Al Capone: Died On This Day in 1947, Aged 48

On this day‬ in 1947 we saw the death of Al Capone.

On this day in 1947 the world would mark the passing of one of the most notorious mobsters to have ever lived. At the age of 48 The Big Shot suffered from a stroke but managed to improve from it (this was just 4 days after he celebrated his 48th birthday). However, after managing to regain consciousness from the stroke he contracted pneumonia; on the 25th January 4 days after the stroke he suffered a fatal cardiac arrest.

Al headed up the Chicago Outfit during a violent time in the mobs history, having taken the reigns from Johnny Torrio in 1925 after he was almost killed in an assassination attempt. He remained at the front of the outfit until he was finally convicted on tax evasion charges in 1932, and upon being sent to Atlanta’s U.S. Penitentiary Capone would fast lose a battle to ill health.



The Last 15 Years of Al Capone

Almost immediately after his arrival at the prison he was diagnosed with syphilis and gonorrhoea, and he was also suffering from cocaine withdrawal.

Capones Cell from 1929

Capone’s Cell from 1929

He was no longer the man he used to be but that didn’t matter to many inmates serving time with Capone, they were said to bully the former Outfit boss, and his cell mate Red Rudlinsky who used to be associated with the Outfit end up becoming a bodyguard for Capone. It was so bad that they ended up moving Capone to Alcatraz.

By now neurosyphillis had gotten a hold of Capone and his mental state began to weaken, confused and disorientated he ended up serving the final year of one of his convictions in the prison hospital eventually being released in early January 1939. The prison time wasn’t over for Capone though as he still had to serve time for contempt of court, for this stint he was transferred to California, and spent the next 10 months at the Federal Correctional Institution at Terminal Island. Al Capone was finally a free man on November 1939.

Al Capone Fishing by the Docks 1939

Al Capone Fishing by the Docks 1939

The next few years of his life would be spent in hospital for the treatment of paresis, and then back at his Palm Island mansion surrounded by close family. Paresis is a neuropsychiatric disorder which is caused by late-stage syphilis and this would become apparent a year before his death when a psychiatrist would conclude that Al Capone had the mental age of a 12 year old.

Al Capone Death Certificate

The Legacy of Capone

During his time as the boss of the Chicago Outfit Al Capone would be involved in many trials and mob related events. Capone is one of the most notorious American gangsters of the 20th century and has been the subject of numerous articles, books, and films. His personality and character have been used in fiction as a model for crime lords and criminal masterminds ever since his death. The stereotypical image of a mobster wearing a blue pinstriped suit and tilted fedora is based on photos of Capone.


From the assassination of Big Jim Colosimo, Dean O’Banion, Hymie Weiss, Frankie Yale and of course the notorious St Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929, Capone left his mark on the world.

Over 30 victims were notched up on the board in a 4 year period.

VictimDate of deathReason
Joe HowardMay 7, 1923Tried hijacking Capone-Torrio beer.
Dion O’BanionNovember 10, 1924Set Johnny Torrio up in  Brewery Raid.
Thomas DuffyApril 27, 1926Suspected of treachery by Capone.
James J. DohertyApril 27, 1926Suspected of treachery by Capone.
William H. McSwigginApril 27, 1926Happened to be with Duffy and Doherty that night.
Earl Hymie WeissOctober 11, 1926O’Banion’s successor and out to get Capone.
John CostenaroJanuary 7, 1927Planning to testify against Capone.
Santo CelebronJanuary 7, 1927Planning to testify against Capone.
Antonio TorchioMay 25, 1927Imported from New York to kill Capone.
Frank HitchcockJuly 27, 1927Bootlegger enemy that Johnny Patton wanted out of the way.
Anthony K. RussoAugust 11, 1927Imported from St. Louis to kill Capone.
Vincent SpicuzzaAugust 11, 1927Imported from St. Louis to kill Capone.
Samuel ValenteSeptember 24, 1927Imported from Cleveland to kill Capone.
Harry FullerJanuary 18, 1928Hijacked Capone’s beer and booze.
Joseph CagiandoJanuary 18, 1928Hijacked Capone’s beer and booze.
Joseph FassoJanuary 18, 1928Hijacked Capone’s beer and booze.
“Diamond Joe” EspositoMarch 21, 1928Did not want to support Capone on election day.
Ben NewmarkApril 23, 1928Tried to organize a rival gang.
Francesco Uale (Frank Yale)July 1, 1928Double-crossed Capone.
Frank GusenbergFebruary 14, 1929Part of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Pete GusenbergFebruary 14, 1929Part of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
John MayFebruary 14, 1929Part of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Al WeinshankFebruary 14, 1929Part of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
James ClarkFebruary 14, 1929Part of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Adam HeyerFebruary 14, 1929Part of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Dr. Reinhardt SchwimmerFebruary 14, 1929Part of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Albert AnselmiMay 8, 1929Would assist Joseph Guinta in assassinating Capone.
John ScaliseMay 8, 1929Would assist Joseph Guinta in assassinating Capone.
Joseph GuintaMay 8, 1929Was planning on assassinating Capone.
Frankie MarlowJune 24, 1929Refused to pay a debt of $250,000.
Julius RosenheimFebruary 1, 1930Informant to the police and newspapers on Capone’s activities.
Jack ZutaAugust 1, 1930Spied on and double-crossed Capone.
Joe AielloOctober 23, 1930Rival gang leader and ally of Bugs Moran.
Hayley Dean

Hayley Dean

Hayley is a freelance Journalist who has an interested in writing about notorious Serial Killers to one time hit murderers. Many infamous criminals came into my pieces of writing, those actually ranging from Al Capone to someone very different such as Jeffrey Dahmer. I always wanted to write about criminal issues within the world, I have read numerous criminal books, these have motivated me into writing my own account of crimes.I consider myself to be able to write numerous articles ranging from Gangsters and Mobsters to someone that is an infamous serial killer.
Hayley Dean

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