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The Struggle to Get Ahead

Joe DioGuardi, Sr.

It was 1929. Like thousands of Italian and Albanian immigrants before him, Joe DioGuardi, Sr., arrived in New York with his mother and three sisters.

Their timing could not have been worse!

The collapse of New York’s Stock Market and the unfolding of America’s Great Depression were beginning to make deep scars in the economic opportunity and dreams that had beckoned thousands of newcomers to our nation.


With only a sixth grade education and no ability to speak English, 15-year-old Joe, Sr., had a dream. He was determined to succeed in this new land of opportunity.

Joe, Sr., walked the streets of the Upper East Side and harlem taking odd jobs. He saved his money because he knew there would be a day when his opportunity would come.

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