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Al Capone goes to Baltimore
Union Memorial Hospital 1939
(Courtesy of Union Memorial Hospital)

Once leaving Alcatraz and a doing short stint at Terminal island, the ailing ex prohibition gangster was transported and given his unconditional release at Lewisburg penitentiary in Philadelphia at the early hours of November 16, 1939.

Once getting ready to leave the penitentiary in 1939, Al Capone's family was persuaded by prison officals for Al to seek treatment for his advanced paresis brought on by his syphilis. They agreed, but he was refused by John Hopkins because of his infamous reputation reported in the newspapers. Union Memorial would take Al in and give him the necessary treatment to ease the disease. Al Capone entered the hospital as a private patient on November 16, 1939. He was attended to by well known syphilologist Dr. Joseph E. Moore

Newspapers report Al's release.

5708 Pimlico Road.
 The place where Al stayed with his family.

After almost eight weeks at the hospital, the Capones took up residence at 5708 Pimlico Road on January 8,1940. They figured  they were going to stay for a while, so a home and family setting might be the best thing for Al and his recuperation.
According to his brother John Capone," The Al Capone of today isn't the Al Capone of a few years ago."

Dr. Joseph E. Moore stated "The illness is a long standing nervous disorder for which he has recently undergone drastic treatment and for which further medical care is still necessary."  

The family members that moved into the north end home were John, Albert, his mother Theresa and his wife Mae.  
Ralph would come up and visit occaisionally at the hospital and then the home. Al could be seen taking short walks outside assisted by family members.
Even though the home on Pimlico Road was leased until April, the Capones felt that Al was health better suited his sunny home in Florida. Without telling the doctors at Union Memorial, the Capone family packed up Al on March 19,1940, and drove to New Jersey to visit Mae's sister Agnes and her family before moving on to drive 28 to 30 hours to when they finally reached 93 Palm Isle in Miami Beach.

After this trip a physician handed out a written statement " His physical condition following the trip may be regarded as being considerably weakened."
"For the present he must be kept isolated and free from contact with anyone except his immediate family."

Contrary to what most people believe Al Capone was now a free man and was now able to go anywhere as he pleased. The only drawback was his illness. Once in Miami, he had to register with the Miami Police as was the custom, but after that he did go on several vacations. Al was seen in Wisconsin (Hunting and brother Ralph's home), New Jersey (Wedding), Chicago (Mom and sister), Milwaukee (visit with friends)  and in around town while in Miami.

Chicago Tribune May 31, 1940.

Top: Chicago Tribune Sept. and Oct. 1940.
Bottom: Chicago Tribune June 1946.

From Baltimore, Al Capone goes to 93 Palm Avenue Miami Florida

Baltimore Hospital Today

Union Memorial hospital today. Japanese weeping Cherry tree donated by the Capone clan after treatment in 1939.
(Courtesy of Union Memorial Hospital)

Broken tree limb after snowstorm.
(Courtesy of Union Memorial Hospital)

His brother John stated that Al was "Tickled to death to be back home." He said Al had sat in a yard chair for over an hour.
Al was weighing 230lbs compared to his 250-268 lbs of his former healthy years.
John told reporters that  they had left secretly from Baltimore because they did not want  anything to happen that would aggravate Al's condition.

Workers carefully retrieve tree limb that will be used to make bowls, wine stoppers, jars, vessels etc..
These will be auctioned off to raise money for charitable surgical services, which I personally think is a terrific idea.
(Courtesy of Union Memorial Hospital)

Al and family never forgot the good care they were offered at the hospital and later donated two Japanese weeping cherry trees that were planted outside the hospital. Since then, one was removed for expansion and one survived a snowstorm. An arborist was called to tend to the ailing tree. It was saved and other smaller sprouts called Caponettes were planted around the hospital in hopes the legacy would continue.
The broken tree limb was turned by woodworking artist Nick Aloisio into functional works of art. My special thanks to Debra Schindler,
Media Relations Manager at Union Memorial Hospital for permission to use photos for this webpage. Her kindness benefits all who love history. If ever you see one up in future auctions by Union Memorial or Medstar, go for it because the item itself is beautiful and the history behind it just makes it even more so.

A beautiful bowl made by Mr. Nick Aloisio
(Mario Gomes collection)

Side view
(Mario Gomes collection)

Two tone bowl.
(Mario Gomes collection)

Made in 2011 number 002
(Mario Gomes collection)

From Baltimore, Al Capone goes to 93 Palm Avenue Miami Florida