Capone: The Life and World of Al Capone by John KoblerThe public called him Scarface; the FBI called him Public Enemy Number One; his associates called him Snorky. But Capone is the name most remember. And John Koblers Capone is the definitive biography of this most brutal and flamboyant of the underground kings—an intimate and dramatic book that presents a complete view of Al Capone and his gaudy era. Here is Capones story: his violent childhood in Brooklyn, his lieutenancy to Johnny Torrio, his rise in the ranks of the underworld, the notorious St. Valentine Massacre, his eventual control of the entire city of Chicago, and his decline during his imprisonment in Alcatraz. Capone was the ultimate gangster, and Capone is the ultimate in gangster biographies—a classic in the literature of crime.
No American gangster in history has cemented his place in the public imagination quite like Chicago's Al Capone. Through his various illegal exploits, namely the sale of illegal alcohol during Prohibition, Capone and his gang pulled in mountains of cash and left a trail of bodies in their wake. Had he not built his fortune upon crime, Capone would have been a poster boy for the American dream. Born in Brooklyn to working-class immigrant parents in , Capone eventually rose to the heights of American wealth and power. But the crime that fueled the fortune was inescapable and ever-present, even when Capone was just a boy.
Al Capone was responsible for expiration dates on milk jugs. He left 3 days later intoxicated with thousands of dollars in tips. At age 47 Al Capone regressed to the mental capacity of a 12 year-old-child due to brain damage caused by the neurosyphilis and spent the last years of his life in his Florida mansion raving about Communists, foreigners, and Bugs Moran, who he was convinced was plotting to kill him. Al Capone ran a soup kitchen during the great depression. He even succeeded in selling the Eiffel Tower for scrap, not once but twice.
1-5 Al Capone Facts
Opinions about Capone vary greatly from person to person and group to group. In the eyes of the Italian immigrants of the s, Capone was a community leader. Capone became very popular with the poor people of Chicago who depended on alcohol to survive because he was able to supply them through speakeasies. Al was seen as a lovable outlaw for his generosity to strangers and Italian-Americans. Although he was liked by some, he was despised by most. Many people saw Capone as a ruthless, violent murderer. Eleanor Medill Patterson, a newswoman who once interviewed Capone, said "Capone's eyes are 'dime novel' gangster's eyes.
Al Capone is much more myth than man in the popular imagination. From a National Book Award-winning biographer, the first complete life of legendary gangster Al Capone to be produced with the cooperation of his family. Bair interviewed relatives and second- and third-generation Capone family members to try and build a picture that challenged the criminal Capone of popular imagination. Some spoke with Bair on the condition of anonymity, and as such, no names are given with some of the quotes Bair sourced. But the stories she extracts from the distant relatives who did talk help demystify many of the highly fabled stories around Capone—especially those that concern his sexual exploits, his kindness and charitableness, and the importance he placed on his family life. His father died when Capone was 21 and he was the child tasked with providing for the family.