Why Is Al Capone So Popular

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“All I ever did was to sell beer and whiskey to our best people. All I ever did was supply to a demand that was pretty popular. Why, the very guys that my trade good are the ones that yell the loudest about me. Some of the leading judges use the stuff. When I sell liquor, it’s called bootlegging. When my patrons serve it on silver trays on Lake Shore Drive, it’s called hospitality.” Alphonso Capone, famously known as Al, was just a guy who got swept away with the Windy City, just like every other person who lived there. Al Capone was known as a gangster and a brute, but he perfected his trade with his intelligence, modern business practices, and ability to self-promote all while avoiding jail time during the Prohibition era. The early …show more content…
Al Capone was considered a pivotal figure in going from the “Old World” to the “New World.” In the eyes of the Italian immigrants, Capone was a community leader. Capone won people over with his elegance, he was high-class and he acted that way (Al Capone). Capone’s self-promotion was not just considered in the idea of his business, he put so much effort into his image and his life that he left a lasting impression on many Americans, even to this day. Capone left a lasting legacy on Chicago and the rest of America. Capone even created an allusion with his name that would stick around for decades (Al Capone). When Capone’s reign slowly came to an end, though, it all started with a try at peace (FEB 14 1929: The St Valentine's Day Massacre In Chicago). Capone was intent on taking control of Chicago and was on his way to becoming the most famous criminal of his time. Leader of the North Side gang, George 'Bugs' Moran, an Irish gangster known more for muscle than brain power, who had no intention of submitting to 'them Sicilians'. On February 13th, 1929, a tempting phone call to Moran told him that a truckload of whisky had just arrived from Detroit and he could have it at a bargain price. He ordered the whisky to be delivered at 10:30 the next morning at the garage of the S.M.C. Cartage Company on North Clark Street, where he kept his bootlegging trucks. It happened to be Saint Valentine's Day, when a Cadillac, …show more content…
Capone cheated the government out of $215,080.48 in taxes. In court, Capone murmured “guilty” to all accounts charged against him. Absent successful appeal, Capone would do ten years in federal prison, followed by one year in county jail. Capone might be going to jail, but business continued. At first it looked as though Capone would continue to run it, jail or no jail (Schoenberg). After a short stay at Leavenworth prison, Capone soon became number 85, cell 181 on Alcatraz Island. This system worked against Capone, he could not buy popularity or influence (Schoenberg). Alcatraz was unlike anything Capone had ever experienced, there were schedules, and not his. On weekends, prisoners could mingle and talk two hours each afternoon while exercising or at their chosen hobbies. Capone took up music, becoming proficient at the tenor banjo and the mandola. Capone seemed to be the “model prisoner.” Capone was soon diagnosed with syphilis, but due to his extreme fear of being punctured by machine gun bullets, he refused treatment through needles. He had already shown signs of syphilitic dementia and was on the downhill slope to going crazy. The year after being diagnosed, Capone soon went into a coma, for fourteen hours, but eventually rallied and regained consciousness. Capone had said he always feared dying alone in the street, “punctured with

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