Al Capone (1899–1947) was a notorious American gangster who came to power during Prohibition. The son of Italian immigrants, Capone grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He earned the nickname “Scarface” as a teenager when he was slashed during a bar brawl. Capone moved to Chicago around 1919 to help Johnny Torrio, a former New York gang leader, run a prostitution ring. Capone and Torrio started a lucrative bootlegging operation at the outset of Prohibition, and when Torrio retired in 1925, Capone became the reigning crime boss of Chicago. Involved in prostitution, bootlegging, and gambling, Capone earned notoriety as a flashy and ruthless criminal. He ordered the massacre of rival gangs, flouted government authority, and became something of an underworld hero, earning the attention and sometimes admiration of the public. In 1931, he was finally arrested and tried for tax evasion—perhaps the least of his crimes. He was convicted and sentenced to prison at Alcatraz. Suffering from syphilis, he was released in 1939 and retired to Florida, where he died in 1947.

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