The Life And Times Of Al Capone

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 move to Chicago. (Nash 604)
As Capone arrived in Chicago, Capone was given a job as a bouncer at
Torrio\'s newest club, The Four Deuces. Capone was known as an aggressive
man, hospitalizing most of the drunks he evicted. Men were hospitalized
with broken arms, broken legs, and skull fractures. Capone was repeatedly
arrested for assault,