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CAPONE

Al Capone, the Chicago crime Czar who made so much money he did not know where to spend it. Born in Brooklyn in 1899, Capone joined his first gang, the B im Booms, by the time he was eleven. From there he graduated to the powerful Five Pointers gang, where he was trained in racketeering by Johnny Torrio. Torrio later moved to Chicago to join his uncle "Big Jim" Colisimo, who was the crime boss of Chicago's red light district. When Colisimo denied Torrio the opportunity to create a bootlegging racket when the Volstead Act went into effect, he decided to eliminate his uncle. For this, he called on Capone, who he'd invited to join him in Chicago a year earlie r. Capone was made Torrio's right-hand man after Torrio had taken over his uncle's position. In 1925, after being gunned down, Torrio decided he'd had enough of working the rackets and decided to turn his $50 million a year empire over to Capone. Capone c ontinued to work the rackets, brothels, and speakeasies he was handed and easily made himself a multi-millionaire. However, Capone was also a marked man by this time, and after several attempts on his life from a rival gang, he struck back with the infamo us St. Valentine's Day Massacre on february 14, 1929. This gruesome exectution of several of his enemies ended any gang resistence against Capone and his empire. By this time however, Capone's days as a free man were numbered, as an I.R.S. investigator, E lmer L. Irey, had built a case against him that was strong enough to convict him on tax evasion charges. Capone was sentenced to eleven years in prison, and a $50,000 fine. He spent the larger part of his sentence in Alcatraz, the harsh prison in the San Francisco Bay, where it was discovered in 1938 that he suffered from an advanced case of syphilis. His brain had deteriorated so much from this desease that he was released into the care of his family in November 1939. He spent the last years of his life on his Palm Beach, Florida, resort, where semi-retired gangsters such as Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik would bring him fictional reports of how his rackets were doing. When he finally died of a brain hemmorhage in 1947, one of his gangsters was quoted as saying: "Al's brain just exploded."