Al Capone’s Soup Kitchens

Al Capone began one of the main soup kitchens. The kitchen utilized a couple people, however bolstered some more. Indeed, going before the section of the Social Security Act, “soup kitchens” like the one Al Capone established, gave the main suppers that some unemployed Americans had. Soup kitchens rose to unmistakable quality in the U.S. amid the Great Depression, before WWII, in the mid twentieth century. One of the first and clear advantages of a soup kitchen in the mid twentieth century was to give a spot where the destitute and poor could get free sustenance and a brief rest from the battles of making due in the city.

Al Capone was a hoodlum who made a fortune amid the forbiddance however bootlegging. He had a touch of the Robin Hood persona by being magnanimous from a portion of the cash he made running his criminal undertaking, and in light of the fact that in Prohibition hostile to government slants were very solid. Being a racketeer (made/circulated illicit liquor) amid Prohibition (the period in the USA from 1920-1933 when liquor was unlawful) was seen as an adequate, exciting, even overcome thing to do by people in general. Be that as it may, it’s notable that he had fierce techniques killing foes, blackmailing neighborhood organizations, fixing open authorities, scaring witnesses.

Al Capone’s aims were a push to tidy up his picture. “120 000 dinners are served by Capone Free Soup Kitchen” the Chicago Tribune featured on December 1931. Al Capone’s soup kitchen got to be one of the most bizarre sight Chicagoans had ever seen. A multitude of battered, starving men collected three times each day next to a customer facing facade at 935 South State Street, devouring the largesse of Al Capone. Toasting his wellbeing. Telling the daily papers that Capone was supporting the poor than the whole US government. He was notwithstanding offering some of them employments. Capone drained his acts of kindness for all the good reputation they were worth. He descended and strolled among the men, the pitiable of the earth, offering a handshake, a healthy grin, and uplifting statements from the immense Al Capone. Amid November and December, Al Capone’s overthrow kitchen kept normal hours, serving breakfast, lunch and supper. Thanksgiving Day 1930 was a specific advertising triumph for Capone. On that day he could brag that he bolstered more than 5,000 hungry men, ladies, and youngsters with a healthy meat stew.

The kitchen was decimated in the 50’s, yet used to be situated at the side of ninth and State St. The site is currently a parking area.

That Car Though!!

Al Capone’s personal vehicle was totally tricked out for his protection by a friend and auto dealer named Joe Bergl:

  • The car was Al’s favorite – a 1928 Cadillac V-8 Town Sedan armor plated beast!
  • There was 3,000 pounds of steel armor on it and it even had a bulletproof gas tank!  Sweeeeeet!!!
  • The car was green with black fenders (this was the same colors that police cars had in those days!)
  • The windows were obviously  bulletproof and (who knows why) it had a police siren.
  • In true gangster fashion, the back window would roll down so they could fire machine guns at cars/people!
  • Top speed: 120mph (super fast!!)
  • Just like in the movies, the car could leave a smoke screen from exhaust system
  • Al Capone paid $20k for the car.

In 1931, the US Treasury seized his car in when Al was sent to jail for tax evasion. There are even tumors that Secret Service used it for the protection of President Franklin Roosevelt during WW2.

This 1928 Cadillac car is now on display at the Gangster Museum in Hot Springs, Arkansas. I need to go see this!!!!



Is it strange that I have a blog about Al Capone?  Or even stranger that it’s about the side of him no one knew?

I ask these questions because I never knew the man.  Heck, my parents were still small children when he died?  So why this fascination?

Who knows.  Maybe is the power he held.  Maybe it’s because he’s the sort of guy who had life figured out.  Seriously!  Don’t pass judgment on this… aside from what he was accused of doing…he was self-reliant.  He was a do-er and not a man to sit on the sideline.  He seemed to enjoy his life.  He held his family very close to him.  They were people who he held above all others.

But I suppose that’s typical of a mobster.  FAMILY.  What else is there?

Coming From Nothing

So today I ran into a guy who was a Capone “fan” just as I was.  So maybe he wasn’t really a fan…maybe he was just a smart guy who read up on his history.

We both admired the fact that this was a guy who came from absolutely nothing.  He grew up in the slums of Brooklyn.  Joined a gang as a kid. Worked hard and instead of being a victim to his circumstances, he broke through.  In the era of Prohibition…he doubled down.  He did say “oh well, I’ll find a new business.” He grew his business and he was incredibly successful by any standard.  In the 1920’s and 30’s his company was making almost $100 million each year!!  That would be an amazing feat even today in 2016!  But this guy did it during the Great Depression!

The guy I was talking to was sitting next to me on the tram at the airport. We began talking because we both had the same backpack.  He started a Northern Virginia SEO company and did it all on his own.  He apparently grew up in the midwest and his dad was a preacher. Now he’s raking in the dough and I have mad respect for him.

Anyway, there’s something to be said for people who come from nothing. There’s a sense of urgency from them.  They fight for what they want and know what it takes.

Cheers to you sir!

Famous Al Capone Quotes

Al Capone was quoted early and often.  So many great ones…here are just a few:

You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun.

In this life all that I have is my word and my balls and I do not break them for nobody.

Be careful who you call your friends. I’d rather have four quarters than one hundred pennies.


I would rather be rich affluent and greedy and go to hell when I die, than live in poverty on this earth.

When I sell liquor, it’s bootlegging. When my patrons serve it on a silver tray on Lakeshore Drive, it’s hospitality.

Some call it bootlegging. Some call it racketeering. I call it a business.

All the quotes give us a little taste of what Capone was like as a human. Full of ego and pride.  But also a very smart man.

Al Capone’s Early Life

little-caponeIn the early 20th Century, many NY gangsters came from meager means.  This was not necessarily the case with Al Capone.  Capone’s family had immigrated from Italy, but his family was a respectable, professional family.

Gabriele Capone was the family Patriarch.  Mr. Capone was a barber who brought his family to the US from Italy in 1894 at the age of 30. Teresa, his wife, and he moved to New York with their sons, Vincenzo and Raffaele.  Teresa was pregnant when they arrived in Brooklyn and Alphonse Capone was born on January 17, 1899.

The Capones lived in a slum by the Navy Yard. Because of it’s location, there were always sailors around and lots of bars located there. It was the perfect place to raise a crime boss during the Prohibition era.


The History of Scarface

al-capone-scarfaceAl Capone is probably the most popular American gangster in American history. As mentioned in the last post, he was known to everyone as “Scarface”…a nickname he wasn’t too fond of.  He rose to infamy as the leader of the “Chicago Outfit” during the days of Prohibition.  He

Capone was like many of us told we can’t do something.  He was into alcohol, prostitution, and drugs in the Prohibition era. In fact, when Prohibition ended, the Chicago Outfit (Capone’s gang) started keeping a lower profile.

He was sent to Alcatraz Prison in 1934 after he was convicted of tax evasion.  He had accumulated great wealth by that time in his life.  His personal fortune was estimated at $100 million.

The Beginning

Al Capone is an American icon.  He was a child from an italian immigrant family who rose to infamy as a mobster in Chicago during the days of Prohibition.  He was knows as “Scarface” because of an altercation that happened he hit on a customer in his bar.  Her brother took offense and in one wicked swipe, sliced Capone’s cheek…and gave birth to the best mobster nickname ever!  Scarface. Even today, people know his name better than the last 3 US Presidents.  This blog is a look into the man, his family, his gang and his legend.

uncle-al-caponeThere is a lot written on Al Capone.  Some are truths…some are myths…but they all make up the legend of Al Capone.  There is currently only one living relative who carries the Capone family name.  Al Capone’s great niece is Deirdre Capone.  She currently lives in Miami and has written a book about her legendary great uncle.

Deirdre Capone has gone to great lengths to defend her uncle and the Capone family.  She has publically denied Al Capone’s involvement in the infamous St. Valentine’s Day massacre.  Her grandfather, Ralph Capone was Al’s brother.  Her father, also Ralph, committed suicide in 1950…three years after Al Capone died – on Dierdre’s 3rd birthday.

My New Blog

So why the heck am I writing a blog about Al Capone?  For the longest time growing up, I thought I was related to the world’s most famous gangster!  Ok…not literally related to him.  But I wanted to be him.

I never wanted to be the violent guy that Capone was…but I wanted to be powerful like him.  I wanted people to work for me and I wanted to make lots of money.  I loved how he came from nothing and how he made his own way.  We could all learn lessons from the guy.

Ok…so he killed a few people.  Experts say he was responsible for at least 33 murders.  That includes the 7 that were killed in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929.  And yet, Capone was never convicted of murder.  He was only imprisoned for tax evasion.

So in this blog, I want to talk about the qualities of this man that I admired in my younger years and the qualities that I despise now that I’m older.  Is it odd?  Certainly.  But sometimes that makes for the best stories!