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Quotes by Al Capone

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Wikipedia Summary for Al Capone

Alphonse Gabriel Capone (January 17, 1899 – January 25, 1947), sometimes known by the nickname "Scarface", was an American gangster and businessman who attained notoriety during the Prohibition era as the co-founder and boss of the Chicago Outfit. His seven-year reign as a crime boss ended when he went to prison at the age of 33.

Capone was born in New York City in 1899 to Italian immigrant parents. He joined the Five Points Gang as a teenager and became a bouncer in organized crime premises such as brothels. In his early twenties, he moved to Chicago and became a bodyguard and trusted factotum for Johnny Torrio, head of a criminal syndicate that illegally supplied alcohol—the forerunner of the Outfit—and was politically protected through the Unione Siciliana. A conflict with the North Side Gang was instrumental in Capone's rise and fall. Torrio went into retirement after North Side gunmen almost killed him, handing control to Capone. Capone expanded the bootlegging business through increasingly violent means, but his mutually profitable relationships with mayor William Hale Thompson and the city's police meant he seemed safe from law enforcement.

Capone apparently reveled in attention, such as the cheers from spectators when he appeared at ball games. He made donations to various charities and was viewed by many as a "modern-day Robin Hood". However, the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, in which seven gang rivals were murdered in broad daylight, damaged the public image of Chicago and Capone, leading influential citizens to demand government action and newspapers to dub Capone "Public Enemy No.1".

The federal authorities became intent on jailing Capone and charged him with 22 counts of tax evasion. He was convicted of five counts in 1931. During a highly publicized case, the judge admitted as evidence Capone's admissions of his income and unpaid taxes, made during prior (and ultimately abortive) negotiations to pay the government taxes he owed. He was convicted and sentenced to 11 years in federal prison. After conviction, he replaced his defense team with experts in tax law, and his grounds for appeal were strengthened by a Supreme Court ruling, but his appeal ultimately failed. Capone showed signs of neurosyphilis early in his sentence and became increasingly debilitated before being released after almost eight years of incarceration. On January 25, 1947, he died of cardiac arrest after suffering a stroke.

Quote: Vote early and vote often. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of two women standing on moutain
Photo Credit: Roberto Nickson

Vote early and vote often.


Quote: Somebody messes with me, I'm gonna mess with him. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

Somebody messes with me, I'm gonna mess with him.


Quote: I got nothing against the honest cop on the beat, the kind you can't buy. You just have to have them transferred someplace where they can't do you any harm. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

I got nothing against the honest cop on the beat, the kind you can't buy. You just have to have them transferred someplace where they can't do you any harm.


Quote: They can't collect legal taxes from illegal money. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

They can't collect legal taxes from illegal money.


Quote: Do I do business with Canadian racketeers? I don't even know what street Canada is on. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

Do I do business with Canadian racketeers? I don't even know what street Canada is on.


Quote: Bolshevism is knocking at our gates, we can't afford to let it in...We must keep America whole and safe and unspoiled. We must keep the worker away from red literature and red ruses; we must see that his mind remains healthy. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

Bolshevism is knocking at our gates, we can't afford to let it in...We must keep America whole and safe and unspoiled. We must keep the worker away from red literature and red ruses; we must see that his mind remains healthy.


Quote: I am just a businessman, giving the people what they want. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

I am just a businessman, giving the people what they want.


Quote: I've lost a million and a half on the horses and dice in the last two years. And the funny part is, I still like 'em, and if someone handed me another million I'd put it right in the nose

 of some horse that looked good to me. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

I've lost a million and a half on the horses and dice in the last two years. And the funny part is, I still like 'em, and if someone handed me another million I'd put it right in the nose

of some horse that looked good to me.


Quote: Public service is my motto. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

Public service is my motto.


Quote: It's a racket. Those stock market guys are crooked. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

It's a racket. Those stock market guys are crooked.


Quote: Once in the racket you're always in it. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

Once in the racket you're always in it.


Quote: I've been accused of every death except the casualty list of the World War. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

I've been accused of every death except the casualty list of the World War.


Quote: I would rather be rich affluent and greedy and go to hell when I die, than live in poverty on this earth. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

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


Quote: Capitalism gives all of us a great opportunity if we seize it with both hands and hang on to it. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

Capitalism gives all of us a great opportunity if we seize it with both hands and hang on to it.


Quote: We been on the road for 18 hours... I need a bath, some chow... and then you and me sit down, and we talk about who dies,eh? by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

We been on the road for 18 hours... I need a bath, some chow... and then you and me sit down, and we talk about who dies,eh?


Quote: Some call it bootlegging. Some call it racketeering. I call it a business. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

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


Quote: All I ever did was supply a demand that was pretty popular. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

All I ever did was supply a demand that was pretty popular.


Quote: I have spent the best years of my life giving people the lighter pleasures, helping them have a good time, and all I get is abuse, the existence of a hunted man. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

I have spent the best years of my life giving people the lighter pleasures, helping them have a good time, and all I get is abuse, the existence of a hunted man.


Quote: You accomplish more with a smile, a handshake, and a gun than you do with just a smile and a handshake. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

You accomplish more with a smile, a handshake, and a gun than you do with just a smile and a handshake.


Quote: Don't you get the idea I'm one of those goddam radicals. Don't get the idea I'm knocking the American system. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

Don't you get the idea I'm one of those goddam radicals. Don't get the idea I'm knocking the American system.


Quote: I'm a kind person, I'm kind to everyone, but if you are unkind to me, then kindness is not what you'll remember me for. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

I'm a kind person, I'm kind to everyone, but if you are unkind to me, then kindness is not what you'll remember me for.


Quote: Capitalists believe they can take everything at the table as belonging to them. Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

Capitalists believe they can take everything at the table as belonging to them. Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class.


Quote: A crook is a crook, and there's something healthy about his frankness in the matter. But any guy who pretends he is enforcing the law and steals on his authority is a swell snake. The worst type of these punks is the big politician. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

A crook is a crook, and there's something healthy about his frankness in the matter. But any guy who pretends he is enforcing the law and steals on his authority is a swell snake. The worst type of these punks is the big politician.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

A crook is a crook, and there's something healthy about his frankness in the matter. But any guy who pretends he is enforcing the law and steals on his authority is a swell snake. The worst type of these punks is the big politician. You can only get a little of his time because he spends so much time covering up that no one will know that he is a thief. A hard-working crook will-and can-get those birds by the dozen, but right down in his heart he won't depend on them-hates the sight of them.


Quote: Find the toughest guy in the room. Embrace him like a brother. And then slam his head against the wall. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

Find the toughest guy in the room. Embrace him like a brother. And then slam his head against the wall.


Quote: Don't mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

Don't mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me.


Quote: Be careful who you call your friends. I'd rather have four quarters than one hundred pennies. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

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


Quote: You can do more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

You can do more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word.


Quote: Hell must be a pretty swell spot, because the guys that invented religion have sure been trying hard to keep everybody else out. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

Hell must be a pretty swell spot, because the guys that invented religion have sure been trying hard to keep everybody else out.


Quote: Every time a boy falls off a tricycle, every time a black cat has gray kittens, every time someone stubs a toe, every time there's a murder or a fire or the marines land in Nicaragua, the police and the newspapers holler 'get Capone.' by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

Every time a boy falls off a tricycle, every time a black cat has gray kittens, every time someone stubs a toe, every time there's a murder or a fire or the marines land in Nicaragua, the police and the newspapers holler 'get Capone.'


Quote: I am going to St. Petersburg, Florida, tomorrow. Let the worthy citizens of Chicago get their liquor the best they can. I'm sick of the job-it's a thankless one and full of grief. I've been spending the best years of my life as a public benefactor. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

I am going to St. Petersburg, Florida, tomorrow. Let the worthy citizens of Chicago get their liquor the best they can. I'm sick of the job-it's a thankless one and full of grief. I've been spending the best years of my life as a public benefactor.


Quote: You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

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


Quote: You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.


Quote: When I sell liquor, it's called bootlegging; when my patrons serve it on Lake Shore Drive, it's called hospitality. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

When I sell liquor, it's called bootlegging; when my patrons serve it on Lake Shore Drive, it's called hospitality.


Quote: This American system of ours, call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you will, gives each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

This American system of ours, call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you will, gives each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it.


Quote: Prohibition has made nothing but trouble. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

Prohibition has made nothing but trouble.


Quote: Now I know why tigers eat their young. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

Now I know why tigers eat their young.


Quote: My rackets are run on strictly American lines and they're going to stay that way. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

My rackets are run on strictly American lines and they're going to stay that way.


Quote: I have built my organization upon fear. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

I have built my organization upon fear.


Quote: I don't even know what street Canada is on. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

I don't even know what street Canada is on.


Quote: I am like any other man. All I do is supply a demand. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

I am like any other man. All I do is supply a demand.


Quote: Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class. by author Al Capone overlaid on photo of photo of author Al Capone with quote

Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class.


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