Al Capone

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Alphonse Gabriel Capone (January 17, 1899 – January 25, 1947), more popularly known as Al "Scarface" Capone, was a famous American gangster in the 1920s and 1930s.


  • Virgin territory for whorehouses.
    • Referring to suburban Chicago.
    • Quoted in The Bootleggers, ch. 16, Kenneth Allsop (1961)
  • This American system of ours ... call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you like, gives to each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it.
    • Interview with Claud Cockburn. Quoted in “Mr. Capone, Philosopher,” Cockburn Sums Up (1981)
  • I've been accused of every death except the casualty list of the World War.
    • The Bootleggers
  • 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.
    • Quoted in How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.


  • All I ever did was to sell beer and whiskey to our best people. All I ever did was to supply a demand that was pretty popular. Why, the very guys that make my trade good are the ones that yell the loudest about me.
  • 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.
  • Don't you get the idea I'm one of those goddamn radicals. Don't get the idea I'm knocking the American system.
  • 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.
  • I don't even know what street Canada is on.
  • Vote early and vote often.
  • When I sell liquor, it’s called bootlegging. When my patrons serve it on silver trays on Lake Shore Drive, it’s called hospitality.
  • You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.
  • Public service is my motto.
  • You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun.

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