Deirdre Marie Capone
Deirdre Marie Capone
Deirdre Marie Capone

Deirdre Marie Capone was born in Chicago, Illinois, to a large Italian family – it just happened to be one of the most notorious crime families in American history. Her grandfather was Ralph Capone, brother to the Chicago Crime Commission’s Public Enemy #1: Al Capone.

In 1957, 17-year-old Deirdre was fired from her job as a secretary for an insurance company simply for being a Capone. This experience was disillusioning, but eventually she was able to recover and create a life for herself with a man she met at that very company. Deirdre also sought comfort in her beloved Aunt Maffie, the only sister of Ralph and Al, who went on to share with Deirdre a detailed history of the Capone family.

Deirdre Marie Capone
Deirdre Marie & Uncle Al

Unfortunately, some of Deirdre’s relatives did not exhibit her strength. When Deirdre was only ten years old, her father Ralph committed suicide, unable to withstand the pressure of the Capone family legacy. Even now, rumors and allegations swirl about the true nature of Al Capone, the Chicago Outfit, and the family members involved.

Today, Deirdre is a wife, mother, and grandmother. Her children and grandchildren are aware of her family’s past, but this wasn’t always the case. Persecuted for her family ties as a child and young adult, Deirdre chose to hide her true family name from everyone but her husband, Bob, for many years. Now, Deirdre publicly acknowledges her identity and seeks to share her story as the last Capone.

Deirdre is the author of the recently published UNCLE AL CAPONE: The Untold Story from Inside the Family (Recap Publishing , 2012). She is the only remaining Capone family member with first-hand knowledge of her historical family’s legacy.

For more information or for an interview with Deirdre Capone please contact Sandy Trupp at
sandtrupp@gmail.com or at 202-374-1714

Download Deirdre's Media Sheet

 

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Deirdre Marie Capone
Deirdre Marie Capone
Deirdre Marie Capone
Al on the sofa - he taught me to play mandolin on this sofa.

Question:  Films and television about gangsters, ranging from classics like The Godfather to modern hits like Boardwalk Empire, often depict members of crime syndicates as ruthless criminals who remain fiercely loyal to their families. Was this the case in the Capone Outfit?
Deirdre Marie Capone (DMC):  Yes. I was raised with these values. “Your word is your bond” and “Family is everything”.

Question:  Almost eighty years after the Prohibition era, Al Capone has transformed from a dangerous criminal into an American legend. Why do you think this is the case?
(DMC):   I believe that all of the books, newspaper articles etc. have made my uncle the poster boy for that whole decade.

Question:  You spent a good portion of your life concealing your true identity as a member of the Capone family. What inspired you to write a book that shares your story with the world?
(DMC):  My children urged me to write a book. My two youngest boys returned to their birth city, Chicago, as undergraduate and graduate students. It was at the time the movie “The Untouchables” was released. Chicago was filled with remarks about Al Capone most of which were derogatory. Of course that same DNA was in their bodies. They begged me to try to tell the world that Al Capone was not a monster. One of my mantras is “Was Al Capone a mobster? Yes he was. Was Al Capone a monster? No he was not.

Question:  For a while, only your husband Bob knew about your secret. How did sharing this information with your children change your life?
(DMC):  At first I was terrified that they would hate me. For most of my life I hated being a Capone. I was so surprised when they expressed happiness at their discovery.

Question:  As the last living Capone, how do you try to honor your family and its legacy?
(DMC):  The best way is for me to show the real Capone genes. I have done amazing things in my life. I attribute them to the strong genes.

Question:  Do you find that there are discrepancies between official Capone biographies and the family that raised you?
(DMC):  Oh yes. There is not one person who has written about my uncle or my family that knew any of us. My book is the only book written about Al Capone by someone who actually knew him. I am working on another book where I do point out the discrepancies. I need to do it for history.

Deirdre Marie Capone
Al watering the grounds at Mercer

Question:  What childhood experiences can you share about your relationship with your Uncle Al?
(DMC):  He taught me to swim, to ride a bike, and to play the mandolin. We cooked together and sang together. He taught me an Italian lullaby that I sang each night to our four children. Also he had the habit of when he saw me for the first time in a while he would put a $20.00 bill in my hand.

Question:  The Capone name casts a shadow over the lives of many Capone descendants. You faced negative experiences as a result of your last name as well, so how did you overcome those struggles?
(DMC):  In Italy Capone is a very common name much like Smith or Jones is here in America. Now I encounter people who are named Capone trying to say that they are related. So far I have not met anyone with the last name Capoone being related to me. Very different than my past. I really think I had it easier because I was a girl and in my day when a woman got married she changed her last name. I was married at 19.

Deirdre Marie Capone

For more information or for an interview with Deirdre Capone please contact Sandy Trupp at
sandtrupp@gmail.com or at 202-374-1714

Download Deirdre's Media Sheet

 

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EMAIL:  deirdre@unclealcapone.com

 

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