Interesting Al Capone Research Paper Topics
In any discussion about Prohibition or the growth of organized crime in America, one of the first names to come up is likely to be that of Al Capone. He is probably the most famous gangster in history, thanks to events like the Valentine's Day Massacre and his appearance in films like The Untouchables. This fame makes him an interesting subject for a research paper. Of course plenty has been written about his criminal career and the tax evasion case that finally ended it, so it would be good to find some other, less well covered, aspect of his life. Here are some suggestions.
Origins and early life
Discuss how Capone's career may have been shaped by his early life. He grew up in a large family; he was one of nine children, and his parents were both immigrants from southern Italy. Italian-Americans already dominated gangs in many areas, and Capone was influenced by them from a young age. He was also expelled from school at the age of 14. Is it possible that he drifted into crime through an inability to find a proper career.
While Capone was undoubtedly a ruthless criminal, he also gave a lot of money to charitable causes. Among other things he opened some of the first soup kitchens in Chicago during the Great Depression and his organization handed out clothes and coal to the poor in winter. What do you think motivated this generosity? Was it a public relations stunt or a genuine urge to help the less fortunate?
Public image and cultural influence
Capone's public image was complex. Prohibition was a deeply unpopular law that never had any chance of working, and many illicit alcohol suppliers became minor folk heroes. Capone's charitable activities also won him admirers, and for a while he was regarded almost as a Robin Hood figure. His popularity began to decline after he was implicated in the Valentine's Day Massacre, when seven members of a rival gang were murdered. After his prison sentence his visibility and popularity faded away, but he remains one of the most influential of organized crime figures and many fictional gangsters have been closely modeled on him.
Any one of these topics can be the base for a good paper on Capone that will be a bit different from what most people expect. Discussing a less covered topic is always a good way to increase your chances of a high grade, so it's well worth trying.