Gabriele Capone was one of the many Italians who arrived in the United States in 1894. He was a barber by trade, and hoped to arrive here and open a barbershop. Gabriele brought with him his twenty-seven year old wife, his two-year-old son, and his infant son. The Capone family moved to Brooklyn into a flat that had no indoor toilet or furnishings. Gabriele's ability to read and write allowed him to get a job in a grocery store. His wife took in sewing at home to add to their income. She already had three sons, and the fourth, conceived and born in America, was born on January 17, 1899. His name was Alphonse.
The Capone's were a quiet, conventional family. They never hit their children; they talked to them, and preached to them, they listened to their parents. Nothing about the Capone's were violent or dishonest. They were law-abiding, unremarkable Italian-American's. Shortly after Al was born, Gabriele moved the family to a better home over his new barber shop. Moving into a broader ethnic universe allowed Al to escape the solidly Italian neighborhood. This exposure would help him create his future criminal empire. The neighborhood where Al lived his first ten years were harsh. In 1904, at the age of five, Al started school. He was soon kicked out. At the age of 14, while in the sixth grade, he was thrown out of school for throwing a female teacher to the ground. About this time, the family moved to yet another home. This move would have a lasting impact on him. It would be here that he would meet the people who would have the most influence on his future, his soon to be wife Mae and Johnny Torrio.
Johnny Torrio was a new breed of gangster. From Torrio, a young Capone learned invaluable lessons that were the foundation of the empire he later built. Torrio was a role model for many boys. He often paid young boys to run errands for him. Over time, Torrio came to trust Al Capone, and gave him more to do than just run errands.