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MAE CAPONE
The beautiful Mae Coughlin Capone in all her splendor.
(Mario Gomes collection).


Please note that the info is from the FBI and is not entirely correct.
This text and info was gathered from the FBI public files on Al Capone. Please note that there are few errors in it, as far as siblings names and exact details. I know the exact names, but choose not to correct them as not to divulge too much personal info on the family. I feel that those still living have a certain right to their privacy. I leave it as is and will not divulge all the info I know on Mae and Sonny. I do this out of respect for Mae, Sonny and their families.


 Mae Coughlin Capone also known as Josephine by friends and family. She had a total of four sisters and two brothers.Two of the sisters were named Muriel and another named Agnes. Muriel Coughlin was married to a man named Louis Clark. Muriel had  two sons one named Henry who was in the army overseas in the '40's and the other named Howard.Mae's son was named Albert Francis Capone also known as Sonny. He resided at his parents home situated at 93 Palm Isle from 1928 to 1942.He then later moved to 8941 Northeast 10th Avenue with his new wife Ruth Casey. Ruth is often referred by friends and family as"Casey""Case"and or "Bogge" "Boggie".They had four children named Veronica also known as" Ronnie" , Teresa, Barbara and Patricia .Sonny had attended private school in Florida (alongside Desi Arnaz) a school named St.Patrick High School.He later went on to Notre Dame University from 1937-38 ,then on to the University of Miami 1938-41 obtaining a B.S.degree in business administration. He operated a flower shop (The little Flower shop) along with his uncle Dennis Coughlin from 1941-42 at 1456 Washington Avenue Miami Beach. He was later employed by the war dept. at a Miami air depot as a mechanic's apprentice.
He was then employed on an aircraft assemly line. He had a hearing problem due to a mastoid infection developed at a young age.(Al took him to a specialist in NewYork city for an operation in 1925).Mae Coughlin also had a brother named Danny Coughlin and he was married to a woman named Winnie Mae.They operated a waffle shop named Winnie's and a club named Winnie's little club.



(Mario Gomes collection)



First place at 233 23rd street and the other at 2218 Collins ave. Mae Capone had allergies especially to dust and wool.She was an ardent churchgoer along with her son Sonny.She and Ruth along with Sonny would attend Sunday mass and weekly services at the Gesu Church in Miami. They went there at least three times a week.She also took great pains to make sure her son would not fall into the life of crime her famous husband had chose stating to Sonny"Don't do as your father did,he broke my heart" Mae Josephine Coughlin was born on April 11,1897 in NewYork.Her father was Michael Coughlin and her mother was Bridget Gorman.She passed away at 3.35 am on April 16,1986 at the Hollywood Hills retirement home 1200 N 35 street in Hollywood, Florida.(Broward County). Her wake was held at the Neptune funeral home at 401 W.Prospect Ave. Ft.Lauderdale and later cremated at the Royal Palm Crematory.
Rest in Peace.
Sonny divorced Casey and later remarried twice.




A rare shot of Mae taken with a telephoto lens at Alcatraz.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Helmer).


Before;  Febrary 28,1938, Mae Capone walks up the gangplank onto the vessel named General Frank M. Coxe. The ship will take Mae and other prisoner's family members to Alcatraz Island from San Francisco.


After; Febrary 28,1938, Mae steps down ship after her visit with Al at Alcatraz. It was the first time Mae saw Al after his mental collapse at Alcatraz.



Febrary 28,1938, Mae stopped by reporters in a cab stopped at a gas station. She hid her face and tried not to speak a word. She finally told them that if she would make a statement would the reporters please leave her alone?  They agreed and the only thing she would divulge was that Al was doing okay.



Loan extension by Mae and Theresa Capone.
(Mario Gomes collection).




Loan agreement and extension.Mae took out a loan in 1926 and asked for an extension after big Al had been sent to the big house.The signatures of Al's wife Mae and his mom Theresa appear on this document.
(Mario Gomes collection).



Closeup of signatures.
(Mario Gomes collection).




The beautiful Mae Capone finally unveiled.
(Mario Gomes collection).





Opera glasses once belonging to Mae Capone.
(Mario Gomes collection).






Mae ,Al  and Mae's sister Muriel in New Jersey, June of 1945.
(Mario Gomes collection).






Winnie Coughlin, Mae's brother's wife standing in front of her restaurant club.
People who knew her mentioned what a wonderful person she was. Mae and Sonny had also ran a restaurant called "The Grotto"
(Mario Gomes collection).





Dennis Joseph "Danny" Coughlin, (Mae's brother) and Al Berlin in the State Attorney's office Miami, Florida. They are both questioned in connection with the Miami Bartenders' Union. Coughlin is suspected of being the Union business agent and Berlin it's president.  
( 1940).





The area where Winnie's little club once stood.
(Mario Gomes collection).




Mae and Sonny Capone. They are two people whom I have had immense respect and admiration over the years I've researched Al Capone. They were very loving and caring individuals who never betrayed their family by writing a tell all, even when sometimes the financial need may have arose. While Al sometimes seeked and enjoyed the limelight, Mae and Sonny shunned it and tried their darndest to remain private.They were the epitomy of trust and loyalty.
(Mario Gomes collection).




6970 Collins, where Mae, Sonny and Diana had their Italian restaurant first called Ted's Grotto and later just called "The Grotto". They ran the place for about 10 years. It's now a Cuban Restaurant. The name Grotto may have been actually based on the bridge and waterfall at the Palm Avenue estate. Once working as an aircraft mechanic, Sonny had also been once at the helm of a place called "The little Flower shop" before becoming a restauranteur.
(Mario Gomes collection).
(Info  courtesy of T. Capone; Al Capone's Granddaughter)


1950's Miami directory


Menu from Sonny Capone's restaurant.
(Mario Gomes collection).





Ted's Grotto matchbook.
(Mario Gomes collection).





A recollection of the restaurant by someone who was actually there! Fran Ley saw my website and graciously shared her vivid memories of what the restaurant's surroundings were like when she visited.

" I remember that the room was decorated with what seems to me now must have been small stone or marble (probably the materials were fake) Roman type statues. I think that there was maybe a ledge that went around the restaurant that they were on.  As I rack my brain I think that they were busts of Roman men and women.  I also remember a vase with carved grapes arranged in it.  There might have been red and white checked tablecloths but I'm not sure about that.  To my memory all of the waiters were men and my father gave them Italian nicknames. Sonny often came in with his family.
Sometimes, Sonny would walk around to all or most of the tables to greet the customers.  We were there so much that even if he didn't intend to walk around the waiters would tell him that we were there and he would come over to chat with us, especially my father.  He seemed very pleasant and also somewhat shy.  I've often wondered if my father had known him other than just at the restaurant but I doubt it.  If so we would have known that the restaurant was going to close. The recording that they played was selected pieces of Italian opera.  I loved the aria that the clown sings in Pagliacci. To this day, I think of the Grotto every time  I hear it.  Eventually, they changed to a recording of more current and popular music.  Well, guess who complained?!  Yup, it was the little shy girl.  After that when we ate there they would change the recording for me.  I think that they spoiled me.

The food was excellent which was the reason we went so often.  I learned to love capers because they put them in the salad. I've never been to another restaurant that did that.  We would always order dinners that came with salad, entree and dessert.  My favorite was the ravioli but, truth be told, I loved anything with their tomato sauce on it.  I think that I have mentioned before that I was painfully thin and painfully shy.  My family paid attention to me but to most of the world I was invisible.  However, I wasn't invisible at the Grotto and I've always been thankful to them for that.  As thin as I was, I ate like a horse.  I would eat my entire meal and then start on my father's.  The waiters would comment that most children ate very little of their meal but they loved to watch me because I ate everything in site and didn't even gain weight!  One year on my birthday, they took me to the kitchen to see where they made the food.  They introduced me to the chef and told him that I had something to say to him.  I was so shy that I was mortified and didn't know what to say.  I finally blurted out that I thought he was the best cook in the "whole wide world".

When we arrived and the Grotto was closed there was another Italian restaurant there.  We decided to give it a try.  It was awful and we never went back." ---- Fran Ley


(Special thank-you to Fran Ley for sharing a part of The Grotto history with all of us).


It later became simply"The Grotto" after Ted Traina sold his holdings in the restaurant to Albert Francis Capone.
(Business card kindly donated to myalcaponemuseum.com by Fran Ley).







Sonny at Chicago's famous Marshall Field's visiting Santa.
(Mario Gomes Collection via Mae Capone Relative).






Sonny serving Mae a mock drink at a tourist location.
(Mario Gomes Collection via Mae Capone Relative).








Albert Francis "Sonny" Capone. While his dad was indeed the granddaddy of all the gangsters, Albert Francis remained level headed and grew up to be a respectable citizen, kind father and a good husband.
(Mario Gomes collection).





Albert "Sonny" Capone meeting boxer Jack Sharkey (Joseph Paul Zukauskas) while the latter was training for his bout against Young Stribling.
The fight took place at Flamingo Park, Miami Beach, Florida on February 27, 1929. Jack Sharkey won his match. Al Capone attended the match and was also taken in pictures with Sharkey and sports writer Bill Cunnningham.








The beautiful Mae Capone. She had a wonderful smile!  
(By kind permission of Ann Howard Stone)




Sonny's old school.



Albert Francis "Sonny" Capone. A classy gentleman.
(By kind permission of Ann Howard Stone)







Albert Francis "Sonny"Capone and Ann Howard Phiffer (Stone)
(By kind permission of Ann Howard Stone)







Mae and Sonny Capone
(By kind permission of Romeo Carifa)




St. Patrick's church where Mae and Sonny attended frequently. It's next door to Sonny's school.





Sonny, Al's pride and joy.
(By kind permission of Romeo Carifa)








The three dollies; Mae Capone and her sisters Muriel and Agnes.
(Mario Gomes collection).







The Clark / Coughlins 1970.
Standing left Agnes and Neil, standing right; Sonny Capone
Sitting left is Dottie (Sonny's second wife).
next to her is; Mae Capone, Veronica, Muriel and Louis Clark.
(Mario Gomes collection).










Original Mae and Sonny photo given to me by Mae's family.
(Mario Gomes collection).




Read more about Mae's family tree at the bottom of this page here






My special thanks to those who share their memories and photos on this webpage. Some who wish to remain anonymous and a very special thanks to Carol Cooper and especially her mom, Anna Howard Stone, who was childhood friends with Sonny and is pictured with him in a photo above.




First Posted June 2005