Al Capone was given the nickname “Scarface” because his face was covered with three huge scars. Many stories have been told about how Capone acquired the scars through films and writings. Despite the stories varying, there can only be one truth on the source of the scars on Capone’s face. This is how the famed scars on the gangster’s face were acquired.
Frankie Yale recruited Al Capone into the Italian-American-dominated Five Points Gang when he was still a youngster. Yale was a criminal businessman peddling ice until he finally amassed enough money to start a bar on Coney Island named the Harvard Inn. Capone was one of the employees at the bar.
The Harvard Inn became profitable for the gang due to its proximity to water, which allowed it to offer alcoholic beverages under Prohibition.
Al performed a little bit of everything at Harvard Inn, from dishwashing to table service to bartending and bouncing. It was neither a glamorous nor a prominent job, but Al was skilled at it. Customers enjoyed young Al’s jovial bar service and occasional dance moves.
The youth’s eyes could display a pleasant, amusing gleam at a moment’s notice, and he was able to switch from a friend to an aggressive demeanor on a dime. It was a valuable ability in a seedy dive club like the Harvard, where fights frequently led to murders. Yale observed Capone’s adeptness as a bouncer and subsequently invited him to join his inner group.
A new customer called Frank Galluccio, accompanied by his fiancée and younger sister Lena, entered the bar on a night during an extreme heatwave. Capone liked Lena and asked for a walk down the beach, but Lena declined the offer. Lena moved forward to inform the brother what was happening between her and Capone.
As they prepared to leave, Capone playfully remarked that Lena had a lovely figure, which Galluccio perceived as an offense. Since Galluccio could not match the strength of Capone, he drew a knife and stabbed Capone in the face and upper neck before fleeing the bar. Even though Capone tried to use bandages and other treatments on the face, the scars remained forever.
The infamous scars on Al Capone’s face are a defining characteristic of the gangster. Due to the three scars on his face, the media dubbed him “Scarface.”
This irritated Capone so much that he frequently powdered his face and manipulated photographs to always be shot from his right side. The tale of how he acquired his scars tormented Al Capone yet made him a notable character alongside his illegal operation.
Capone felt embarrassed due to the scars on his face, and, more importantly, they emerged from a struggle with just a small man over his sister. Therefore, he kept hiding the truth about the scars and insisted that he got them when he was fighting in France during World War I, although he did not serve in combat at any point. “Scarface” was never a term he liked, and although his scars are a striking symbol of his ascension to the criminal life.