Who was Al Capone? To some, the Brooklyn, New York-born gangster was a champion defender of poor and impoverished families. However, to most people – Capone was a notorious Prohibition-era thug who sent fear into the hearts of even the bravest of souls. Born 1899 in the Empire City, Capone rose to infamous stardom during Prohibition via gambling, prostitution and bootlegging. He built his criminal empire in Chicago while using violence as primary means to ward off rival factions and dominate the organized crime scene.


1. Capone’s Empire Undone

As the undisputed head of the Chicago mafia, Al Capone was never indicted on racketeering charges. He also mastered the art of evading law enforcement, especially the unit that was created to bring Capone to justice. Known as The Untouchables, this famous team of law enforcement agents was headed up by Eliot Ness. The blood feud that erupted between Capone and Ness was immortalized in the movie The Untouchables, featuring an award-winning performance by Robert De Niro as Capone. While Ness was successful in bringing down fellow gangsters and criminals across Chicago, his efforts against Capone proved futile. With bribery of judges, cops and other officials’ commonplace for Capone – he was able to avoid prosecution until 1931. That is the year that Capone was finally brought to justice for income-tax evasion.

Al Capone empire MPI / Getty Images

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