My Al Capone Museum | home
MY AL CAPONE MUSEUM | The Capone Trash Bin | FAQ's | Links | Mario Gomes | Al Capone's Personal Silver Locket | Al Capone's Personal Telephone | Al Capone's Personal Dress Shirt | Al Capone's Personal Straw Boater? | Al Capone Framed Signature | Al Capone's light fixtures | Al Capone's Silver Tray | Ralph Capone's Personal Silver Pin and Dice | Hymie Weiss Personal Prayer Book | John D. Torrio's Personal items | Louis "Two Gun" Alterie signed photo | SVD Massacre bullet fragments | Interesting items retrieved from Al Capone's Lexington office suite | Alton Hotel Relics | Al Capone Wax Figure | 7244 Prairie Avenue | 93 Palm Avenue | 93 Palm Avenue Part 2 | 93 Palm Avenue Part 3 | 93 Palm Avenue Part 4 | New 93 Palm Avenue home | New Palm Avenue home Part 2 | Artifacts from 93 Palm Avenue | The Capone era Cicero, Illinois | The Harvard Inn | The Hawthorne Hotel | The Metropole Hotel | The Four Deuces (2222 South Wabash) | Al Capone's Bathroom Tile From The Lexington Hotel | Inside The Lexington Hotel | Geraldo's Capone Vault Grand Opening | Lexington's Destruction | X Marks the Spot magazine | Capone Magazines and Booklets | Capone Videos | Capone Books | Knick Knacks | Capone's Chicago | Chicago photos | Capone Documents | Capone Photographs | Capone Photographs 2 | Capone Photographs 3 | My History channel Shoot | Gravesites | Gravesites 2 | Al Capone Speaks On Film! | FDR and Al Capone's Cadillac; Truth or Myth? | Al Capone Goes To Atlantic City | Al Capone and Friends: | Al Capone and Miami | Al Capone Goes to Cuba | The Real Al Capone Quotes | Capone at the Ballpark | Al Capone's Death and Funeral | The St. Valentine's Day Massacre | The Massacre Pt.2 | Massacre Victim's Stats. | Massacre News blurbs | Some Theories on the Valentine Massacre | Discounted Valentine Massacre theories | Valentine Killers? | The St. Valentine's Day Massacre Wall bricks | The St. Valentine Massacre guns today | The Infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre forensic evidence | The Adonis Social Club Incident | When, Where and How did they die? | Gangster facts and side stories | The Obituaries | Gangster talk | Gangster Fashion | Gangster Molls | William Hale Thompson | Gangland Armourers | The Chicago Typewriter | Gangster Hitspots | Mae Capone | Louise Rolfe | Alberto Anselmi and Giovanni Scalise | Frank Parker | William Niemoth | Jack Guzik | Samuel "Golf bag"Hunt | Jake Lingle | Frankie Yale | Samoots Ammatuna | Jack Zuta | Leo Vincent Brothers | Edward David Vogel | John D. Torrio | Joe E. Lewis | Rocco DeGrazia | Machine Gun Jack McGurn | Willie Heeney | James "Fur" Sammons | Jack "Three fingered" White | George "Red" Barker | Anthony "Tough Tony" Capezio | Frank Nitti | Dean Charles O'Banion | Samuel Morton | George Clarence Moran | Hymie Weiss | Vincent "The Schemer" Drucci | Fred "Killer" Burke | Fred Goetz | Joe Aiello | Edward "Spike" O'Donnell | The Genna brothers | Angelo La Mantia | Frank Rio | Ragtime Joe Howard | Hinky Dink and Bathouse John | Sol Van Praag | Theodore "The Greek" Anton | Joseph P. Bergl | Daniel "Danny" Stanton | Edward Tancl | Louis & Elliott Wisbrod | Eliot Ness | Al Capone's tax trial and downfall | Al in Jail | Thomas Prior | Robert Gallo as Al Capone | Mr. Joe Walters | Gangster articles | Newspapers of the day | Newspapers part Two | Newspapers Part Three | Newspapers Part Four | The Green Mill | Colosimo's | Alcatraz | Alcatraz Part 2 | Al Capone goes to Baltimore | Gangster sites today | Gangster Sites part 2 | Dead Gangsters | Origins of the Scars | Al Capone Myths | Collecting Al Capone? | The truth about Al Capone's signature | Al Capone and other Gangster related books | In Memoriam | Contact Me | Authentic Lexington Hotel Floor Marble | Capone/ Gangster Collectibles for Sale
(Photo courtesy of John Binder).
"Rocky" or "Mr. Big"; a.k.a. DeGrazio; in his later years affectionately called "Gramps" by younger gangsters.
*Not to be confused with another man known as Rocco J. DeGrazia, also known as "Gumballs," who was an undertaker who had once been arrested with Sam "GolfBag" Hunt, and Anthony Accardo. He was low level and only associated with gangsters. His brother was a police officer who was once seen travelling abroad with Anthony Accardo.
Rocco in a police lineup.
(Mario Gomes collection)
Capone gangster Rocco DeGrazia claimed to be 23 when he entered the U.S. and most newspapers accepted 1900 as his birth date. (Probably 1897).
He arrived from Italy in 1923. In July, 1932, he suffered serious spinal injuries in a wreck two
miles west of Bloomingdale, Illinois, and was hospitalized in Elgin, where he refused to discuss
the machine gun in the back seat of his car or the police star he was wearing at the time. (With him
was gangster Anthony "Tony the Mouth" Bagniola, and they had crashed into a farmer's vehicle while
driving at high speed to a roadhouse, partly owned by DeGrazia, that had just been raided.
Started as a driver for the Capone mob.Later makes his way up the ladder as gunman and gambling chief. DeGrazia was reputed to be in charge of accomodations for the St. Val. massacre shooters. In 1934, Rocco, then living at 1040 North Elmwood in Oak Park, threatened to kill IRS agents until he learned who they were. He and his brother Nick, who was residing in Maywood, were
indicted on July 27, 1934, for failure to pay income taxes during 1929 and 1930 on some eighteen
handbooks in Melrose Park, for which he paid $1,200 a month protection.
Rocco DeGrazia in 1935, during his arrest for income tax evasion. This photo was being challenged by a Capone relative as being the only last living photo of Frank Capone. I've supplied the Tribune story from which it came from as proof. Read about the challenge here.
These are in fact the only known living and dead photos of Frank Capone. The first photo comes from the Capone monument in Mt. Olivet before it went missing.
The second was taken in the morgue.
Now back to DeGrazia!
On February 5, 1935, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eighteen months in Leavenworth, plus a fine of $1000. In 1946 Rocco and his brother Andrew, partners in a tavern called the Lumber Gardens, were picked up and questioned for allegedly threatening a Melrose park pharmacist over opium and morphine, which they were demanding to settle the druggist's gambling debts. Rocco surrendered to authorities on March 19,1946,
disposition of that case unknown. Rocco had insisted that the drugs were for doping horses,
although his brother was believed to be addicted. Andrew's wife later committed suicide with a gun,
and Andrew himself ended up, in May of 1958, falling asleep at the table and choking to death
on Italian sausages.
Rocco DeGrazia in 1946.
In his later years, DeGrazia dropped in stature, becoming a minor henchman of Sam Battaglia. His
sole remaining holding was his lavish gambling club, the Casa Madrid at 171 North 25th Street in Melrose
Park, which also doubled as his residence. On September 23, 1961, Rocco was arrested at the Casa Madrid and safes were seized, but the disposition of the case is unknown. After many failed attempts at revoking his liquor license and charging DeGrazia with running a gambling establishment, the club will nonetheless finally be closed, but Syndicate bosses continued to meet in the basement there as late as 1969. DeGrazia's wife Margaret, died in 1975 and he quickly faded into obscurity afterwards, dying largely unnoticed of natural causes in Melrose Park on
December 17, 1978.
Rocco DeGrazia's obituary
Rocco DeGrazia at Queen of Heaven cemetary.
(Photo courtesy of Doug Snyder)
(Special thanks to Rick Mattix and Mari Abba for some of the info).