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Monday, 4 May 2020

APROPOS OF NOTHING #17 - 4 MAY 1932 - AL CAPONE

Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping, the golden age of Hollywood (esp westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 

joecushnan@aol.com & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. 


This is a series of very, very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.


Apropos of Nothing #17 – 4 May 1937  

On 4 May 1932, mobster Al Capone, 33, began an eleven-year prison sentence for tax evasion.  On arrival at Atlanta’s penitentiary, he was given a medical examination, the results of which diagnosed him with syphilis and gonorrhoea.  He was also trying to recover from a cocaine addiction.

His prison jobs included stitching soles on shoes.

From a tough guy on the outside, he was reported to be weak and unable to deal with bullying and threats from other inmates.  It was feared he might have a nervous breakdown.  In 1934, he was moved to Alcatraz, where a couple of years later another prisoner stabbed him.  It was not a life-threatening wound.

In 1939, Capone was paroled.  His physical and mental health were deteriorating.  He would spend the remaining years of his life in and out of hospitals, and at his Florida mansion.

Alphonse Gabriel Capone died on 25 January, 1947 at the age of 48.

He has been portrayed on screen by actors such as Rod Steiger, Neville Brand, Jason Robards, Ben Gazzara, Robert De Niro and, fairly recently, by Stephen Graham in Boardwalk Empire, and soon by Tom Hardy in the forthcoming Capone.

Al Capone

Sources: Various










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