Tony Accardo was Organized Crime Figure. Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1906, he joined the city’s organized crime family, the “Outfit,” during the late 1920s. He served under three bosses (Alphonse Capone, Frank Nitti, and Paul Ricca), before becoming the boss himself. He expanded the Outfit’s influence to most of the western states, eventually succeeding in allowing the Outfit total independence from the eastern mobs which had their own ruling commission and territories. Anthony Accardo, who was also known as the “Big Tuna,” ruled the family from approximately 1943 until 1957, when he abdicated leadership to his underboss, Sam (Momo) Giancana. When Giancana went to prison in 1965, he returned to full control untiL the early 1970s, when his new underboss Joseph Aiuppa took the reigns – always with his supervision. His years on the Chicago throne were remarkable by their brutality and bloodshed, particularly on violators of the drug ban enforced in the city. He, unlike other mob bosses throughout history, was serious about this rule. When the Chicago leadership was decimated by Las Vegas casino skimming convictions in the mid-1980s, he returned to the fold and reinstated a new administration, remaining in the background to survey their management. When he passed away in 1992, the family he had turned into a vast army of money-making killers was a shell of its former self.
Capone was born in Brooklyn in 1899 to two Italian immigrants. From the beginning, he never responded well to authority. He beat a female teacher while in his sixth grade year and left after the principal verbally chastised him for the incident. Facing a life of low paying jobs, he joined the street gang led by Johny Torrio and Lucky Luciano.
Late in December 1918, Capone killed a man in an argument. Rather than face the charges, he called his old friend Torrio, who was now in Chicago. Capone moved to Chicago on the invitation of Torrio.
He carried his rough style of dealing with people to Chicago. As the bartender at Torrio’s club, he broke the bones the arms, legs, and even skulls of those he evicted from the establishment.
However, Torrio did not bring Capone to Chicago to beat up drunkards. As Torrio’s right hand man, he received the job killing off “Big Jim” Colosimo, who ran Chicago’s underground. After the passage of prohibition in 1920, Torrio was constantly harrasing the boss to establish underground drinking esablishments. Tired of hearing “NO” from Colosimo, Torrio had him killed by Capone on May 11, 1920. Torrio became boss of Chicago, and Capone became the manager of alcohol for the city.
Al Capone became head of the Chicago mafia after Torrio was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt and stepped down from the head spot in 1925. Throughout his reign he ran the streets of Chicago with his mob. When his mob with at its prime, Capone had city aldermen, mayors, legislators, governors, congressmen, and over half the Chicago police force on his payroll.
In 1929 he made his biggest blunder by ordering the shooting of Bugs Moran, part of another Chicago underground faction, on February 14. In what is known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Capone’s men killed a group seven people, but Moran was not in the group. The even, however, changed the public mind about pursuing organized crime.
By now, the IRS had been gathering tax evasion information on Capone for some time through a hired agent, Eddie O’Hare. O’Hare ran Capone’s dog and race tracks and told the IRS where they could find Capone’s financial records. On November 24, Al Capone was sentenced to 11 years in Federal prison, fined $50,000, charged $7692 for court costs, and $215,000 in back taxes for tax evasion.
He was released in 1939, after serving seven years and paying all of his back taxes. His mental and physical condition had severely deteriorated and he entered Baltimore hospital for brain treatment immediately after his release. He died of a stroke and pneumonia on January 25, 1947, having killed Eddie O’Hare before he died.
Dubbed “the Oddfather,” by the press, Gigante faked mental illness in order to avoid prosecution. He was often seen wondering Greenwich Village in New York City in his bathrobe and slippers, mumbling incoherently to himself.
The act helped him avoid prosecution for his crimes until 1997 when he was convicted of racketeering and conspiracy charges. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison, but had an additional three years added on when he pleaded guilty to faking his mental illness. Gigante died in prison in 2005.