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Al Capone


            Alphonse Capone was perhaps the most famous of all gangsters in history. Al Capone was involved in many serious crimes including the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, income tax evasion, and the selling of liquor after the Prohibition Act had been passed. He also took part in the running of gambling and prostitution. He dominated organized crime in Chicago from 1925 to 1931.
             Al Capone's parents immigrated to the United States from Naples, Italy in 1893. In January 17, 1899 in Brooklyn, New York, Al Capone was born. He quit school after the fourth grade and became involved in small gangs and petty crime. In a fight in a saloon, a rival of Capone slashed him across his left cheek, giving him the nickname "Scarface". Al Capone spent nearly ten years of his life in Brooklyn with various gangs.
             In the 1920's he took over a Chicago organization dealing in illegal liquor, gambling, and prostitution from the gangster Johnny Torrio. In the next few years Capone spent his time killing his rivals and competitors in a series of gang wars. The most famous event that Capone was responsible for was the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929. At this incident, Capone's gunmen dressed as police officers and executed seven members of the "Bugs" Moran gang. This incident won Capone control of Chicago's underworld. In June 1931 Capone was indicted for federal income tax evasion and in October was tried and found guilty in court. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison and was fined $80,000. He entered Atlanta penitentiary in May 1932 but was transferred to Alcatraz in August 1934.
             Al Capone spent 8 of the 11 years in prison when he was released on parole in 1939. He immediately entered a Baltimore hospital as he was suffering from paresis, a late stage of syphilis. He retired after leaving the hospital and spent the rest of his life in his Miami Beach, Florida, mansion. He died in his home on January 25, 1947.


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