Al Capone - Biography a E Author:Rick Hornung, Random House Value Publishing Staff America's most famous gangster and founder of organized crime as we know it, Al Capone became a multimillionaire and a legend by sating a city's appetite for liquor, pros-titution, and gambling. But his life is an astonishing mix of contrasts: on one hand he was a brutal killer, and on the other, a dutiful father. — The son of Italian immigrants,... more » Capone learned early in life that hard work was the key to success. His father opened a barber shop in New York City and raised his sons in the stability of the immigrant middle class. Al emulated this spirit by starting up his own shoe-shine business near the docks. Its success enabled him to move the business to the lobby of a Wall Street building, but when rivals destroyed his shoe-shine stand and the police shrugged off the attack, Capone became embittered.
Rick Hornung's riveting account of one of the century's most prominent celebrity sinners shows how Capone came to see the law as a bully and crime as a solid way to make a living. As a protégé of gangster John Torrio, Capone collected illegal bets, thereby learning the skills of "negotiation and compromise," backed by intimidation and raw force. Capone followed Torrio to Chicago, where the two ran brothels and, during Prohibition, imported liquor. Capone quickly outmastered the master and became the dominant force in Chicago's underworld by swiftly retaliating against those who encroached on his territory.
Capone's downfall was brought about by a landmark IRS investigation for which Capone served eight years in prison for tax evasion. Following his release, Capone withdrew from the public eye. Seven years later, at the age of forty-eight, he died from a brain hemorrhage.
This compelling profile lets us understand the continuing fascination with a man who was at once a gangster and gentleman; tyrant and pal; family man and murdering pimp."Love is what somebody feels just before they give you a good you know what, professor. Fear is better. Respect."
--Al CaponeThere were other ways out of the tough streets of Brooklyn, but Al Capone chose the dark path. Groomed by John Torrio, the inventor of modern organized crime, Capone ran Chicago with a cruel hand during his short and bloody reign as king of the underworld. His brash charisma and deceptive smile made him a legend, but author Rick Hornung strips away the decades of myth to reveal a complex, colorful, and ultimately evil American life.Hornung is one of the many established authors to contribute to the BIOGRAPHY® book series, brought to you by A&E and Park Lane Press. This eclectic collection offers a remarkable variety of profiles, presented with depth, detail, and historical accuracy. Let BIOGRAPHY take you behind the photos and film, the rumors, myths, and legends, to truly see the men and women who made our times.« less