A Distinctive Style Magazine

Issue 18

Culture, music, art, creativity, photography, environmental awareness, new fashion, celebrity interviews, motion video, organic eating, holistic health

Issue link: http://www.adistinctivestyle.com/i/60485

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Page 85 of 95

nOT YOuR TYPiCAL FAMiLY it wasn't easy growing up with the last name of the most notorious gangster in American history. lated her into wedlock because he thought she was a ticket to improve his standing in the mob culture. Capone recalled him ruefully: "He was a sociopath – I thought he was all I deserved, because I was a Capone and I was being punished for that connection." Many relatives kept their history private, there was Al and Deirdre Capone — 1946 By Matt Kramer AL CAPONE died on his grand niece's seventh birthday. Her memories of him are only of a fatherly man who was kind and protective of his family. She didn't use the family name in school; instead she was registered as Deirdre Gabriel. When she had her first communion, tradition was followed and her legal name was announced in the local newspaper. Not many girls named Deirdre were in her school and that's all it took for someone to figure out that she was a Capone. After the news broke, children were told to stay away from her, no one came to her birthday parties, no one would play with her. The target of derision, insults and cruel tricks, Capone didn't have a friend again until she was in the sixth grade. The Capone name sabotaged her in other ways too. At nine- teen she was hired as a secretary; she loved the job and worked hard to improve her skills. After six months, when she qualified for health insurance, the paperwork required her to disclose her legal name. Her boss called her into his office and asked if she was related to Al Capone. Having no choice but to tell the truth, Deirdre was fired on the spot. The Capone name also factored into her first marriage; that husband manipu- 86 A Distinctive style . com so much Deirdre Capone didn't know about her grand uncle, yet she felt that the public mythology was largely untrue. She decided to write a book based upon the family's knowledge and experience of her famous uncle. Some relatives resisted, asking her to leave the story alone. Others agreed to share their story on the condition that the book not be published until after their deaths. Capone kept that promise and the book wasn't published until 2010. Deirdre is the last living family member born with the Capone name, her book is titled; Uncle Al Capone: The Untold Story from Inside His Family. The challenges in Capone's childhood were tough in a myriad of ways. After her grand uncle's death, she suffered abuse and neglect and her father committed suicide. But Capone will tell you she came from great stock, she survived her childhood, the disastrous first marriage and breast cancer. Grateful for her survival, she joined the cancer support group, Bosom Buddies and organized a golf tournament raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the organization. Asked how she dealt with the setbacks in her life, Capone replied: "I spread my wings. I've got strong wings." Her journey to emotional health started in the sixties when she began to study brain function and the mind-body connection. Today, Deirdre Capone is a grandmother and has been married to a wonderful guy for over forty years. You can visit Capone's website, buy the book and find out about her upcoming book signings at www.unclealcapone. com/events.htm

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