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Al Capone |  Image:  Getty Images
Source: Al Capone | Image: Getty Images

44 Al Capone Quotes from the Mouth of the Infamous ‘Scarface’ Himself

Dayna Remus
Nov 29, 2022
11:20 P.M.
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Al Capone, or "Scarface," has gone down in history as one of the most infamous and, to some, the most beloved criminal in the United States. Read the 44 quotes below to learn more about him.

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The notorious Al Capone, or Alphonse Gabriel Capone, was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1899 after his parents had emigrated to the United States from the Italian city of Naples.

He began his career in crime at a young age when he dropped out of middle school and became part of the Five Points gang. During his days in New York, he was given his well-known moniker "Scarface." The name was about a facial wound he obtained from a fight.

Capone climbed the mob ranks, eventually becoming the most infamous mobster in history, where he ran his underground business in Chicago. He was strangely unhesitant to take on the public stage, where he would connect with politicians and the media. He created an idea of himself in the public's mind as a concerned Chicago businessman who cared deeply for his fellow city dwellers.

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Read these 44 quotes below to learn more about this vocal mafia boss.

Al Capone’s quote: "Be careful who you call your friends. I'd rather have four quarters than one hundred pennies." | Image: AmoDays

Al Capone’s quote: "Be careful who you call your friends. I'd rather have four quarters than one hundred pennies." | Image: AmoDays

Al Capone's Many Viewpoints

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"I have always been opposed to violence, to shootings. I have fought, yes, but fought for peace." ― Al Capone

"Many people in this world live a disadvantaged life. You can lessen their burdens by providing support, either materially or emotionally. Even just giving a box of chocolate can bring a glimpse of light to those in need." ― Al Capone

"Hell must be a pretty swell spot because the guys that invented religion have sure been trying hard to keep everybody else out." ― Al Capone

"I would rather be rich, affluent, and greedy and go to hell when I die than live in poverty on this earth." ― Al Capone

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"Be careful who you call your friends. I'd rather have four quarters than one hundred pennies." ― Al Capone

Al Capone’s quote: "I have always been opposed to violence, to shootings. I have fought, yes, but fought for peace." | Image: AmoDays

Al Capone’s quote: "I have always been opposed to violence, to shootings. I have fought, yes, but fought for peace." | Image: AmoDays

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Al Capone on His Underground Dealings

"I have built my organization upon fear." — Al Capone

"They talk about me not being legitimate. Nobody's on the legit, you know that, and so do they. Nobody's really on the legit when it comes down to cases." — Al Capone

"Once you're in the racket, you're always in it. The parasites will trail you, begging for money and favors, and you can never get away from them no matter where you go." — Al Capone

"I am like any other man. All I do is supply a demand." — Al Capone

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Al Capone’s quote: "I have built my organization upon fear." | Image: AmoDays

Al Capone’s quote: "I have built my organization upon fear." | Image: AmoDays

"My rackets are run on strictly American lines, and they're going to stay that way." — Al Capone

"They can't collect legal taxes from illegal money." — Al Capone

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"Hell, it's a business… All I do is supply a public demand. I do it in the best and least harmful way I can. I can't change the conditions. I just meet them without backing up." — Al Capone

"I'm a businessman. I've made my money supplying a popular demand. If I break the law, my customers are as guilty as I am." — Al Capone

"Why, the very guys that make my trade good are the ones that yell the loudest about me. Some of the leading judges use the stuff." — Al Capone

Al Capone’s quote: "My rackets are run on strictly American lines, and they're going to stay that way." | Image: AmoDays

Al Capone’s quote: "My rackets are run on strictly American lines, and they're going to stay that way." | Image: AmoDays

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"I'm the boss. I'm going to continue to run things. They've been putting the roscoe on me for a good many years, and I'm still healthy and happy." — Al Capone

"I am just a businessman, giving the people what they want." — Al Capone

"All I ever did was supply a demand that was pretty popular." — Al Capone

"Some call it racketeering. I call it a business." — Al Capone

Al Capone's Quotes on His Infamy

"I've been accused of every death except the casualty list of the World War." ― Al Capone

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Al Capone’s quote: "It seems like I'm responsible for every crime that takes place in this country." | Image: AmoDays

Al Capone’s quote: "It seems like I'm responsible for every crime that takes place in this country." | Image: AmoDays

"I have spent the best years of my life giving people the lighter pleasures, helping them have a good time, and all I get is abuse, the existence of a hunted man." — Al Capone

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"I am sick and tired of publicity. I want no more of it. It puts me in a bad light. I just want to be forgotten." — Al Capone

"It seems like I'm responsible for every crime that takes place in this country." — Al Capone

Al Capone's Views on Society

"Vote early and vote often." ― Al Capone

"Don't you get the idea I'm one of those [expletive] radicals? Don't get the idea I'm knocking the American system." ― Al Capone

Al Capone's quote: "Capitalists believe they can take everything at the table as belonging to them. Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class." | Image: AmoDays

Al Capone's quote: "Capitalists believe they can take everything at the table as belonging to them. Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class." | Image: AmoDays

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"This American system of ours, call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you will, gives each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it." — Al Capone

"It's a racket. Those stock market guys are crooked." ― Al Capone

"A crook is a crook, and there's something healthy about his frankness in the matter. But any guy who pretends he is enforcing the law and steals on his authority is a swell snake. The worst type of these punks is the big politician." ― Al Capone

"Prohibition has made nothing but trouble." ― Al Capone

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"Capitalists believe they can take everything at the table as belonging to them. Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class." ― Al Capone

Al Capone's quote: "This American system of ours, call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you will, gives each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it." | Image: AmoDays

Al Capone's quote: "This American system of ours, call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you will, gives each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it." | Image: AmoDays

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"Racketeer? Why the real racketeers are the banks!" ― Al Capone

"Bolshevism is knocking at our gates; we can't afford to let it in. We must keep America whole and safe and unspoiled." — Al Capone

Intimidating and Confident Al Capone Quotes

"Don't mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me." ― Al Capone

"Don't let anybody kid you into thinking I can be run out of town. I haven't run yet, and I'm not going to." Al Capone

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"Those who work with me are afraid of nothing. Those who work for me are kept faithful, not so much because of their pay as because they know what might be done with them if they broke faith." ― Al Capone

Al Capone’s quote: "Don't mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me." | Image: AmoDays

Al Capone’s quote: "Don't mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me." | Image: AmoDays

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"Do not mistake my kindness for weakness, my calmness for ignorance or acceptance!" ― Al Capone

Al Capone's Quotes on Law Enforcement

"I got nothing against the honest cop on the beat, the kind you can't buy." ― Al Capone

"But don't ever talk to me about the honor of police captains or judges. If they couldn't be bought, they wouldn't have the job." — Al Capone

"It's pretty tough when a citizen with an unblemished record must be hounded from his home by the very policemen whose salaries are paid, at least in part, from the victim's pocket. You might say that every policeman in Chicago gets some of his bread and butter from the taxes I pay." — Al Capone

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Al Capone’s quote: "I got nothing against the honest cop on the beat, the kind you can't buy." | Image: AmoDays

Al Capone’s quote: "I got nothing against the honest cop on the beat, the kind you can't buy." | Image: AmoDays

Scarface Quotes to Remember the Infamous Mafia Boss By

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"I don't even know what street Canada is on." ― Al Capone

"Public service is my motto." ― Al Capone

"Now I know why tigers eat their young." Al Capone

"You'd be surprised if you knew some of the fellows I've got to take care of." — Al Capone

"I've lost a million and a half on the horses and dice in the last two years. And the funny part is, I still like 'em, and if someone handed me another million, I'd put it right in the nose of some horse that looked good to me." — Al Capone

"In this life, all that I have is my word and my balls, and I do not break them for nobody." Al Capone

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Al Capone’s quote: "I don't even know what street Canada is on." | Image: AmoDays

Al Capone’s quote: "I don't even know what street Canada is on." | Image: AmoDays

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was determined to catch Capone. Eventually, in 1931, he was arrested for tax evasion. He spent almost a decade behind bars, choosing to retire from the mafia at that point in his life. While in prison, the mental and emotional issues that stemmed from the syphilis he contracted when he was younger began to intensify.

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He was eventually released, partially because of his disease, in 1939. As his health worsened over the years, his behavior became increasingly erratic. Capone died in 1947 due to a complex combination of syphilis, a stroke, and bronchial pneumonia.

Due to his historic status, Al Capone is and continues to be emulated by Hollywood. Read quotes from the movie "Scarface" to get an idea of how this mobster impacted American culture.

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