Alphonse Capone And His Rise To Power
During the Capone era many mobsters were in power. As Al Capone grew, he began to associate with many different bosses and was in the neighborhood with many mob run gangs. After being involved and associated with these gangs, Capone then joined one, which just so happen to be run by Johnny Torrio, mobster to become leader of the underworld. There were many influences that helped Capone grow and gain until his rise to power as Chicago’s most notorious mobster.
One of the most common fictions is that like many gangsters of Capone’s era, he was born in Italy. “This is untrue, he wasn’t born in Italy but was born in New York”(Bardsley 1). “Alphonse Capone was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1899, of an immigrant family (Al 2). Gabriele Capone, Al Capone’s father, was one of 43,000 Italians who arrived in the United States in 1894. He was a barber by trade and was one of the few who could read and write his native language. He was from the villa of Castellmare di Stalia, sixteen miles south of Naples (Bardsley 3). Capone’s mom, Teresina Capone, came to America with her two-year-old son Vincenzo and infant son Raffaele (historical 1). In
May of 1906, Gabriele became an American citizen (Bender 26).
Al Capone quit school after the sixth grade and associated with a notorious street gang. Becoming accepted as a member. Johnny Torrio was the street gang leader and among other members was the great Lucky Luciano (Al 1).
As Capone grew, Torrio gave him more responsibility and Capone soon became apprenticed by him. “On December 18, 1918, Capone married at the age of 19, to a 21 year old Irish girl names Mae Coughlin. A short time later Albert Francis Capone was born to the couple” (Bardsley 8). At the same time this was going on, in New York Johnny Torrio moved all of his operations to Chicago. Torrio’s prospects in New York looked dim because Capone was indicted for two murders. He was released when a witness lost her memory, and evidence suddenly vanished from the court. Capone knew that he had Torrio to thank for his fortunes. In 1920, Capone then joined Torrio in Chicago where he had become an influenced lieutenant in the Colosimo mob (Tyler 1). “He moved his family to a home at 7244 Prarie Avenue, Chicago” (Bardsley 11).
Capone was later known as a powerful leader as he stole, murdered, and cheated his way to the top of the Mob. He believed he could do pretty much all he wanted, which made him dangerous on the streets. One day came where he earned his nickname of “Scarface”. He was in a bar with his fellow mobsters and leaned over to a girl he’d never met before and said, “honey, you have a nice ass and I mean that as a compliment”. The girl’s brother was sitting next to her and he punched Capone in the face. Thinking Capone disrespected his sister he pulled out a knife and cut Capone’s face three times before he grabbed his sister and ran (Bardsley 7). There were many claimed stories about how he received his name but that was the presumably most believable. Capone later found the man and murdered him (Jackson 3). Capone was very grateful to Torrio and is quoted as saying: “I looked on Johnny as my advisor and friend
and the party that made it possible for me to get my start” (world Crime 604).
A man by the name of “Big Jim” Colosimo was the new under world leader. Johnny Torrio became jealous of Colosimo and wanted his power. Torrio called upon Capone and “Big Jim” Colosimo was killed on the night of May 11, 1920 (World Crime 606). The reason for his death was mostly because the Prohibition Act passed in 1920. The acts forbid alcohol to be distributed to all the saloons in Chicago. Torrio told Colosimo to start an underground that could supply all the Saloons with beer and Liquor. Colosimo refused and soon Capone was to be his executioner.
During this time Al Capone actually became a hero to some bar hoppers. Some say that he was cheered at