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Famous Family History Al Scarface Capone Children

About the family of gangster Al "Scarface" Capone, biography and history of his child.

ROOTS AND FRUITS: A FOREST OF FAMILY TREES

ALPHONSE "SCARFACE" CAPONE (1899-1947), U.S. gangster

His Fruits: The union of Al and Mae Coughlin Capone produced but one offspring, Albert Francis (b. 1919). Nicknamed Sonny, the boy literally had a godfather type for a godfather. Johnny Torrio, Al's early business associate, sent Sonny a $5,000 bond every year for his birthday. Years later, when Torrio formed a partnership with Dutch Schultz, Al instructed his wife from his penitentiary cell to tear up the bonds--by then worth $80,000.

At the age of seven Sonny developed a serious mastoid infection. A high risk factor was attached to the necessary surgery. "I'll give you a hundred thousand dollars if you pull him through," Capone told his doctors, and the boy survived.

Sonny was a shy, introverted child, left partially deaf by his illness. He was quite a contrast to his flamboyant dad. On the boy's 10th birthday, the Capones threw a party for him, inviting 50 of his Catholic school friends. Al, not wanting to offend the already watchful authorities, stipulated that the children must bring signed parental permission slips. Though it may certainly have been curiosity about their infamous neighbor that motivated them, few refused the invitation to this or other Capone gatherings.

Al Capone served only two prison sentences during the course of his illustrious career. During the first, a one-year term for carrying a weapon, Sonny was told that his father was abroad, but throughout the 7 1/2 years Al served for income tax evasion, he was visited regularly by his son in federal prisons at Atlanta and Alcatraz.

Sonny married Diana Ruth Casey, his high school sweetheart, in 1941; they had four children, all girls. He held a variety of jobs, from florist to tire salesman. Both he and Diana were members of the National Pistol Association of America, and she was often a better marksman than her husband.

Basically, Sonny led a straight and lawful life with one noted exception. While shopping in a local supermarket, he had an irresistible urge to steal some transistor radio batteries and two bottles of aspirin, totaling $3.50. "Everybody has a little larceny in him, I guess," said Sonny to the judge, who gave him two years' probation based on his exemplary past.

The following year, 1966, Albert Francis Capone changed his name to Albert Francis.

--S.M.

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