Did Al Capone Have Children? Unraveling The Mystery

Last Updated: October 25th, 2023 by Kerry Wisby (Teacher-BA English Literature, 1920s & Great Gatsby Expert)

Infamous gangster and notorious bootlegger Al Capone would have liked a large family. His wife, Mae, also wanted to have more children, but that wasn’t in the cards for this couple.

photo of Al Capone in 1930
Al Capone in 1930 by Chicago Bureau

You’ll find plenty of Al Capone’s descendants, whether you want to look directly at his bloodline or you want to consider his siblings. However, my bet is that you’ll want to know about the children of this notorious 1920s gangster and what happened to them.

Today I want to talk about Mae and Al Capone’s son and descendants, as well as what happened to them over the years after Al Capone died.

How Many Children Did Al Capone Have?

Al Capone had only one child, a son named Albert Francis “Sonny” Capone Jr. He was born on December 4, 1918, just a few months before his father’s rise to power in the Chicago underworld.

Sonny grew up in the shadow of his father’s infamy, and he struggled to escape his father’s legacy. He eventually changed his name and moved to California, where he lived a quiet life. But even after Al Capone’s death, Sonny was still haunted by his past.

husband and wife looking at their boy

There have been some claims that Al Capone had other children, but these claims have never been substantiated.

Mae and Al Capone did try to have more children, but all subsequent pregnancies either resulted in stillbirths or ended in a miscarriage.

This is most likely because Capone contracted syphilis at a young age and passed it on to his wife.

Sonny had numerous health problems as a child, and some speculate that it was because he had been affected by his mother’s syphilis.

Later, Mae failed to get pregnant at all. Again, most likely because her husband was rendered sterile as the disease progressed.

This is another reason why anyone claiming they were illegitimate children would need to be looked at long and hard.

Did Al Capone Love His Son?

Oh yes, he certainly did.

Capone once said, “I don’t want to die shot in the street. I’ve got a boy. I love that kid.” He also wrote Sonny a letter from prison, in which he expressed his love and concern for his son.

Mug shot of Capone in Miami, Florida, 1930
Mug shot of Capone in Miami, Florida, 1930 by Miami Police Department

However, Al Capone’s life as a criminal complicated his love for his son. He knew that Sonny was being targeted by his enemies, and he tried to protect him from harm. He also knew that Sonny could be drawn to the gangster lifestyle, and despite the money that his criminal enterprise had created, he tried to discourage Sonny from following in his footsteps.

In the end, Sonny did not become a gangster, but he regretted Al Capone’s legacy.

It is clear that Al Capone loved his son, but his love was also complicated by his own criminal lifestyle. Sonny Capone was a victim of his father’s fame, and he struggled to escape his father’s notoriety.

Did Al Capone Have Children Out of Wedlock?

There have been several people who claimed to be Al Capone’s illegitimate son or daughter, but none of them have been proven to be true.

Al Capone did have many mistresses, and two of them were what might be called long-term lovers. However, to the best of our knowledge, none of these relationships produced children.

This is most likely because of Al Capone’s syphilis infection.

The Legacy of Al Capone’s Family: What Happened to His Descendants?

Al and Mae Capone had several grandchildren from their son Albert Francis, aka Sonny. Let’s find out who they are and what happened to them

What Happened to Sonny Capone After Al Capone’s Death?

After the death of his father, Sonny tried to distance himself from his father’s reputation.

He had his name legally changed to Albert Francis Brown. He moved to a small town in California and earned his own living working various jobs.

Sonny would marry three times and have four daughters with his first wife. In fact, his first wife was very close to his mother, and the two spent many days together.

He had obviously moved on, but something he never expected happened. While attending college, Sonny met a man who would later become the infamous actor Desi Arnaz. It was Arnaz who would produce the 1959 series “The Untouchables”, which followed the life of his father and law enforcement’s attempts to capture and charge him.

The cast of The Untouchables Desilu Playhouse 1959
Photo of the cast for the first showing of The Untouchables on Desilu Playhouse by CBS Television

It seems that long after his death, Al Capone would still have a strong negative impact on his son’s life.

Sonny was heartbroken that his “friend” would do something like this. The series brought up bad feelings, and Sonny’s daughters, who were in school, were bullied by other children because of the series.

Sonny and his mother Mae Capone sued the production company, but the case was thrown out of court, stating that “privacy issues” did not apply to descendants. Even the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

On July 8, 2004, Albert Francis Capone (Brown) died in the tiny California town of Auburn Lake Trails. His third wife, America “Amie” Francis, told a reporter that Albert Francis Capone was much more than his family name.

Al Capone has been dead a long, long time,” she said. “His son had nothing to do with him. Let him rest in peace, for crying out loud. He suffered enough in his life for being who he was.”

What Happened to Al Capone’s Granddaughters?

Al Capone had four granddaughters via Sonny- Diane, Barbara, Veronica, and Teresa Capone. These four women, who called Capone “papa”, would remember him with kind words.

All of Capone’s granddaughters lived in California, mostly in San Francisco or the Auburn Lake area. Three of the four were still alive as of 2021, and they decided to auction off many of the mementos, photos, and guns that were passed down to them.

Apparently, Capone’s granddaughters also had children, but the family doesn’t advertise their connection to Capone and avoid using the Capone name at all.

Wasn’t Albert Francis “Sonny” Capone Arrested Once?

handcuffed man behind bars

Yes, he was. In August of 1965, a store clerk saw Sonny pocket two bottles of aspirin and some batteries. He was arrested and went before a judge who sentenced him to two years probation.

When asked why he did it, Sonny answered with a shrug, “Everybody has a little larceny in them.

In 1968, Sonny allegedly threatened to kill Edward Kennedy, better known as Ted Kennedy. After the death of Robert Kennedy, Sonny was in a restaurant in Miami where someone supposedly heard him say Ted Kennedy needed to be careful or someone would “get” him too.

This unidentified person called the FBI and told them about it, but nothing ever came of it.

FBI released records which state that on June 25, 1968, a report of a threat called in from a pay phone at a Coral Gables, Florida restaurant. The call was overheard by a waitress. It is unknown if this is the same report or if it’s a different incident.

The caller, who identified himself as Sonny Capone, allegedly stated that “If Edward Kennedy keeps fooling around, he was going to get it too.

The FBI reported that Sonny Capone, “son of the late Al (Scarface) Capone, a notorious hoodlum from Chicago” had lived in Florida as recently as 1966, two years before the phone call.

Like the previous version, nothing ever came of this phone call, and no arrests were made.

Before You Go …..

In 2020, there was a film about Capone’s life starring the very talented Tom Hardy. While this film is fairly accurate, some of it is simply fodder for the movie.

I did like the movie, but some of the inaccuracies are annoying to me, personally. I happen to be a big fan of facts and find that they are often more interesting than most fictional accounts of people.

In the movie, someone is constantly calling the house in Florida claiming to be Capone’s son. We assume they mean illegitimate son, of which there are none. I suppose it is possible that someone was trying to cash in on the name and thought they might get some hush money, but there is no evidence that someone repeatedly called the estate claiming this.

There are scenes where Capone regrets not having contact with this illegitimate son, but this is nothing more than movie-making at its finest. Considering his life at the time, Capone may have wondered if he had children he was never told about, but there is zero evidence to this.

They also show Capone having a party with Louis Armstrong playing the song Blueberry Hill, which could not have happened since Armstrong didn’t record his version of the tune until 1947.

The notorious mobster Al Capone had one son and one child only, but at least he didn’t want or expect him to continue running his criminal empire.

Did Al Capone Have Children? Unraveling The Mystery
Did Al Capone Have Children? Unraveling The Mystery
Al Capone had only one child, Sonny Capone. He spent his entire life trying to avoid his father's legacy. Did Sonny hate his father or did he only hate what he did?
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