(LibertySociety.com) – Al Capone was an American gangster born in the late 1800s in New York City, famous for his role in the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago on February 14, 1929. Although people perhaps think of him as a ruthless criminal whose infamy made its way into movies and song lyrics, that wasn’t all there was to the man. In fact, his family wants the public to know he was also a beloved family man, and they want to show his other side to the world by holding an auction of his possessions, highlighting his gentler side.
A Legacy for Sale
Before assuming his role in organized crime, Capone had a relatively normal childhood similar to other boys in Brooklyn, New York, during the early 1900s. His parents immigrated to the United States shortly before his birth, so he was a first-generation American citizen and one of nine children. But his life changed when he dropped out of school at the age of 14, opting instead to run with gangs.
While he performed his criminal activities, Al Capone also grew a family. He had a wife and a son who would go on to give him four grandchildren. To them, “Papa” wasn’t a heartless murderer. Instead, he was a loving father and grandfather. And as his grandchildren got older, they wanted to ensure his legacy also included the side they knew as a beloved member of their family.
174 items from the Capone family will go on the auction block on October 8. While some of the items, like his firearms, will do little to change his image, his grandchildren hope his family photographs, pocket watches, furniture, and jewelry will show the world he was simply a human being with people who loved him.
Also included among the items is a handwritten letter from Mr. Capone to his son, written while the elder Capone served time in Alcatraz for tax evasion. There were no words of violence or criminal activity, just a normal note any loving father would write to his child.
The Man Behind the Gangster
Although the items will likely bring in a pretty penny with more than 1,000 bidders from all over the United States and the world, the money isn’t necessarily the top priority behind the sale.
The gangster’s family hopes they might change perceptions about his legacy by including his everyday items and personal words in the auction items.
Even though the first thought on almost everyone’s mind when they hear the name Al Capone is tax evasion, gangster, and criminal, maybe now, some will add a family man to the list.
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