Al Capone’s free soup kitchen, Chicago, 1931 (colorized photo)

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Was Al Capone a ruthless gangster? Absolutely. Did he flaunt his success in the face of the police during Prohibition? Definitely. But as bad of a guy as he was, Capone was also compassionate for those who were less fortunate than him. The Chicago based shelter and food bank was one of the first soup kitchens in the United States, and it  helped a lot of people get a warm meal during the Great Depression, which was a rarity.

Sure, Capone did this as a publicity stunt, but that doesn’t mean that his attempt to look congenial didn’t keep a lot of people on their feet. In November and December the soup kitchen served breakfast, lunch, and dinner – a must have during the cold winter months in Illinois.

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