January 17 - Happy Birthday Al Capone!

On this day in 1899, the most notorious and feared gangster during the 1920's prohibition era was born. The legendary Al Capone turns 114 years old today, and now 80 years after his hey day, his name still resonates throughout North America. The Chicago gangster ran a prohibition era crime syndicate which included smuggling and bootlegging liquor as well as a slew of other illegal activities.

In his early twenties, Capone moved from Brooklyn to Chicago to take advantage of the opportunity to make bundles of money by smuggling illegal liquor during prohibition. Despite of his illegal occupation, Capone was seen as a modern day Robin Hood due to the amount of money he donated to charities from his illegal activities. Capone also has ties to the North of the 49th Parallel, as he smuggled liquor from Canada to the United States on many occasions.

Capone has been entrenched in popular culture over the last 70 years. He has been the topic of numerous books, articles, and films including being portrayed by Robert De Niro in the 1987 movie "The Untouchables". Most recently, Capone has been featured in the 2009 sequel to "A Night at the Museum" and the 2010 HBO hit "Boardwalk Empire".

In 1931, Capone's reign came to an end after he was charged and imprisoned for tax evasion. Capone spent the majority of his time in the Alcatraz Prison and in 1945 he passed away from cardiac arrest after suffering a stroke.


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