capone was recognized by his gang as being a

vicious fighter with both fists and knives. He also became an excellent

marksman with both a revolver and automatic weapons. This was due to

many months of shooting empty bottles in the basement of the Inn. Capone

was later promoted to bartender at the Harvard Inn. At this time capone

recieved the scar which would give him his famous nickname, "Scarface". It

is really not known how Capone ended up with a scar that extended four

inches across his left cheek. Capone often lied about how he got the scar.

On December 18, 1918, Capone was married at the age of 19, to a 21

year old Irish girl named Mae Coughlin. A short time later Albert Francis

Capone was born to the couple. At the same time this was going on, in New

York, Johnny Torrio moved his operations to Chicago. Torrio's prospects in

New York looked low because Capone was charged for two murders. He

was released when a witness lost her memory, and evidence suddenly

vanished from the court. Al Capone knew that he had Torrio to thank for

this. A few days later, Capone got into a fight with another man and killed

him. Rather than being charged again, Capone called Torrio and received an

invitation to



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