James Vincenzo Capone

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Richard James Hart (born James Vincenzo Capone in Angri, Italy; March 28, 1892[1] – October 1, 1952) was the oldest brother of Al Capone, the most noted gangster in 1920s and '30s Chicago.

Vincenzo Capone left home at age 16 and moved from Brooklyn to Nebraska, ostensibly to join a circus. He worked to lose his Brooklyn accent and tried to disguise his Italian ancestry as well. He enlisted in the Army in World War I, served in France, and earned a commission as a lieutenant.[2]

After the war, Capone legally changed his name to Richard James Hart, partly in honor of his favorite cowboy film star, William S. Hart. He married in 1919 and soon became a federal Prohibition agent, making his home in Homer, Nebraska. Following a series of successful raids against bootleggers, he gained the nickname of "Two-gun" Hart. In the mid-1920s, newspaper reporters learned of his kinship to the Chicago gangster.

In 1926, Hart became a special agent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He was assigned to the Cheyenne River Indian reservation in South Dakota. While there he once had the duty of protecting President Calvin Coolidge and his family on their visit to the Black Hills. He was later transferred to the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington. He was credited with the arrest of at least 20 wanted killers while in that area, besides pursuing Indian law breakers and hunting down moonshine stills. He spent some time as a law enforcement officer on the Coeur d'Alene Reservation in Plummer, Idaho.[2]

Hart returned to Homer as a Prohibition agent in 1931. With the repeal of Prohibition two years later, he became a justice of the peace. He died in Homer, Nebraska, in 1952 of a heart attack at the age of 60.[3]


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