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Al Capone - Chicago

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Al Capone:
His Treatment of the Chicago Public
“Is it better to be loved or feared?” Calagero asks Sonny, a fictional crime boss, in Chazz Palmentari’s “A Bronx Tale”. Sonny goes on to tell Calagero that both are necessary to keep control, and also that he treats his men well. One thing Sonny does point out, however, is that he doesn’t treat his men too well or else they wouldn’t need him anymore. Both of these ideas must have been sparked by Al Capone’s control of Chicago during the roaring twenties. Capone was not only labeled “Public Enemy #1” by the press, but also somewhat of an American Hero by the average Chicago citizen. “I give the public what the public wants” Capone once told a reporter. This may have been true in some sense, but using the word “give” doesn’t give the true essence of what this man did to society. For a person to be considered a true hero they must, by definition, display four main personality traits: strength of character, integrity, selflessness, and an unfaltering courage. Now I’m sure that you could twist each of these around until you could easily relate them to what Capone did, but the fact of the matter is he wasn’t an American Hero. He was nothing more than a mob boss who broke the law, corrupted city officials and turned “The Windy City” into “Sin City”. Furthermore, the truth is he never helped the public, he merely took their money and used a small percentage of it to open up things such as soup kitchens just to make it look like he was helping them.
Capone was born in 1899 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the fourth of nine children born to Gabriele and Teresina Capone, and the first of them to be both born and conceived in the United States. There was nothing out of ordinary in the Capone household. Gabriele was a barber, working normal hours and spending time with his children when not at work. Teresina, besides taking care of her nine chil...

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