TEMPERANCE & Prohibition & Organized Crime





Al Capone
Al Capone is America's best known gangster and the single greatest symbol of the collapse of law and order in the United States during the 1920s Prohibition era. Capone had a leading role in the illegal activities that lent Chicago its reputation as a lawless city.
Al Capone's mug shot, 1931.
Al Capone's mug shot, 1931.



Al Capone
Capone's first arrest was on a disorderly conduct charge while he was working for Yale. He also murdered two men while in New York, early testimony to his willingness to kill. In accordance with gangland etiquette, no one admitted to hearing or seeing a thing so Capone was never tried for the murders. After Capone hospitalized a rival gang member, Yale sent him to Chicago to wait until things cooled off. Capone arrived in Chicago in 1919 and moved his family into a house at 7244 South Prairie Avenue.
The unpretentious Capone home at 7244 South Prarie Avenue, far from Chicago's Loop and Capone's business headquarters.
The unpretentious Capone home at 7244 South Prarie Avenue, far from Chicago's Loop and Capone's business headquarters.

Capone went to work for Yale's old mentor, John Torrio. Torrio saw Capone's potential, his combination of physical strength and intelligence, and encouraged his protégé. Soon Capone was helping Torrio manage his bootlegging business. By mid-1922 Capone ranked as Torrio's number two man and eventually became a full partner in the saloons, gambling houses, and brothels.