At Home with Al Capone
Today I have a treat for you, special guest Deirdre Marie Capone, Al Capone’s niece, talks to me about her book entitled ‘Uncle Al Capone: The untold story from inside his family.’
I have a review of the book for you and a giveaway opportunity.
I am uniquely qualified to write this book because:
- I am the last person of Al Capone’s family who was born with the name Capone. I am the last of the living Capone’s.
- No one else in the world has the Capone family pictures, recipes, personal anecdotes, and experiences I can share with readers.
- No one else still alive sat on Al Capone’s lap as a child, or was taught by him to play the mandolin.
- No one else still alive intimately knew every member of Al Capone’s family.
- No one else can tell readers the great joy it was to help Uncle Al’s mother and sister prepare dinner for him and his brothers, and to dine with them at our big family meals on Sundays and holidays.
- No one else can describe the exhilarating highs and the depressing lows of my childhood and adulthood as a Capone.
As a child and then as a young woman, I experienced the full gamut of emotions related to the family of my birth — from feeling the genuine warmth and love of the Capone family, to being terrified and lonely. I felt special when I had front row seats at the circus and the Ice Capades, but I was shunned by my classmates. I was fired from my first job because of my name. I was devastated by my father’s suicide.
My Second Life
My second life began when I married my husband, Bob. Although he was friendly and polite with Capone family members, he didn’t want to get involved with them. He especially didn’t want any of his own success attributed to the Capones. Bob and I moved to Minnesota and worked as a team to develop our potential. Together we attained success in business, enabling us to send our four children through college and graduate school.
My own accomplishments are not linked in any way with being a Capone, beyond inheriting some strong genes. Only a few of our personal friends even know my birth name. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even tell my four children of their Capone family heritage until the youngest was eight and the eldest was 13, and only then when the latter came home from school with a homework assignment about Al Capone.
Briefly, here are some of my accomplishments:
- Created with my husband Bob, a successful mail order company.
- Helped write personal development audio programs that have sold in the millions.
- Developed and taught a speed-reading course licensed by the Minnesota Department of Education.
- Honored as one of the “Outstanding Women in Business” by the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce.
- Designed and taught meditation classes.
- Certified as a personal trainer by IDEA, ACE, ACSM, and AFAA. and evaluated new exercise programs for ACE.
- Created and led a successful total-workout program used in some of the top health clubs in the U.S.
- Owned and operated several workout studios.
- Lobbied successfully to reduce property taxes in Minnesota as President of a citizen’s tax group.
- Served as president of the local chapter of the American Cancer Society in Minnesota.
- Directed and served as auctioneer for breast cancer fund raising events in Florida (I am a breast cancer survivor).
- Emceed health and human-potential conferences held at various universities featuring such notables as Norman Cousins, Bernie Siegel, Raymond Moody, Buckminster Fuller, Wayne Dyer, Joyce Brothers, Karl Menninger. And Richard Bach.
Title: Uncle Al Capone: The Untold Story from Inside His Family
Author: Deirdre Marie Capone
Publisher: Recap Publishing, 2nd Edition Sept. 2nd, 2012
Book Synopsis: (from GoodReads)
A stunning memoir by the last living Capone. Deirdre Marie Capone offers the portrait of an American family and her favorite Uncle, endlessly depicted as the iconic mastermind behind some of the century s most brutal killings. Filled with never-before published family photos of Al Capone and surprising revelations about the man behind the notorious legend, this book tells the untold story from within the family.
– Learn the truth about the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
– Learn about Al Capone’s role in the only successful escape from Alcatraz
– Even get the family recipes for Al Capone’s favorite meals
– But most importantly, learn about what family life was like for the Capones and what it was like growing up in Chicago with the most notorious of last names.
This book kept my interest from the first to last page. Al Capone is an iconic character who everybody has heard of but do we know the real Al Capone? Al Capone’s niece, Deirdre, sets out in this book to show the personal side of Capone’s character, who he was at home, what his motivations were, and also to set the record straight on some of the things that are just plain not true.
Where does legend and truth cross-over? You will have to read the book to find out.
Deirdre writes in a very personal, informal style, you can imagine her sitting next to you with a coffee in hand, reminiscing and telling Capone family stories to you. This is endearing and makes the story come alive.
Deirdre does not hold back from some of the negative aspects of her husband’s personality and deeds, this is not an apologetic memoir or a book trying to change history and excuse Al for the wrongs that he did do. It is a subjective account of one persons experiences of another with a sincere intent to be as objective as possible.
The honesty and openness throughout the book is refreshing and if you thought you knew the story of Al Capone then you are wrong and need to read this book.
I give this book a 4.5/5 stars I loved it and highly recommend it to anybody who is into history, memoirs, personal truth, or just something a little different to the norm.
Hello Deirdre! Welcome to my blog and thank you for agreeing to this interview.
How many years have you been waiting to write this book?
I began keeping a diary at the age of 11. I interviewed all the members of my family but they made me promise that I would not write my book until all the original members passed. In earnest I began writing the book in 2007.
I really enjoyed reading about the ‘real’ Al Capone from your eyes as a child. Can you think of another anecdote that is not included in the book to give my readers a taster of the man behind the legend?
One winter night my uncle Al Capone was sitting in a restaurant eating when a young boy came in selling newspapers. He was dressed shabbily with just a sweater to brace him from the cold and holes in his shoes. My uncle asked him why he was out so late and the boy said he had to sell all of the papers before he could go home and go to bed. My uncle took all the papers and gave the young lad $200.00. My uncle said the boy looked in awe and started shaking. He had never seen that much money before.
How easy, or not, was this book to write?
It was very difficult because it was so emotional. I would write and then cry. It is hard to see the keyboard with tears in your eyes.
Have you had any backlash from any of the people mentioned?
No I have received backlash from people who are not mentioned. Can’t quite figure that one out.
Has the Capone legacy affected your own children at all or did the negative connotations of being a Capone end with you.
It is a different era today so I guess the negative did end with me. That makes me very happy.
You had a hard time because you were ‘tarred with the same brush’ rather than being judged and assessed in your own right, how did this make you feel?
I know the true meaning of discrimination. There are some people who really believe that if they put someone down it some how elevates them.
Are there any mob influences left in your family life now?
No but I think there could be if I wanted it.
Was Al’s money ever found?
No – Damn!
You included some never before seen photographs and some family recipes at the end of the book, was it difficult to share the intimate and private aspect of your family’s life with the world?
At first yes but it got easier. It still hurts when people make negative comments about my family.
What would you say is the one stand out memory you have of Uncle Al from when you were a child?
The one when I fell out of the apple tree.
Do you intend to write any more books?
It depends. When this becomes a New York Times best seller, then perhaps. I have a lot more stories and information that I did not put in the book such as the Capone connection to Las Vegas. My grandfather owned the first upscale casino there, way before Bugsy Siegel.
Do you have any advice about writing an authentic and appealing memoir?
You can not be self conscious and you must be truthful.
What are you prepared to offer as a giveaway prize for my readers?
FREE Kindle downloads.
Thank you very much Deirdre for your time and for talking to me today. I wish you and your family all the best in the future and hope the Capone legacy leaves only positive effects from now on.
Contact info for Deirdre Marie Capone
And now for the giveaway
The giveaway is open internationally, 2 winners will each receive a kindle download of the above book.
All you have to do is leave a comment and a means of contact.
The giveaway will be open for 2 weeks to give you all plenty of time to enter.
The winners will be drawn using random.org
No email addresses will be published on the blog, they will all be removed during moderation, before the comment is approved. Every comment will receive a reply.
- Press Release: At Home With Al Capone (adelesymonds.wordpress.com)
~ by adelesymonds on October 19, 2012.
Posted in author interviews, Book Reviews, giveaways
Tags: Al Capone, book review, book reviews, books, Capone, Chicago, Deirdre Marie Capone, family, Memoir, Minneapolis, Minnesota, non-fiction, Uncle Al Capone: The Untold Story from Inside His Family