Probably the most famous of all Mafia gangsters. Alphonse Gabriel Capone (January 17, 1899 – January 25, 1947) was born to immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York. The young Al Capone become a delinquent at early age, despite showing early promise as a student, Capone struggled with authority and was expelled from school at 14 for hitting a teacher. Around this time Capone started running with some small-time gangs when he came to the attention of mobster Johnny Torrio.
When Capone joined the notorious Five Points Gang in Lower Manhattan Johnny Torrio took him under his wing as his protege. Torrio found the ambitious thug work as a barman at the Harvard Inn owned by his business associate Frankie Yale. Torrio taught Capone the importance of setting up a front as a legitimate entrepreneur. while running a racketeering business. Torrio represented a new era in criminal activities, transforming crude and often violent street crime into a corporate empire.
In 1909 Johnny Torrio left for Chicago while Al Capone remained in New York working under the guidance of Frankie Yale. It was around this time Capone got his facial scars from Frank Galluccio that earned him the nickname “scarface”, the story goes he insulted Galluccio’s sister Lena, telling her she had a “nice ass”. Capone later hired Frank Galluccio as his bodyguard.
In 1919, after two years of working under Frankie Yale, Al Capone left New York to team up once again with Johnny Torrio in Chicago where he had become an influential lieutenant in the Colosimo mob. The Colosimo mob was run by Big Jim Colosimo and it was Big Jim who had recruited Johnny Torrio form New York. Colosimos primary interest was prostitution and with Torrio had expanded the business to 200 brothels and were making moves into gambling and racketeering.
1920 and prohibition came into effect across the United States. Both Capone and Torrio saw that bootlegging was going to be massive and intended to take full advantage of these opportunities, the only only thing that stood in there way was Big Jim. Colosimo would no let his gang get involved in bootlegging. Torrios only option was to assassinate his boss, with Al Capone as the assassin.
With the demise of Colosimo, Torrio was able to take on full leadership of the Colosimo gang with Al Capone as his second in command, this Torrio-Capone organization became known as The Chicago Outfit.