Al Capone from Williamsburg

Perhaps the most recognizable figure in the history of organized crime in the United States, Al Capone, gained international notoriety during the heady days of Prohibition when his gang dominated the trade in bootleg alcohol in Chicago. Known as “Scarface” for the scars that marked the left side of his face, Capone fascinated Chicago and the nation with his combination of street brutality, stylish living, and ability to elude justice during the 1920s. Even after his conviction on charges of tax evasion in 1931, Capone remained an iconic figure in the national culture, with the story of his rise and fall–which author Jay Robert Nash has succinctly described as being from “rags to riches to jail”–serving as the archetype of gangster life in film and television portrayals of American organized crime.

Many people think Al Capone was born in Chicago, but he was not. He was born and raised in Williamsburg Brooklyn.The Capone family immigrated to the United States in 1893 and settled at 95 Navy Street, in the Navy Yard section of downtown Brooklyn, near the Barber Shop that employed Gabriele at 29 Park Avenue. he later followed one of his mob associates to Chicago, but it was only after a very violent start in Brooklyn. He was, like many of the mobsters from North Brooklyn, the son of Italian immigrant parents. He was born in 1899 as the area was gowing heavily Italian and Jewish. Capone attended school through the sixth grade, at which point he beat up his female teacher one day and was himself beaten by the school’s principal afterward.

Like all children Capone was raised with the hope of realizing the American Dream but he discovered that prejudice against Italians made it difficult to succeed and that others looked down on the children of immigrants and members of the working class. Angered by the gap between the American dream and his own reality, Capone began to engage in criminal activities as a way of achieving success in what he saw as an unjust society.

During this time, Capone was influenced by gangster Johnny Torrio, whom he came to regard as a mentor figure. After his initial stint with small-time gangs, including The Junior Forty Thieves, Capone joined the Brooklyn Rippers and then the notorious Five Points Gang.He came under the influence of Johnny Torrio, an underboss who controlled gambling, prostitution, and influence peddling in Williamsburg. Under Torrio, Capone worked as an enforcer He was mentored and employed by racketeer Frankie Yale and bartender in a Coney Island dance hall and saloon called the Harvard Inn. Here he would get the gashes that gave him his nickname, scarface.

His scars were acquired back at the Harvard inn in 1917 after telling some hoods’ sister that she had a really nice ass. The hood a man by the name of Frank Galluccio took out his knife and defended his sisters’ honor by giving Al three scars across the left side of his face. Considering the circumstances, Al could have been in trouble for insulting a made man of the mob.Al was later told by the mob at a sit down with Galluccio to not ever think of retribution.Al apologized and even used Gallucio as bodyguard on his later visits to New York.

Capone worked at odd jobs for a while but found his calling when a gangster named Johnny Torrio (1882–1957) hired him to work in a bar owned by Torrio’s friend. Torrio knew Capone did not mind violence and often had him beat up people who were unable to repay loans. Over time, Capone learned more and more about the criminal world. During a fight in a bar he received a razor cut on his cheek, which gained him the nickname “Scarface.” He then met a woman named Mae Coughlin (1897–1986), with whom he had a child named Albert Francis Capone (nicknamed Sonny). Capone and Coughlin married a short time later, on December 18, 1918

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