AL CAPONE

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       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.

       Alphonse Capone was born on January 17, 1899, in Brook­lyn, New York City. His parents were Gabriel and Teresa Ca­pone, who had immigrated to the United States in 1893 from Naples, Italy. Capone came from a large family and was the fourth oldest of nine children. He had a clever mind, but was illiterate. He came from a poor neighbourhood in Brooklyn, so education was not a priority.

        At about the age of eleven Capone became a member of a juvenile gang in his neighbourhood. Al Capone’s philosophy was that laws only applied to people who had enough money to live by them. So, Capone became a member of the gang. In this gang, Capone was taught how to defend himself with a knife and with a gun.

        Неalso became an expert knife fighter. He was quickly picked up by the most powerful gang in New York City that was made up of over 1,500 thugs who specialized in burglary, extortion, robbery, assault and murder. The gang was headed by Johnny Torrio. Capone was very grateful to Torrio. First­ly, Torrio set Capone out to do all of his «dirty work». Finally, his gang as being a vicious fighter with both fists and knives recognized Capone. He also became an excellent shooter with both a revolver and automatic weapons. Once, Capone received the scar, which would give him his famous nickname, «Scarf ace». It is really not known how Capone ended up with a scar that extended four inches across his left cheek. Capone often lied about how he got the scar.

        On December 18, 1918, Capone was married at the age of 19, to a 21-year-old Irish girl named Mae Coughlin. A short time later Albert Francis Capone was born to the couple.

        Capone arrived in Chicago, where he was repeatedly arres­ted for assault, but was always released thanks to Torrio’s po­lice connections.

        When Torrio was shot by rival gang members and conse­quently decided to leave Chicago, Capone inherited the «out­fit» and became boss.

        A1 Capone’s mob ran the streets of Chicago. At its peak, it had over 1,000 members and half of the Chicago police force. Capone gave bribes to police officers, state’s attorneys, may­ors, legislators, governors, and even congressmen. He became very, very rich. They had an income of about 100 000 000 dol­lars, that time it was a huge amount of money.

        As a result, he was arrested and in May 1932, Capone was sent to Atlanta, the toughest of the federal prisons, to begin his eleven-year sentence. Even in prison, Capone took control, obtaining special privileges from the authorities such as fur­nishing his cell with a mirror, typewriter, rugs, and a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

       But in 1934, he was transferred to Alcatraz, also known as «The Rock», where the situation became different and he lost all connections with external world. Five years later he was released from Alcatraz due to a case of untreated disease.

         In January 1947, Capone had a massive brain hemorrhage and died. The family held a private ceremony at the cemetery, but was afraid of robbers taking the body so they reburied Capone in a secret place in another Cemetery.

 

 

 

QUESTIONS:

  1. What does Al Capone symbolize?
  2. What kind of boy was Capone?
  3. What was Al Capone’s philosophy?
  4. What was Capone taught as a member of the gang?
  5. What was Johnny Torrio’s gang specialized in?
  6. Why was Capone repeatedly arrested but always released in Chicago?
  7. When did Capone become boss of the mob?
  8. How did Al Capone manage to become very rich?
  9. Why was he released from Alcatraz in 1939?

 

 

VOCABLUARY:

Prohibition era — сухой закон, запрещение алкогольных напитков по всей территории США с 1920 по 1933 г.

illiterate — неграмотный

priority — приоритет

to defend — защищать

burglary — кража со взломом

extortion — вымогательство

robbery — грабеж

assault — нападение

murder — убийство

to head — возглавлять, руководить

grateful — благодарный

shooter — стрелок

weapons — оружие

scar — шрам

nickname — прозвище, кличка

repeatedly — неоднократно

to release — выпустить, освободить

mob — группировка

to give (past gave, p.p. given) bribes — давать взятки

rival gang — соперничающая группировка

income —доход

amount — количество, сумма

sentence — приговор

to obtain — получать, достигать, приобретать

authorities — власти

external — внешний

untreated disease — неизлечимое заболевание

massive brain hemorrhage — обширное кровоизлияние в мозг

cemetery — кладбище

 

 

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