Al Capone Mugshot

Al Capone in Alcatraz

The Chicago gangster was once one of the most famous inmates at the infamous prison.

For years, he was Public Enemy Number One. But in 1934, notorious mob boss Al Capone became just another high-profile inmate at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, the new maximum-security island prison in San Francisco Bay that had just opened that August. After years of ruling violently over Prohibition-era Chicago, Capone was finally brought down in federal court in 1931. After serving some of his 11-year sentence in Atlanta, he was transferred out west. Here, a look back at Capone's road to Alcatraz.

TAX SCHEME Bettmann/Bettmann Archive TAX SCHEME Originally from Brooklyn, Capone was a legendary mobster of the Jazz Age, ruling the Chicago underworld during Prohibition. Despite a bloody reign, which included the 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre of eight rival bootleggers, he was only found guilty of — as his New York Times obituary so colorfully put it — "the comparatively sissy charge of evasion of income taxes amounting to around $215,000." Here he is in Chicago Federal Court. NO PICTURES ullstein bild Dtl./ullstein bild via Getty Images NO PICTURES Capone's trial in 1931. Even the crowd in the courtroom wanted to keep their faces out of the newspapers.

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PUBLIC INTEREST Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images PUBLIC INTEREST A crowd gathers outside the Chicago Federal Building to catch a glimpse of Capone. ROAD HOME Bettmann/Bettmann Archive ROAD HOME Capone and U.S. Marshall Harry Laubenheimer play cards on the prison railcar that's taking him to the Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta in 1932. CHECKING IN Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images CHECKING IN Capone arrives in Atlanta to begin his 11-year sentence. (He was also fined $50,000.) GO WEST Bettmann/Bettmann Archive GO WEST In 1934, Capone was transferred to the new prison on Alcatraz Island. Here, the barge carrying the prison cars with the new inmates. FAMILY VISIT Bettmann/Bettmann Archive FAMILY VISIT In 1938, Capone's wife Mae (far left) took a steamer over to the island to visit her husband, who'd become increasingly ill with the neurosyphilis that would eventually incapacitate him. FUR COAT Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Popperfoto/Getty Images FUR COAT Mae Capone, trying to stay out of the spotlight. THE END Hulton Deutsch/Corbis via Getty Images THE END Capone's mental condition continued to deteriorate, and he was released from prison in November 1939. In poor health, he moved to Miami Beach with his family, where he died on January 27, 1947, at age 48 from heart failure. CELL BLOCK Justin Sullivan/Getty Images CELL BLOCK The prison at Alcatraz closed in 1963, and it has since become part of a National Park and tourist attraction. Here, a ranger looks in at Capone's former cell.



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