Best-selling Author Jonathan Eig Debunks Myths on Legendary Gangster Al Capone


Best-selling author Jonathan Eig put a lot of myths about Al Capone's life to rest in his new tome Get Capone, but admits something remains true: the legendary gangster's love for the limelight.

"Capone is the only gangster to embrace celebrity, to crave the spotlight," Eig said, during his reading at Books & Books last night. "Every gangster before and after has tried to keep a low profile - they don't want their names in the newspaper, but Capone loved his name in the newspaper."

So where better for the notorious mobman to take up part-time residency than the Magic City?  Capone -- who lived in Chicago and rose to fame in the 1920s alongside Babe Ruth and Charles Lindbergh -- even chose one the city's swankiest addresses to call home: Palm Island.

"He loved the fact that in Miami he was this super celebrity," said Eig.  "Chicago is a working man's town, and Miami is a playboy town -- I think he felt very comfortable here."

And although it was this comfort in the spotlight that Eig cites as a large contributing factor to Capone's downfall, he still discredits many of the theories surrounding the mobster that pin him as an ego-maniacal killer. The author even questions his involvement with the infamous Valentine's Day Massacre.

"What I found is that he was really a businessman in may ways," he said. "And he did kill people, but he was always, I think, trying his best to keep his career afloat -- he wasn't looking to go out with all guns blazing."

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