This was a tricky one to track down, but in the end, the verdict is clear:
Al Capone only had one child, his son Albert Francis "Sonny" Capone.
The New York Herald article was apparently mistaken.
I went down some fairly intricate dead ends -- including a review of
the 1930 Census for the Capone family -- but eventually, the source
that turned out to be the most detailed and definitive was this
in-depth book on the life and times of Al Capone:
CAPONE: THE MAN AND THE ERA
by Laurence Bergreen
The text of the book can be searched online with the wonderful "Search
inside the book" feature at Amazon.com (I believe you have to be
registered at Amazon in order to use this feature -- there is no cost
If you want to look yourself, just search the amazon.com site for the
title of the book -- if you have any problem accessing the feature,
just let me know, and I'll be happy to help you out.
Bergreen's book is replete with references to Sonny throughout the
text, such as the mention of his birth on December 4, 1918, and the
subsequent description of his hearing problems as a child (probably
the result of syphilis transmitted from Al to his wife to Sonny).
The absence of any mention of other children certainly strongly
suggested that Sonny was an only-child. For instance, on page 506,
the book describes Al Capone's departure for prison:
"On the afternoon of May 3, 1932, Al bade farewell to the Capone clan:
Mae, Sonny, his mother and sister, and his brother Matthew..."
One would certainly think that any other yournger siblings would have
been present as well!
Finally, on page 617, as the author reviewed the fates of Capone's
associates and families, I found this confirmation of Sonny's status
as an only child:
"The same could not be said of Al's only child, Sonny, who drifted
along in Miami...Sonny opened a restaurant in Miami, where he was
often seen in the kitchen, preparing the sauces..."
If you'd like, you can post an excerpt of the text that you have from
the NY Herald that mentions two sons. Perhaps with a bit more detail,
I would be able to make an educated guess as to what led them to think
there was another Capone son besides Sonny.
I trust this information fully answers your question. However, please
don't rate this answer until you have everything you need. If you
would like any additional information, just post a Request for
Clarification to let me know how I can assist you further, and I'm at
All the best,
Clarification of Answer by
28 Feb 2005 17:16 PST
I conducted a pretty thorough search through a number of different
newspaper databases, looking for information on Capone's family. Most
of what I came across simply added to the picture of Albert Francis as
an only child, but one article stood out for its odd bits of
October 15, 1932
AL CAPONE'S SON IS TREATED FOR EAR INFECTION
Baltimore, Md -- With a bodyguard of six stalwart protectors, Al
Capone's 14 year old son, Alphonse Jr., familiarly known as "Jiggs" in
the family circle, but registered under the name of "Clark," was under
treatment at Johns Hopkins hospital last week-end...
[This was the only reference I found to the nickname "Jiggs" or to the
alias of "Clark"...What do you make of it?]
All other articles reviewed only mentioned Sonny as an offspring of Al
Capone, and usually was silent on the existence (or lack) of any other
Among the articles I reviewed were:
CAPONE HOME IS RAIDED; SIX ARE ARRESTED
The Washington Post;
Mar 21, 1930
RANSOM BOOST HINTED; CAPONE OFFERS TO AID LINDBERGH BABY HUNT
The Washington Post
Mar 11, 1932
WOMEN QUESTIONED IN YALE GANG KILLING
The Washington Post
Aug 2, 1928
BOY, 14, RESCUES 2 CHILDREN IN BAY
New York Times
Aug 23, 1933
Ironwood (Michigan) Daily Globe | 1930-03-24
March 24, 1930
Capone Permitted to Visit Florida
...Capone's son, Albert Francis, 11, and his brothers, John and
Albert, are guests at the Capone estate here, attorneys said. [John
and Albert are referred to as Al Capone's brothers]
Gettysburg (PA) Times
May 11, 1966
People in the News
Albert Francis Capone Jr. has changed his name.
Manitowoc (Ohio) Herald Times
December 15, 1967
Capone's Son Given Chance
Other Chicago Tribune articles included:
March 3, 1929 Chicago Gangland Gennas Bring Blood-Red Day of Sixty
Shots The True Story of Its Murders, Its Vices and Its Reprisals
June 13, 1925 WHERE POLICE AND HOODLUMS FOUGHT ON TRAIL FOR THEIR LIVES
October 19, 1965 CAPONE HEIRS LOSE SUIT FOR SIX MILLIONS
June 17, 1964 Suit Brought by Capone Heirs Dismissed Judge Sees Need
for Remedy in Such Cases
November 2, 1936 Capone's Son, Albert, 18, Hurt in Florida Car Spill
January 17, 1941 Capone Jr. Competes with Police-at Pistol Shooting
I hope the information I found was able to add some small pieces to
the overall picture you're putting together.
Best of luck with this.