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Jan. 25, 1947: Al Capone dies in Miami Beach
One of America’s most notorious and formidable gangsters, Al Capone, died of heart failure at his walled Palm Island estate, four days after suffering a severe stroke. Capone ruthlessly ruled the Chicago mafia underworld during the era of prohibition, operating speakeasies, and gambling networks, corrupting law enforcement officials that were to enforce the law, and ordering hundreds of deaths in the infamous gangland turf wars. Capone bought the Miami Beach villa via an undercover agent in 1928 and moved into the estate, Easter Sunday, 1930, despite a legal battle by Florida authorities to prevent the gangster from occupying the state. Subsequently, indicted the following year on charges of income tax evasion and was consequently imprisoned for more than seven years.
Capone, was born of an immigrant family in Brooklyn, New York in 1899, Al Capone quit school after the sixth grade and associated with a notorious street gang, becoming accepted as a member. Johnny Torrio was the street gang leader and among the other members was Lucky Luciano, who would later attain his own notoriety.
In the 1920, at Torrio’s invitation, Capone met with Torrio in Chicago, where he had become an influential leader in the famous Colosimo mob. The rackets spawned by enactment of the Prohibition Amendment, illegal brewing, distilling and distribution of beer and liquor, were viewed as “growth industries.” Torrio, abetted by Al Capone, intended to take full benefit of opportunities. The mob also acquired interests in legitimate businesses in the cleaning and dyeing field and cultivated influence with receptive public officials, labor unions, and employees’ associations.
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