Joseph J. DioGuardi
Born in the Bronx, New York, on September 20, 1940, Joseph J. DioGuardi moved to Westchester County with his immigrant parents, brother, and sister in 1957. He is a 1958 graduate of Fordham Preparatory School, and in 1962 he graduated with honors from Fordham University.
The Drive to Succeed Continues
Joe joined a “Big Eight” accounting firm where he entered a vigorous (many times 7-days-a-week) 3-year apprenticeship. He became a Certified Public Accountant in 1965. He was promoted to manager in 1967 and was admitted as a full partner in 1972, at the age of 31.
As partner, Joe lectured and published widely on tax matters affecting individuals and corporations as well as non-profit charitable organizations – his area of expertise.
A New DioGuardi Family
With the loving and faithful marriage of his parents as an example to guide him, Joe himself married and began his own family. Joe and his first wife, Carol, made their home in the Wilmont Woods section of New Rochelle with their two children, Kara and John.
The Road to Washington
Joe served for twenty-two years, twelve of them as a tax partner, with the international accounting firm of Arthur Andersen & Co., one of the first public advocates of governmental fiscal responsibility. In November 1984, he brought his extensive professional and volunteer experience to Congress, when he became the first practicing certified public accountant ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Joe the Congressman
In Congress, Joe took the lead in sounding the call for truth in federal budgeting, accounting, and reporting and in bringing financial accountability to Capitol Hill. He was the original author of the Chief Financial Officer’s Act, signed by President George Bush in 1990, which mandated the assignment of a CFO to each major department and agency of the U.S. government. Charles Bowsher, former Comptroller General of the General Accounting Office, said in testimony before the U.S. Senate that since the enactment of the bill, “we have seen important progress in directly confronting serious financial management weaknesses. ”
Joe has distinguished himself by finding bipartisan solutions to difficult problems. On issues of local concern, he founded and cochaired the Congressional Long Island Sound and Hudson River Caucuses, which secured vital increases in federal support for these embattled waterways. In 1986, with the late Democratic Congressman Mickey Leland, Joe initiated legislation to confer Congressional Medals of Honor on Black World War I and World War II military heroes, thereby correcting an historic injustice. More recently, he cofounded with Congressman Jerrold Nadler the New York Task Force for Port, Rail, and Industrial Development in order to restore lost jobs to New York’s manufacturing and transportation industries.
Joe is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including investiture as a Knight of Malta in 1979, the International Humanitarian Award The Boys Towns of Italy in 1986, the Outstanding CPA in Government Award from the New York State Society of CPAs in 1986, the Torch of Liberty Award from the New York State Conservative Party in 1987, the Outstanding Public Service Award from the Westchester County Republican Committee in 1987, the Westchester Irish Committee’s Dedication to Peace and Justice Award in 1988, the Paul Harris Fellow Award of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in 1988, and the Annual Achievement Award of the Association of Government Accountants, Boston Chapter, in 1992.