Italian American
Overview
An Italian American is an American of Italian
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

 ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and American dual citizenship. Italian Americans are the fourth largest European ethnic group in the United States (not including American ethnicity
American ethnicity
American ethnicity differs from United States nationality. An individual's nationality is American if he or she is a national of the United States of America. The circumstances under which a person is ethnically American are less clear....

, an ethnonym
Ethnonym
An ethnonym is the name applied to a given ethnic group. Ethnonyms can be divided into two categories: exonyms and autonyms or endonyms .As an example, the ethnonym for...

 used by many in the United States; overall, Italian Americans rank seventh, behind German, Irish, African American, English, American and Mexican).

About 5.5 million Italians immigrated to the U.S from 1820 to 2004.
Encyclopedia
An Italian American is an American of Italian
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

 ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and American dual citizenship. Italian Americans are the fourth largest European ethnic group in the United States (not including American ethnicity
American ethnicity
American ethnicity differs from United States nationality. An individual's nationality is American if he or she is a national of the United States of America. The circumstances under which a person is ethnically American are less clear....

, an ethnonym
Ethnonym
An ethnonym is the name applied to a given ethnic group. Ethnonyms can be divided into two categories: exonyms and autonyms or endonyms .As an example, the ethnonym for...

 used by many in the United States; overall, Italian Americans rank seventh, behind German, Irish, African American, English, American and Mexican).

About 5.5 million Italians immigrated to the U.S from 1820 to 2004. The greatest surge of immigration, which occurred in the period between 1880 and 1920, alone brought more than 4 million Italians to America. About 80% of the Italian immigrants came from Southern Italy, especially from Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 and Campania
Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

, parts of the former Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, commonly known as the Two Sicilies even before formally coming into being, was the largest and wealthiest of the Italian states before Italian unification...

. This region was mainly agricultural, overpopulated and economically underdeveloped, and benefitted little from the industry of the North after Italian unification
Italian unification
Italian unification was the political and social movement that agglomerated different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of Italy in the 19th century...

. The Italian government initially encouraged emigration of landless peasants ("contadini") to relieve economic pressures in the South. In the U.S., most Italians began their new lives as unskilled, manual workers. Italian Americans gradually moved from the lower rungs of the economic scale in the early 1900s to a level comparable to the national average by 1970. By 1990, more than 65% of Italian Americans were managerial, professional, or white-collar workers. The Italian-American communities have often been characterized by strong ties with family, the Catholic Church, fraternal organizations and political parties. Today, over 17.8 million Americans claim Italian ancestry.

The experiences of Italians and their descendents in America have been extremely varied, depending upon the region to which they immigrated, and the era in which they immigrated. They helped shape America and were, in turn, shaped by it. No common identity is shared by all Italian Americans; rather, they are as diverse as the American population itself. They have excelled in all fields of endeavor, and have gained prominence in politics, business, law, medicine, television, literature, education, the fine arts, the culinary arts, science, the military, engineering, sports, music, and entertainment.

Early period

The Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano was the first European to enter New York Bay
New York Bay
New York Bay is the collective term for the marine areas surrounding the entrance of the Hudson River into the Atlantic Ocean. Its two largest components are Upper New York Bay and Lower New York Bay, which are connected by The Narrows...

. The first Italian to reside in America was Pietro Cesare Alberti
Pietro Cesare Alberti
Pietro Cesare Alberti was a Venetian immigrant to Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, commonly regarded as the first Italian American.-Background:...

, a Venetian seaman who, in 1635, settled in what would eventually become New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. A group of 200 Waldensians
Waldensians
Waldensians, Waldenses or Vaudois are names for a Christian movement of the later Middle Ages, descendants of which still exist in various regions, primarily in North-Western Italy. There is considerable uncertainty about the earlier history of the Waldenses because of a lack of extant source...

 arrived from Italy in 1640 in search of a more hospitable place to practice their religion. The Taliaferro
Taliaferro
Taliaferro, Talifero, Tolliver, or Toliver , is a prominent family in the United States Commonwealth of Virginia. The Taliaferros are one of the early families who settled in Virginia in the 17th century...

 family, originally from Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

, was one of the first families to settle in Virginia.

These were joined by a small but steady stream of new arrivals, some of whom had been invited to come to America because they possessed much needed skills in agriculture and the making of glass, silk and wine. Others came because of their musical abilities as teachers and performers, such as the group of Italian musicians Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 invited to come to form a military band, which later became the nucleus of the U.S. Marine Band. Still others came as adventurers, explorers, missionaries and political refugees.

These early arrivals settled in many different areas, but constituted a relatively small part of the American population as a whole. However, their contributions were very significant in the founding and settling of the country. Filippo Mazzei, a physician and promoter of liberty, was a close friend and confidant of Thomas Jefferson. He published a pamphlet containing the phrase: "All men are by nature equally free and independent", which Jefferson incorporated essentially intact into the Declaration of Independence
Declaration of independence
A declaration of independence is an assertion of the independence of an aspiring state or states. Such places are usually declared from part or all of the territory of another nation or failed nation, or are breakaway territories from within the larger state...

. Italian artists and sculptors were brought to Washington
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 to work on the new Capitol
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

 building and to create some of its major monuments. Constantino Brumidi
Constantino Brumidi
Constantino Brumidi was an Greek/Italian-American historical painter, best known and honored for his fresco work in the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.-Parentage and early life:...

 created the frescoed interior of the Capitol dome, and spent the rest of his life executing still other artworks to beautify the Capitol.

Numerous Italians in the employ of Spain and France, whose territorial claims in America were based on the voyages of Italian navigators, were involved in exploring and mapping these territories, and in establishing settlements. Alessandro Malaspina
Alessandro Malaspina
Alessandro Malaspina was an Italian nobleman who spent most of his life as a Spanish naval officer and explorer...

 explored and mapped much of the west coast of the Americas, from Cape Horn to the Gulf of Alaska. The southwest and California were explored and mapped by Eusebio Kino
Eusebio Kino
Eusebio Francisco Kino S.J. was an Italian Roman Catholic priest who became famous in what is now northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States in the region then known as the Pimaria Alta...

 (Chino), an Italian priest. Henri de Tonti
Henri de Tonti
Henri de Tonti was an Italian-born soldier, explorer, and fur trader in the service of France.-Early life:Henri de Tonti, a Sicilian, was mostly likely born near Gaeta, Italy in either 1649 or 1650. He was the son of Lorenzo de Tonti, a financier and former governor of Gaeta...

 (Enrico de Tonti), together with the French explorer LaSalle, explored the Great Lakes region. De Tonti founded the first European settlement in Illinois in 1679, and in Arkansas in 1683. His brother Alphonse de Tonty
Alphonse de Tonty
Pierre Alphonse de Tonty, or Alphonse de Tonty, Baron de Paludy was an officer who served under the French explorer Cadillac and helped establish the first European settlement at Detroit, Michigan, Fort Pontchartrain du Detroit on the Detroit River in 1701...

 (Alphonso de Tonti) was the co-founder of Detroit, and its colonial governor for 12 years. The route to the source of the Mississippi
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 was discovered by Giacomo Beltrami
Giacomo Beltrami
Giacomo Costantino Beltrami was an Italian jurist, author, and explorer, best known for claiming to have discovered the headwaters of the Mississippi River in 1823 while on a trip through much of the United States...

 while exploring the territory that was later to become Minnesota.

Since France and Spain were Catholic countries, many missionaries were sent by the Catholic Church to convert the native population to Christianity and to provide for the spiritual needs of the settlers. Among these were Italian missionaries of the Jesuit and Franciscan
Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

 orders, who were active in many parts of America, and especially in the west. Italian Jesuits founded numerous missions, schools and five colleges in the west, subsequently to become Jesuit universities (San Francisco, Seattle, Gonzaga, Santa Clara and Regis). The Italian Jesuits also laid the foundation for the wine-making industry that would later flourish in California. In the east, the Italian Franciscans founded hospitals, orphanages, schools, and a college that later became St. Bonaventure University. Samuel Mazzuchelli, a missionary and expert in Indian languages, ministered to whites and Indians in Wisconsin and Iowa for 34 years and, after his death, was declared Venerable by the Catholic Church.

The early arrivals were scattered throughout the country, with the largest concentration of Italian Americans being in the northeast. It was there that recognition of their common Italian roots and culture was the greatest. The first opera house in the country opened in 1833 in New York through the efforts of Lorenzo Da Ponte, Mozart's former librettist, who had immigrated to America. The first Italian American newspaper, "L'Eco d'Italia" was published in New York in 1849 by Francesco de Casale. The first Columbus Day celebration was organized by Italian Americans in San Francisco in 1869.

Italian Americans served in the Revolutionary
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 and Civil Wars, both as soldiers and officers. Six Italian Americans received the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Civil War, among whom was Colonel Luigi di Cesnola, later to become the first director of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York. Italian American involvement in politics had already begun. In 1837 John Phinizy (Finizzi) became the mayor of Augusta
Augusta, Georgia
Augusta is a consolidated city in the U.S. state of Georgia, located along the Savannah River. As of the 2010 census, the Augusta–Richmond County population was 195,844 not counting the unconsolidated cities of Hephzibah and Blythe.Augusta is the principal city of the Augusta-Richmond County...

, Georgia. In 1880 Anthony Ghio became the mayor of Texarkana
Texarkana, Texas
Texarkana is a city in Bowie County, Texas, United States. It effectively functions as one half of a city which crosses a state line — the other half, the city of Texarkana, Arkansas, lies on the other side of State Line Avenue...

, Texas. Francis Spinola, the first Italian American to serve in Congress, was elected in 1887 from New York.

An immigrant, Antonio Meucci
Antonio Meucci
Antonio Santi Giuseppe Meucci was an Italian inventor, a compatriot of revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi. He was best known for developing a voice communication apparatus which several sources credit as the first telephone....

, brought with him in 1845 a concept for the telephone. He is credited by many researchers with being the first to demonstrate the principle of the telephone; however, considerable controversy exists relative to the priority of invention, with Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell was an eminent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone....

 also being accorded this distinction.

The main period of immigration

After Italian unification, in 1861, economic conditions worsened considerably for many in southern Italy and Sicily. Heavy taxes and other economic measures imposed on the South made the situation virtually impossible for many tenant farmers, and small business and land owners. Multitudes chose to emigrate rather than try to eke out a meager living. Often, the father and older sons would go first, leaving the mother and the rest of the family behind until the male members could afford their passage.

From 1880 to 1920, an estimated 4 million Italian immigrants arrived in the United States, the majority from 1900 to 1914. Once in America, the immigrants faced great difficulties. Usually with no knowledge of the English language and with little education, many of the immigrants were compelled to accept the poorest paying and most undesirable jobs, and were frequently exploited by the middlemen who acted as intermediaries between them and the prospective employers. Many sought housing in the older sections of the large northeastern cities in which they settled, which became known as "Little Italies", often in overcrowded substandard tenements. About a third of the immigrants, so called "birds of passage", intended to stay in the United States for only a limited time, followed by a return to Italy with enough in savings to re-establish themselves there. While many did return to Italy, others chose to stay, or were prevented from returning by the outbreak of World War I.
The Italian male immigrants in the Little Italies were most often employed in manual labor, heavily involved in public works, such as the construction of roads, sewers, subways and bridges being carried out at the time in the northeastern cities. The woman most frequently worked as seamstresses in the garment industry or in their homes. Many established small businesses in the Little Italies to satisfy the day-to-day needs of fellow immigrants. In spite of the economic hardship of the immigrants, civil and social life flourished in the Italian American neighborhoods of the large northeastern cities. Italian theater, band concerts, choral recitals, puppet shows, mutual-aid societies, and social clubs were available to the immigrants. An important event, the "festa", became for many an important connection to the traditions of their ancestral villages in Italy and Sicily. The festa involved an elaborate procession through the streets in honor of a patron saint or the Virgin Mary in which a large statue was carried by a team of men, with musicians marching behind. Followed by food, fireworks and general merriment, the festa became an important occasion that helped give the immigrants a sense of unity and common identity. To assist the immigrants in the Little Italies, who were overwhelmingly Catholic, Pope Leo XIII dispatched a contingent of priests, nuns and brothers of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo
Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo
The Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo or Scalabrinian Missionaries are a Roman Catholic religious order of brothers and priests founded by Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, Bishop of Piacenza in Italy, in 1887...

. Among these was Sister Francesca Cabrini, who founded schools, hospitals and orphanages and who, after her death, was declared the first American saint. Hundreds of parishes were founded by the St. Charles missionaries to serve the needs of the Italian communities.

The destinations of many of the Italian immigrants were not only the large cities of the East Coast
East Coast of the United States
The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, refers to the easternmost coastal states in the United States, which touch the Atlantic Ocean and stretch up to Canada. The term includes the U.S...

, but also more remote regions of the country, such as Florida and California. They were drawn there by opportunities in agriculture, mining, railroad construction, lumbering and other activities underway at the time. Many of the immigrants had contracted to work in these areas of the country as a condition for payment of their passage. In many cases, especially in the south, the immigrants were subject to economic exploitation, hostility and sometimes even violence. Many of the Italian laborers who went to these areas were later joined by wives and children, which resulted in the establishment of permanent Italian American settlements in diverse parts of the country.

In time, the Italian immigrants and their children began adjusting to life in their adopted country, and making contributions to mainstream American life and culture. Many of the immigrants had brought with them specialized skills and knowledge, and an entrepreneurial spirit. A significant number of business innovations were brought about by Italian Americans. Amadeo Giannini
Amadeo Giannini
Amadeo Pietro Giannini, also known as Amadeo Peter Giannini or A.P. Giannini , born in San Jose, California, was the American founder of Bank of America.-Biography:...

 originated the concept of branch banking to serve the Italian American community in San Francisco. He founded the Bank of Italy, which later became the Bank of America
Bank of America
Bank of America Corporation, an American multinational banking and financial services corporation, is the second largest bank holding company in the United States by assets, and the fourth largest bank in the U.S. by market capitalization. The bank is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina...

. His bank was also instrumental in providing financing to the film industry developing on the west coast at that time. Other companies founded by Italian Americans - such as Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is a United States division of Swiss candymaker Lindt & Sprüngli. The company was founded by and is named after Italian chocolatier Domingo Ghirardelli, who, after working in South America, moved to California...

, Progresso
Progresso
thumb|A can of Progresso [[brand]] [[bread crumbs]].Progresso foods is an American company that was founded by Sicilian born Vincent Taormina in 1905 and specializing in canned Italian food products, mostly soup and beans, sold since 1949. Up until the 1970s, it was a family-owned company...

, Planters Peanuts
Planters
Planters is an American snack food company, a division of Kraft Foods, best known for its processed nuts and for the Mr. Peanut icon that symbolizes them. Mr. Peanut was created by grade schooler Antonio Gentile for a 1916 contest to design the company's brand icon...

, Del Monte Foods
Del Monte Foods
Del Monte Foods is an American food production and distribution company headquartered in San Francisco, California. Del Monte Foods is one of the country's largest producers, distributors and marketers of branded food and pet products for the U.S. retail market, generating approximately $3.6...

, Contadina
Contadina
Contadina is a brand of Italian-inspired tomato products. The brand has roots in American families since World War I, beginning in 1914. Del Monte Foods acquired the brand of canned tomato products and certain other lines from Nestlé in December 1997....

, Chef Boyardee
Chef Boyardee
Chef Boyardee is a brand of canned pasta products sold internationally by ConAgra Foods. Named after its founder, Italian-American immigrant Ettore Boiardi, the company began production in the United States in the 1920s...

, Italian Swiss Colony
Italian Swiss Colony, California
Italian Swiss Colony is an unincorporated community in Madera County, California. It lies at an elevation of 249 feet ....

 wines and Jacuzzi
Jacuzzi
Jacuzzi is a company that produces whirlpool bathtubs and spas. Its first product was a bath with massaging jets. The term "jacuzzi" is now often used generically to refer to any bathtub with massaging jets.-History:...

 - became nationally known brand names in time. An Italian immigrant, Italo Marchioni, is credited with inventing the earliest version of an ice cream cone
Ice cream cone
An ice cream cone, poke or cornet is a dry, cone-shaped pastry, usually made of a wafer similar in texture to a waffle, allowing ice cream to be eaten without a bowl or spoon...

 in 1898. Another Italian immigrant, Giuseppe Bellanca, brought with him in 1912 an advanced aircraft design, which he began producing. It was Charles Lindbergh
Charles Lindbergh
Charles Augustus Lindbergh was an American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist.Lindbergh, a 25-year-old U.S...

's first choice for his flight across the Atlantic, but other factors ruled this out; however, one of Bellanca's planes, piloted by Cesare Sabelli, made one of the first trans-Atlantic flights in 1934.

Following in the footsteps of Constantino Brumidi, other Italians and their descendants helped create Washington’s impressive monuments. An Italian immigrant, Attilio Piccirilli, and his five brothers carved the Lincoln Memorial, which they began in 1911 and completed in 1922. Italian construction workers helped build Washington's Union Station, considered one of the most beautiful in the country, which was begun in 1905 and completed in 1908. The six statues that decorate the station's facade were sculpted by Andrew Bernasconi between 1909 and 1911. Two Italian American master stone carvers, Roger Morigi and Vincent Palumbo, spent decades creating the sculptural works that embellish Washington National Cathedral.

Italian Americans became involved in entertainment and sports. Rudolph Valentino
Rudolph Valentino
Rudolph Valentino was an Italian actor, and early pop icon. A sex symbol of the 1920s, Valentino was known as the "Latin Lover". He starred in several well-known silent films including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Eagle and Son of the Sheik...

 was one of the first great film icons. Dixieland
Dixieland
Dixieland music, sometimes referred to as Hot jazz, Early Jazz or New Orleans jazz, is a style of jazz music which developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century, and was spread to Chicago and New York City by New Orleans bands in the 1910s.Well-known jazz standard songs from the...

 jazz music had a number of important Italian American innovators, the most famous being Nick LaRocca
Nick LaRocca
Dominic James "Nick" LaRocca , was an early jazz cornetist and trumpeter and the leader of the Original Dixieland Jass Band. He is the composer of one of the most recorded jazz classics of all-time, "Tiger Rag"...

 of New Orleans, whose quintet made the first jazz recording in 1917. The first Italian American professional baseball player, Ping Bodie
Ping Bodie
Frank Stephen Bodie , born Francesco Stephano Pezzolo, was a center fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Chicago White Sox , Philadelphia Athletics and New York Yankees . Bodie batted and threw right-handed...

 (Giuseppe Pezzole), began playing for the Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are a Major League Baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois.The White Sox play in the American League's Central Division. Since , the White Sox have played in U.S. Cellular Field, which was originally called New Comiskey Park and nicknamed The Cell by local fans...

 in 1912. Ralph DePalma
Ralph DePalma
Ralph De Palma was an Italian-American racecar driving champion, most notably winner of the 1915 Indianapolis 500. His entry at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame estimates that he won about 2000 races...

 won the Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis 500
The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, also known as the Indianapolis 500, the 500 Miles at Indianapolis, the Indy 500 or The 500, is an American automobile race, held annually, typically on the last weekend in May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana...

 in 1915.

Italian Americans became increasingly involved in politics, government and the labor movement. Andrew Longino was elected Governor of Mississippi in 1900. Fiorello LaGuardia was elected from New York in 1916 to serve in the Congress. Charles Bonaparte
Charles Joseph Bonaparte
Charles Joseph Bonaparte was an American lawyer and political activist from Maryland who served in the Cabinet of President Theodore Roosevelt. Bonaparte was Secretary of the Navy and then Attorney General. While Attorney General, he created the Bureau of Investigation...

 was Secretary of the Navy and later Attorney General
United States Attorney General
The United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States government. The attorney general is considered to be the chief lawyer of the U.S. government...

 in the Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 administration, and founded the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

. Italian Americans were leading activists in unionizing workers in industries where they constituted a sizable part of the work force, such as the mining, textile and garment industries.

World War I and after

World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, together with the restrictive Emergency Quota Act
Emergency Quota Act
The Emergency Quota Act, also known as the Emergency Immigration Act of 1921, the Immigration Restriction Act of 1921, the Per Centum Law, and the Johnson Quota Act restricted immigration into the United States...

 of 1921 and Immigration Act of 1924
Immigration Act of 1924
The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the National Origins Act, and Asian Exclusion Act , was a United States federal law that limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already...

, effectively put an abrupt end to the large flow of Italian immigrants into the country. By 1920, the Little Italies had stabilized and grown considerably more prosperous as workers were able to obtain higher-paying jobs, often as skilled workers. English was now the language most commonly heard on the streets of the Little Italies. The passage of child labor laws resulted in Italian American children staying in school at least through the eighth grade, which assured a better future for them as they entered adulthood.

The Italian American community wholeheartedly supported the war effort, and its young men enlisted in large numbers. It was estimated that Italian American servicemen made up more than 10% of the total American forces in World War I, a disproportionately high percentage of the total. Two Italian Americans were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their service.

Many of the returning servicemen brought with them a new perspective and confidence, which led them to seek better employment opportunities. Jobs as policemen, firemen and civil servants became available to Italian Americans; while others found employment as plumbers, electricians, mechanics and carpenters. Woman found jobs as civil servants, secretaries, dressmakers, and clerks. The changing employment prospective occasioned large numbers to move to neighborhoods outside of the Italian enclaves. The Depression (1929–39) had a major impact on the Italian American community, and temporarily reversed some of the earlier gains made. Many benefitted from New Deal work programs, such as the Works Progress Administration, and the Civilian Conservation Corp.

Italian Americans made great upward strides in the post-war years, and contributed significantly to American life and culture:
In politics, Al Smith
Al Smith
Alfred Emanuel Smith. , known in private and public life as Al Smith, was an American statesman who was elected the 42nd Governor of New York three times, and was the Democratic U.S. presidential candidate in 1928...

 (Ferrara) was the first Italian American governor of New York, and a candidate for president in 1928. Fiorello LaGuardia became mayor of New York City in 1931. Vito Marcantonio
Vito Marcantonio
Vito Anthony Marcantonio was an American lawyer and democratic socialist politician. Originally a member of the Republican Party and a supporter of Fiorello LaGuardia, he switched to the American Labor Party.-Early life:...

 was elected to Congress in 1934 from New York. Ferdinand Pecora
Ferdinand Pecora
Ferdinand Pecora was an American lawyer and judge who became famous in the 1930s as Chief Counsel to the United States Senate Committee on Banking and Currency during its investigation of Wall Street banking and stock brokerage practices.-Early career:Ferdinand Pecora was born in Nicosia, Sicily,...

 led a Senate investigation of the 1929 stock market crash, which exposed major financial abuses, and spurred Congress to rein in the banking industry. Italian Americans continued their significant involvement in the labor movement. James Petrillo
James Petrillo
James Caesar Petrillo was the prominent leader of the American Federation of Musicians, a trade union of professional musicians in the United States and Canada.-Biography:Petrillo was born in Chicago, Illinois...

 became president of the American Federation of Musicians
American Federation of Musicians
The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada is a labor union of professional musicians in the United States and Canada...

, a position he held for 18 years.

There were numerous Italian Americans involved in music, both classical and popular. Under the outstanding leadership of Giulio Gatti-Casazza
Giulio Gatti-Casazza
Giulio Gatti-Casazza was an Italian opera manager. He was general manager of La Scala in Milan, Italy and later the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.-Life and career:...

, the Metropolitan Opera
Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company, located in New York City. Originally founded in 1880, the company gave its first performance on October 22, 1883. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager...

 became a world-class musical organization. Many Italian operatic singers and conductors were invited to perform for American audiences, including the great tenor Enrico Caruso. The legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini
Arturo Toscanini
Arturo Toscanini was an Italian conductor. One of the most acclaimed musicians of the late 19th and 20th century, he was renowned for his intensity, his perfectionism, his ear for orchestral detail and sonority, and his photographic memory...

 introduced many Americans to classical music through his popular NBC Symphony Orchestra
NBC Symphony Orchestra
The NBC Symphony Orchestra was a radio orchestra established by David Sarnoff of the National Broadcasting Company especially for conductor Arturo Toscanini...

 radio broadcasts. Rosa Ponselle
Rosa Ponselle
Rosa Ponselle , was an American operatic soprano with a large, opulent voice. She sang mainly at the New York Metropolitan Opera and is generally considered by music critics to have been one of the greatest sopranos of the past 100 years.-Early life:She was born Rosa Ponzillo on January 22, 1897,...

, a daughter of Italian immigrants, made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1918, and subsequently became a world famous performer. Popular singers included Russ Columbo
Russ Columbo
Ruggiero Eugenio di Rodolpho Colombo , known as Russ Columbo, was an American singer, violinist and actor, most famous for his signature tune, "You Call It Madness, But I Call It Love", his compositions "Prisoner of Love" and "Too Beautiful For Words", and the legend surrounding his early...

, who established a new singing style that greatly influenced Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

 and other singers that followed. On Broadway, Harry Warren
Harry Warren
Harry Warren was an American composer and lyricist. Warren was the first major American songwriter to write primarily for film. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song eleven times and won three Oscars for composing "Lullaby of Broadway", "You'll Never Know" and "On the Atchison,...

 (Salvatore Guaragna) wrote the music for 42nd Street, and received three Academy Awards for his compositions. Other Italian American musicians and performers, such as Jimmy Durante
Jimmy Durante
James Francis "Jimmy" Durante was an American singer, pianist, comedian and actor. His distinctive clipped gravelly speech, comic language butchery, jazz-influenced songs, and large nose helped make him one of America's most familiar and popular personalities of the 1920s through the 1970s...

, who later achieved fame in movies and television, were active in vaudeville. Guy Lombardo
Guy Lombardo
Gaetano Alberto "Guy" Lombardo was a Canadian-American bandleader and violinist.Forming "The Royal Canadians" in 1924 with his brothers Carmen, Lebert, and Victor and other musicians from his hometown, Lombardo led the group to international success, billing themselves as creating "The Sweetest...

 formed a popular dance band, which became an institution on New Year's Eve in NYC's Times Square
Times Square
Times Square is a major commercial intersection in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets...

.

The film industry of this era included a number of Italian Americans who became well known. Frank Capra
Frank Capra
Frank Russell Capra was a Sicilian-born American film director. He emigrated to the U.S. when he was six, and eventually became a creative force behind major award-winning films during the 1930s and 1940s...

 received three Academy Awards for directing. Italian American cartoonists were responsible for some of the most popular animated characters. Donald Duck
Donald Duck
Donald Fauntleroy Duck is a cartoon character created in 1934 at Walt Disney Productions and licensed by The Walt Disney Company. Donald is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a sailor suit with a cap and a black or red bow tie. Donald is most...

 was created by Al Taliaferro
Al Taliaferro
Charles Alfred Taliaferro , known simply as Al Taliaferro, was a Disney comics artist who used to produce Disney comic strips for King Features Syndicate...

, Woody Woodpecker
Woody Woodpecker
Woody Woodpecker is an animated cartoon character, an anthropomorphic acorn woodpecker who appeared in theatrical short films produced by the Walter Lantz animation studio and distributed by Universal Pictures...

 was a creation of Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
Walter Benjamin Lantz was an American cartoonist, animator, film producer, and director, best known for founding Walter Lantz Productions and creating Woody Woodpecker.-Early years and start in animation:...

 (Lanza), with Casper the Friendly Ghost
Casper the Friendly Ghost
Casper the Friendly Ghost is the protagonist of the Famous Studios theatrical animated cartoon series of the same name. As his name indicates, he is a ghost, but is quite personable...

 being the creation of Joseph Oriolo. Tom and Jerry
Tom and Jerry
Tom and Jerry are the cat and mouse cartoon characters that were evolved starting in 1939.Tom and Jerry also may refer to:Cartoon works featuring the cat and mouse so named:* The Tom and Jerry Show...

 was co-created by Joseph Barbera
Joseph Barbera
Joseph Roland Barbera was an influential American animator, director, producer, storyboard artist, and cartoon artist, whose film and television cartoon characters entertained millions of fans worldwide for much of the twentieth century....

. The voice of Snow White
Snow White
"Snow White" is a fairy tale known from many countries in Europe, the best known version being the German one collected by the Brothers Grimm...

 was provided by Adrianna Caselotti, a talented 21-year old soprano.

Involvement in sports accelerated, and brought many Italian Americans national recognition. Gene Sarazen
Gene Sarazen
Gene Sarazen was an American professional golfer, one of the world's top players in the 1920s and 1930s. He is one of five golfers to win all the current major championships in his career, the Career Grand Slam:U.S...

 (Eugenio Saraceni) won both the Professional Golf Association and U.S. Open Tournaments in 1922. Peter DePaola won the Indianapolis 500 in 1925. Tony Lazzeri
Tony Lazzeri
Anthony Michael "Tony" Lazzeri was an American Major League Baseball player during the 1920s and 1930s, predominantly with the New York Yankees. He was part of the famed "Murderers' Row" Yankee batting lineup of the late 1920s , along with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Bob Meusel...

 and Frank Crosetti started playing for the New York Yankees in 1926. Tony Canzoneri
Tony Canzoneri
Tony Canzoneri was an American boxer who was born in the town of Slidell, Louisiana.Canzoneri, an Italian American, was one of the members of the exclusive group of boxing world champions who have won titles in three or more divisions.- Early life :When he was a teenager, he and his family moved...

 won the lightweight boxing championship in 1930. Lou Little
Lou Little
Lou "Luigi Piccolo" Little was an American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at Georgetown College, now Georgetown University, from 1924 to 1929 and at Columbia University from 1930 to 1956, compiling a career college football record of 151–128–13...

 (Luigi Piccolo) began coaching the Columbia University football team in 1930. The legendary Joe DiMaggio
Joe DiMaggio
Joseph Paul "Joe" DiMaggio , nicknamed "Joltin' Joe" and "The Yankee Clipper," was an American Major League Baseball center fielder who played his entire 13-year career for the New York Yankees. He is perhaps best known for his 56-game hitting streak , a record that still stands...

 began playing for the New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

 in 1936. Hank Luisetti
Hank Luisetti
Angelo "Hank" Luisetti was an American college men's basketball player and one of the great innovators of the game. In an era that featured the traditional two-handed set shot, Luisetti developed the running one-handed shot...

 was a three time All American basketball player at Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

 from 1936 to 1940. Louis Zamperini
Louis Zamperini
Louis Silvie Zamperini is a World War II prisoner of war survivor, inspirational speaker, and former American Olympic distance runner.-Early life:...

, one of America's most promising distance runners, competed in the 1936 Olympics, and later became the subject of the bestselling book Unbroken
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption is a 2010 non-fiction book by Laura Hillenbrand, author of the best-selling book Seabiscuit: An American Legend...

 by Laura Hillenbrand
Laura Hillenbrand
Laura Hillenbrand is an American author of books and magazine articles.Born in Fairfax, Virginia, Hillenbrand spent much of her childhood riding bareback "screaming over the hills" of her father's Sharpsburg, Maryland, farm. A favorite of hers was Come On Seabiscuit, a 1963 kiddie book. "I read...

, published in 2010.

In business, Italian Americans had become leading producers of fresh fruits and vegetables by recognizing the untapped potential of the large tracts of land surrounding many of the major cities. They cultivated the land and raised produce, which was trucked into the nearby cities and often sold directly to the consumer through farmer's markets. In California, the DiGiorgio Corporation
DiGiorgio Corporation
DiGiorgio corporation was a fruit-growing corporation and eventual conglomerate in the 20th century. Once a vast company, owning much of California's central valley farm land, and multi-billion dollar corporation, a massive restructuring in the 1990s limited its breadth...

 was founded, which grew to become the leading supplier of fresh produce in the United States. Also in California, Italian Americans had become the leading growers of grapes, and producers of wine. Many well known wine brands, such as Mondavi, Carlo Rossi, Petri
Petri
Petri is a surname and a given name derived from Latin Petrus, and may refer to:-Surname:* Adam Petri, Renaissance printer who founded a Basel publishing house* Carl Adam Petri, who introduced Petri nets* Egon Petri, Dutch pianist and composer...

, Sebastiani, and Gallo
E & J Gallo Winery
E & J Gallo Winery was founded in 1933 by Ernest Gallo and Julio Gallo in Modesto, California. E & J Gallo Winery is the largest exporter of California wines and is a large promoter of wines from Sonoma County.-History:...

 emerged from these early enterprises. Italian American companies were the leading importers of Italian wines, processed foods, textiles, marble and manufactured goods.

World War II and after

As a member of the Axis powers
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

, Italy declared war on the United States in 1941. Any concerns about the loyalty of Italian Americans were quickly dispelled. More than half a million Italian Americans served in the various branches of the military. In spite of this display of loyalty, hundreds of Italians viewed as a potential threat to the country were interned in detention camps, some for up to 2 years. As many as 600,000 others, who had not become citizens, were required to carry identity cards identifying them as "resident alien". Thousands more on the West Coast
West Coast of the United States
West Coast or Pacific Coast are terms for the westernmost coastal states of the United States. The term most often refers to the states of California, Oregon, and Washington. Although not part of the contiguous United States, Alaska and Hawaii do border the Pacific Ocean but can't be included in...

 were required to move inland, often losing their homes and businesses in the process. A number of Italian-language newspapers were forced to close because of their past support of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

. Two books, Una Storia Segreta by Lawrence Di Stasi and Uncivil Liberties by Stephen Fox
Stephen Fox (author/educator)
Stephen Fox is an author and emeritus professor of history at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California.He wrote, The Unknown Internment: An Oral History of the Relocation of Italian Americans during World War II ISBN 0805791086. Published in 1990, the work describes World War II US...

; and a movie, Prisoners Among Us, document these World War II developments.

Italian Americans served with distinction during the war, and 14 were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Among these was Sgt. John Basilone
John Basilone
John Basilone was a United States Marine Gunnery Sergeant who received the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II...

, one of the most decorated and famous servicemen in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, who was later featured in the HBO series The Pacific. In the air, Capt. Don Gentile became one of the war's leading aces, with 25 German planes downed. At home, the work of Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi was an Italian-born, naturalized American physicist particularly known for his work on the development of the first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile-1, and for his contributions to the development of quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics, and statistical mechanics...

 was crucial in shortening the war. Fermi, a Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 laureate nuclear physicist, immigrated to the United States from Italy in 1938. He led a research team at the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 that was able to produce the world's first sustained nuclear chain reaction
Nuclear chain reaction
A nuclear chain reaction occurs when one nuclear reaction causes an average of one or more nuclear reactions, thus leading to a self-propagating number of these reactions. The specific nuclear reaction may be the fission of heavy isotopes or the fusion of light isotopes...

, which clearly demonstrated the feasibility of an atom bomb. After the first sustained nuclear chain reaction was achieved, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt received the message: "The Italian navigator has landed". Fermi later became a key member of the team at Los Alamos Laboratory that developed the first atom bomb. He was subsequently joined at Los Alamos by Emilio Segre, one of his students from Italy, who was also destined to become a Nobel Prize laureate in Physics. Fermi's work on the nuclear chain reaction laid the foundation for the nuclear power
Nuclear power
Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of nuclear generated electricity...

 industry which began developing after the war.

Two United States World War II destroyers were named after Italian Americans. The was named for Corporal Anthony P. Damato
Anthony P. Damato
Corporal Anthony Peter Damato was a United States Marine who received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his valor and sacrifice of life during World War II...

, who was awarded the Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor
The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed by the President, in the name of Congress, upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her...

 posthumously for his valor during World War II. The (later DMS-30) was named for Rear Admiral Bancroft Gherardi
Bancroft Gherardi
Bancroft Gherardi was a rear admiral of the United States Navy, who served during the Mexican–American War and the American Civil War.-Biography:...

, who served during the Mexican–American
Mexican–American War
The Mexican–American War, also known as the First American Intervention, the Mexican War, or the U.S.–Mexican War, was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848 in the wake of the 1845 U.S...

 and U.S. Civil Wars
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

.

World War II opened up new employment opportunities for large numbers of Italian Americans in the factories producing war materiel. This included many Italian American women, such as Rose Bonavita, who was recognized by President Roosevelt with a personal letter commending her for her performance as an aircraft riveter. She was subsequently known as "Rosie the Riveter", and came to symbolize all of the millions of American women workers in the war industries.

The post-war period was a time of great social change for Italian Americans. Many aspired to a college education, which became possible for returning veterans through the GI Bill. Better educated, Italian Americans entered mainstream American life in great numbers. The Little Italies were largely abandoned by the younger generation, who more often chose to live in other urban areas and in the suburbs. Many married outside of their ethnic group, most frequently with other ethnic Catholics, but increasingly also with those of diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds.

Italian Americans took advantage of the new opportunities that became generally available to all after World War II. They made enormous strides in virtually all fields of endeavor:
Italian Americans entered politics at the local, state and national levels in large numbers. In 1950, John Pastore of Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

 became the first Italian American to be elected to the Senate. In the same year, Vincent Impellitteri became mayor of New York City. Anthony Celebrezze became mayor of Cleveland in 1953, and was later appointed Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare in the Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 administration. Peter Rodino chaired the House Judiciary Committee, and led the impeachment hearings of President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

. John Sirica
John Sirica
John Joseph Sirica was the Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, where he became famous for his role in the Watergate scandal...

 presided over the Watergate hearings that ultimately led to Nixon's resignation. John Scali was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1973-75. Ella Grasso was the first woman elected Governor of Connecticut in 1980. Mario Cuomo
Mario Cuomo
Mario Matthew Cuomo served as the 52nd Governor of New York from 1983 to 1994, and is the father of Andrew Cuomo, the current governor of New York.-Early life:...

 was elected Governor of New York
Governor of New York
The Governor of the State of New York is the chief executive of the State of New York. The governor is the head of the executive branch of New York's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military and naval forces. The officeholder is afforded the courtesy title of His/Her...

 in 1982. Geraldine Ferraro
Geraldine Ferraro
Geraldine Anne Ferraro was an American attorney, a Democratic Party politician, and a member of the United States House of Representatives. She was the first female Vice Presidential candidate representing a major American political party....

 was the first woman vice presidential candidate in U.S. history. Frank Carlucci
Frank Carlucci
Frank Charles Carlucci III is a former official in the United States Government, associated with the Republican Party. The most prominent office held by Carlucci was as Secretary of Defense from 1987 until 1989 in the Reagan Administration.-Early life and career:Carlucci was born in Scranton,...

 served as Secretary of Defense from 1987 to 1989.

Scores of Italian Americans became popular singers in the post-war years. Frank Sinatra continued his legendary career, and was joined by Mario Lanza
Mario Lanza
right|thumb|[[MGM]] still, circa 1949Mario Lanza was an American tenor and Hollywood movie star of the late 1940s and the 1950s. The son of Italian emigrants, he began studying to be a professional singer at the age of 16....

, Perry Como
Perry Como
Pierino Ronald "Perry" Como was an American singer and television personality. During a career spanning more than half a century he recorded exclusively for the RCA Victor label after signing with them in 1943. "Mr...

, Dean Martin
Dean Martin
Dean Martin was an American singer, film actor, television star and comedian. Martin's hit singles included "Memories Are Made of This", "That's Amore", "Everybody Loves Somebody", "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You", "Sway", "Volare" and "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?"...

 (Dino Crocetti), Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett is an American singer of popular music, standards, show tunes, and jazz....

 (Benedetto), Frankie Laine
Frankie Laine
Frankie Laine, born Francesco Paolo LoVecchio , was a successful American singer, songwriter, and actor whose career spanned 75 years, from his first concerts in 1930 with a marathon dance company to his final performance of "That's My Desire" in 2005...

 (Francesco LoVecchio), Vic Damone
Vic Damone
Vic Damone is an American singer and entertainer.- Early life :Damone was born Vito Rocco Farinola in Brooklyn, New York to French-Italian immigrants based in Bari, Italy—Rocco and Mamie Farinola. His father was an electrician; and his mother taught piano. His cousin was the actress and singer...

 (Vito Farinola), Don Cornell
Don Cornell
Don Cornell was an American singer prominent mainly in the 1940s and 1950s noted for his smooth but robust baritone voice....

 (Luigi Varlaro), Bobby Darin
Bobby Darin
Bobby Darin , born Walden Robert Cassotto, was an American singer, actor and musician.Darin performed in a range of music genres, including pop, rock, jazz, folk and country...

 (Walden Cassotto), Johnny Desmond
Johnny Desmond
Johnny Desmond , born Giovanni Alfredo De Simone, was a popular American singer.-Early years:...

 (Giovanni De Simone), Bobby Rydell
Bobby Rydell
Bobby Rydell is an American professional singer, mainly of rock and roll music. In the early 1960s he was considered a so-called "teen idol"...

 (Ridarelli), Julius La Rosa
Julius La Rosa
Julius La Rosa is an American traditional popular music singer who has worked in both radio and television since the 1950s.-Early years and big break:...

, Connie Francis
Connie Francis
Connie Francis is an American pop singer of Italian heritage and the top-charting female vocalist of the 1950s and 1960s. Although her chart success waned in the second half of the 1960s, Francis remained a top concert draw...

 (Concetta Franconero), Joanie James (Giovanna Babbo), Madonna
Madonna (entertainer)
Madonna is an American singer-songwriter, actress and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan, she moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her debut album in 1983...

 and a host of others. Composers Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini was an American composer, conductor and arranger, best remembered for his film and television scores. He won a record number of Grammy Awards , plus a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously in 1995...

 and Bill Conti
Bill Conti
William "Bill" Conti is an American film music composer who is frequently the conductor at the Academy Awards ceremony.-Early life and career:...

 received numerous Academy Awards for their songs and film scores. Classical and operatic composers John Corigliano
John Corigliano
John Corigliano is an American composer of classical music and a teacher of music. He is a distinguished professor of music at Lehman College in the City University of New York.-Biography:...

, Norman Dello Joio
Norman Dello Joio
- Life :He was born Nicodemo DeGioio in New York City to Italian immigrants. He began his musical career as organist and choir director at the Star of the Sea Church on City Island in New York at age 14. His father was an organist, pianist, and vocal coach and coached many opera stars from the...

, David Del Tredici
David Del Tredici
David Del Tredici, born March 16, 1937 in Cloverdale, California, is an American composer. According to Del Tredici's website, Aaron Copland said David Del Tredici "is that rare find among composers — a creator with a truly original gift...

, Dominick Argento
Dominick Argento
Dominick Argento is an American composer, best known as a leading composer of lyric opera and choral music...

, and Gian Carlo Menotti
Gian Carlo Menotti
Gian Carlo Menotti was an Italian-American composer and librettist. Although he often referred to himself as an American composer, he kept his Italian citizenship. He wrote the classic Christmas opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, among about two dozen other operas intended to appeal to popular...

 were honored with Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

s and Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

s.

In professional baseball, Joe DiMaggio continued his career with the Yankees. Other well known players in the post-war years included: Yogi Berra
Yogi Berra
Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra is a former American Major League Baseball catcher, outfielder, and manager. He played almost his entire 19-year baseball career for the New York Yankees...

, Phil Rizzuto
Phil Rizzuto
Philip Francis Rizzuto , nicknamed "The Scooter", was an American Major League Baseball shortstop. He spent his entire 13-year baseball career for the New York Yankees...

, Carl Furillo
Carl Furillo
Carl Anthony Furillo , nicknamed "The Reading Rifle" and "Skoonj," was a right fielder in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers...

, Sal Maglie
Sal Maglie
Salvatore Anthony Maglie was an American Major League Baseball pitcher. He played from 1945-1958 for the New York Giants, Cleveland Indians, Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Yankees, and St. Louis Cardinals. Maglie was known as "Sal the Barber", because he gave close shaves—that is, pitched inside to...

, Vic Raschi
Vic Raschi
Victor John Angelo "Vic" Raschi was a Major League Baseball pitcher. He was responsible for allowing Hank Aaron's first career home run....

, Roy Campanella
Roy Campanella
Roy Campanella , nicknamed "Campy", was an American baseball player, primarily at the position of catcher, in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball...

, Dom DiMaggio
Dom DiMaggio
Dominic Paul DiMaggio , nicknamed "The Little Professor", was a Major League Baseball center fielder. He played his entire 11-year baseball career for the Boston Red Sox...

, Ernie Lombardi
Ernie Lombardi
Ernesto Natali "Ernie" Lombardi , was a Major League Baseball catcher for the Brooklyn Robins, the Cincinnati Reds, the Boston Braves and the New York Giants during a Hall of Fame career that spanned 17 years, from 1931 to 1947. He had several nicknames, including "Schnozz", "Lumbago", "Bocci",...

, Joe Pepitone
Joe Pepitone
Joseph "Joe" Anthony Pepitone is a former Major League Baseball first baseman and outfielder who played the bulk of his career for the New York Yankees. He also played several seasons with the Chicago Cubs and had short stints with the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves...

, Rico Petrocelli
Rico Petrocelli
Americo Peter "Rico" Petrocelli is an American retired baseball shortstop and third baseman who played his entire career in the American League with the Boston Red Sox...

, Sal Bando
Sal Bando
Salvatore Leonard Bando is a former third baseman and executive in professional baseball who played for the Kansas City & Oakland Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers . He batted and threw right-handed. During the A's championship years of 1971-75, he captained the team and led the club in runs batted...

, Rocky Colavito
Rocky Colavito
Rocco Domenico "Rocky" Colavito, Jr. is a former right fielder in Major League Baseball best known for his years with the Cleveland Indians. He wore a #6, #7 or #21 jersey during his MLB career...

, and Tony Conigliaro
Tony Conigliaro
Anthony Richard Conigliaro , nicknamed "Tony C" and "Conig", was a Major League Baseball outfielder and right-handed batter who played for the Boston Red Sox and California Angels . He was born in Revere, Massachusetts, and was a 1962 graduate of St. Mary's High School...

.

In college football, Joe Paterno
Joe Paterno
Joseph Vincent "Joe" Paterno is a former college football coach who was the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions for 46 years from 1966 through 2011. Paterno, nicknamed "JoePa," holds the record for the most victories by an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision football coach with...

 became one of the most successful coaches ever. Seven Italian American players won the Heisman Trophy
Heisman Trophy
The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award , is awarded annually to the player deemed the most outstanding player in collegiate football. It was created in 1935 as the Downtown Athletic Club trophy and renamed in 1936 following the death of the Club's athletic director, John Heisman The Heisman Memorial...

: Angelo Bertelli
Angelo Bertelli
Angelo Bortolo Bertelli was an American football player. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1943 playing as a quarterback for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.-Early life:...

 of Notre Dame
Notre Dame Fighting Irish football
Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team is the football team of the University of Notre Dame. The team is currently coached by Brian Kelly.Notre Dame competes as an Independent at the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level, and is a founding member of the Bowl Championship Series coalition. It is an...

, Alan Ameche
Alan Ameche
Lino Dante "Alan" Ameche , nicknamed "The Horse", was an American football player who played six seasons with the Baltimore Colts in the National Football League after winning the Heisman Trophy in college at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He was elected to the Pro Bowl in each of his first...

 of Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin–Madison
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded in 1848, UW–Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It became a land-grant institution in 1866...

, Gary Beban
Gary Beban
Gary Joseph Beban is a former American football player. Son of an Italian-born mother and a first generation Croatian-American father, Beban won the 1967 Heisman Trophy, the most prestigious award in college football, and the Maxwell Award, while playing quarterback for the University of...

 of UCLA, Joe Bellino
Joe Bellino
Joseph Michael Bellino is a former American football halfback in the American Football League for the Boston Patriots. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1960.-Early life:...

 of Navy
Navy Midshipmen football
The Navy Midshipmen football team represents the United States Naval Academy in NCAA Division I-A college football. They are a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision independent school and coached by Ken Niumatalolo since December 2007...

, John Cappelletti
John Cappelletti
John Cappelletti is a former professional American football running back for the NFL's Los Angeles Rams and the San Diego Chargers. Prior to his professional career, he attended the Pennsylvania State University, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1973. He was inducted into the College Football...

 of Penn State, Gino Torretta
Gino Torretta
Gino Louis Torretta is a Heisman Trophy winner who played quarterback for several teams in the National Football League from 1993 to 1997....

 and Vinny Testaverde
Vinny Testaverde
Vincent Frank Testaverde is a former NFL quarterback. Testaverde last played for the Carolina Panthers and had previously played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots. Testaverde holds the NFL record for having...

 of Miami.

In professional football, Vince Lombardi
Vince Lombardi
Vincent Thomas "Vince" Lombardi was an American football coach. He is best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s, where he led the team to three straight league championships and five in seven years, including winning the first two Super Bowls following the 1966 and...

 set the standard of excellence for all coaches to follow. Numerous Italian Americans were outstanding players of the era, including: Alan Ameche, Leo Nomellini
Leo Nomellini
Leo Joseph Nomellini was a Hall of Fame American football player with the San Francisco 49ers. He was born at Lucca in Italy. He was a two-time All-American at the University of Minnesota and the 49ers' first-ever NFL draft choice in 1950.Nomellini played every 49ers game for 14 seasons, 174...

, Andy Robustelli
Andy Robustelli
Andrew Richard "Andy" Robustelli was an American football defensive end in the National Football League for the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants. He played college football at Arnold College and was drafted in the nineteenth round of the 1951 NFL Draft...

, Franco Harris
Franco Harris
Franco Harris is a former American football player. He played his NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks.In the 1972 NFL Draft he was chosen by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round, the 13th selection overall...

, Charlie Trippi, Gino Marchetti
Gino Marchetti
Gino John Marchetti is a former professional American football player in the National Football League. A defensive end, he played in 1952 for the Dallas Texans and from 1953 to 1966 for the Baltimore Colts.-Early years:...

, Joe Fortunato
Joe Fortunato
Joseph Francis Fortunato is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League.Fortunato played 12 seasons for the Chicago Bears . As a linebacker, he made the Pro Bowl five times, and was named to the NFL 300 Greatest Players team. He wore #31 with the Chicago Bears...

, Babe Parilli
Babe Parilli
-Biography:Parilli was born in the Pittsburgh industrial suburb of Rochester, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Kentucky as an All-American starting quarterback for the Wildcats under Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant....

, Dan Pastorini
Dan Pastorini
Dante "Dan" Anthony Pastorini is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League for the Houston Oilers, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, and the Philadelphia Eagles.-NFL career:...

, Dante Lavelli
Dante Lavelli
Dante Bert Joseph "Gluefingers" Lavelli was an American football end who played for the Cleveland Browns in the All-America Football Conference and National Football League from 1946 to 1956...

, Gino Cappelletti
Gino Cappelletti
Gino Cappelletti is a former American collegiate and Professional Football player. He played at the University of Minnesota, and was a star in the American Football League for the Boston Patriots...

, Nick Buoniconti
Nick Buoniconti
Nicholas Anthony Buoniconti is a former American Football League and NFL Hall of Fame middle linebacker, who played for the Boston Patriots and Miami Dolphins....

, John Capelletti, Mike Lucci
Mike Lucci
Mike Lucci is a former National Football League player for the Cleveland Browns for 3 seasons from 1962 to 1964 and 9 seasons with the Detroit Lions from 1965 to 1973. Lucci played collegiately at the University of Tennessee and for one year at the University of Pittsburgh.He was a 6'2", 230-pound...

, Brian Piccolo, Vince Ferragamo
Vince Ferragamo
Vince Anthony Ferragamo is a former professional football player, a quarterback in the National Football League and Canadian Football League.-College career:...

, Daryle Lamonica
Daryle Lamonica
Daryle Pat Lamonica is a former American collegiate and professional football quarterback who played in the American Football League, and later in the NFL....

, Joe Montana
Joe Montana
Joseph Clifford "Joe" Montana, Jr. , nicknamed Joe Cool, Golden Joe, The Golden Great and Comeback Joe, is a retired American football player. Montana started his NFL career in 1979 with the San Francisco 49ers, where he played quarterback for the next 14 seasons...

, Dan Marino
Dan Marino
Daniel Constantine "Dan" Marino, Jr. is a retired American football quarterback who played for the Miami Dolphins in the National Football League...

 and Vinny Testeverde.

In boxing, Rocky Marciano
Rocky Marciano
Rocky Marciano , born Rocco Francis Marchegiano, was an American boxer and the heavyweight champion of the world from September 23, 1952, to April 27, 1956. Marciano is the only champion to hold the heavyweight title and go undefeated throughout his career. Marciano defended his title six times...

 was the undefeated heavyweight champion from 1952 to 1956. Carmen Basilio
Carmen Basilio
Carmine Basilio better known in the boxing world as Carmen Basilio, is an American former professional boxer who was a two weight world boxing champion...

, Rocky Graziano
Rocky Graziano
Rocky Graziano, born Thomas Rocco Barbella in New York City , was an Italian American boxer. Graziano was considered one of the greatest knockout artists in boxing history, often displaying the capacity to take his opponent out with a single punch...

 and Jake LaMotta
Jake LaMotta
Giacobbe LaMotta , better known as Jake LaMotta, nicknamed "The Bronx Bull" and "The Raging Bull", is a former American world middleweight champion boxer...

 were middleweight champions. Ray Mancini
Ray Mancini
Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini is a retired Italian-American boxer. He held the World Boxing Association lightweight championship from 1982 to 1984. Mancini inherited his distinctive nickname from his father, veteran boxer Lenny "Boom Boom" Mancini, who laid the foundation for his son's career...

 and Vinny Pazienza were lightweight champions. Willie Pep
Willie Pep
Guglielmo Papaleo was an American boxer who was better known as Willie Pep. Pep boxed a total of 1956 rounds in the 241 bouts during his 26 year career, a considerable number of rounds and fights even for a fighter of his era. His final record was 229-11-1 with 65 knockouts...

 was a featherweight champion. Angelo Dundee
Angelo Dundee
Angelo Dundee is an American boxing cornerman. He is best known for his work with Muhammad Ali , and has worked with 15 world boxing champions, including Sugar Ray Leonard, José Nápoles, George Foreman, Jimmy Ellis, Carmen Basilio, Luis Rodriguez and Willie Pastrano.-Professional career:Born in...

 (Angelo Mirena) trained 15 world champion boxers, including Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is an American former professional boxer, philanthropist and social activist...

.

In golf, Ken Venturi
Ken Venturi
Kenneth Venturi is an American former professional golfer and golf broadcaster.-Early years and amateur career:Venturi was born in San Francisco, California. He learned golf from an early age, and developed his game at Harding Park Golf Course and other public courses in the area...

 won both the British and U.S. Open championships in 1956. Donna Caponi
Donna Caponi
Donna Caponi-Byrnes is an American professional golfer.Caponi was born in Detroit, Michigan. The daughter of a club pro, Caponi began playing golf at the age of eight and joined the LPGA Tour at 20. Caponi captured her first win on the Tour four years later in 1970, winning the U.S. Women's Open...

 won the U.S. Women's Open championships in 1969 and 1970.

In Olympic competition, Mary Lou Retton
Mary Lou Retton
Mary Lou Retton is an American gymnast and Olympic gold medalist. She was the first female gymnast from outside Eastern Europe to win the Olympic all-around title, after 14 Eastern Bloc countries boycotted the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.-Personal life:Retton was born in Fairmont, West...

 (Rotunda) won the all-around gold medal in woman's gymnastics. Matt Biondi
Matt Biondi
Matthew Nicholas Biondi is a three-time U.S. Olympic swimmer in the 1984, 1988, and 1992 Summer Olympics, winning a total of 11 medals...

 won a total of 8 gold medals in Olympic swimming competition. Brian Boitano
Brian Boitano
Brian Anthony Boitano is an American figure skater from Sunnyvale, California. He is the 1988 Olympic champion, the 1986 and 1988 World Champion, and the 1985-1988 U.S. National Champion. He turned professional following the 1988 season...

 won a gold medal in men's singles figure skating. Linda Fratianne
Linda Fratianne
Linda Sue Fratianne is a former American Olympic figure skater who won four consecutive U.S. Championships .-Early career:...

 won a silver medal in woman's singles figure skating. Mike Eruzione was the captain of the 1980 olympic team that beat Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 in the Miracle on Ice
Miracle on Ice
The "Miracle on Ice" is the name in American popular culture for a medal-round men's ice hockey game during the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York, on Friday, February 22...

 game, in which he scored the winning goal, allowing the U.S. team to go on to win the gold medal.

In other diverse sports, Willie Mosconi
Willie Mosconi
William Joseph Mosconi , best known as Willie Mosconi, was an American professional pool player from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Between the years of 1941 and 1957, he won the World Straight Pool Championship an unmatched fifteen times. For most of the 20th century, his name was essentially...

 was a 15-time World Billiard champion; Eddie Arcaro
Eddie Arcaro
George Edward Arcaro , known professionally as Eddie Arcaro, was an American Thoroughbred horse racing Hall of Fame jockey who won more American classic races than any other jockey in history and is the only rider to have won the U.S. Triple Crown twice...

 was a 5-time Kentucky Derby winner; and Mario Andretti
Mario Andretti
Mario Gabriele Andretti is a retired Italian American world champion racing driver, one of the most successful Americans in the history of the sport. He is one of only two drivers to win races in Formula One, IndyCar, World Sportscar Championship and NASCAR...

 was a 3-time national race car champion.

Many Italian Americans actors became well known in movies and TV, such as: Don Ameche
Don Ameche
Don Ameche was an Academy Award winning American actor with a career spanning almost sixty years.-Personal life:...

, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Anne Bancroft
Anne Bancroft
Anne Bancroft was an American actress associated with the Method acting school, which she had studied under Lee Strasberg....

 (Anna Italiano), Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine is an American actor of television and film. His career has spanned more than six decades. He was an unconventional lead in many films of the 1950s, including his Academy Award-winning turn in the 1955 film Marty...

 (Ermes Borgnino), Robert Alda
Robert Alda
Robert Alda was an American actor. He was the father of actors Alan Alda and Antony Alda.-Life and career:...

, Alan Alda
Alan Alda
Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo , better known as Alan Alda, is an American actor, director, screenwriter, and author. A six-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner, he is best known for his role as Hawkeye Pierce in the TV series M*A*S*H...

, Lou Costello
Lou Costello
Louis Francis "Lou" Costello was an American actor and comedian best known as half of the comedy team of Abbott and Costello, with Bud Abbott...

, Frank Langella
Frank Langella
-Early life:Langella, an Italian American, was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, the son of Angelina and Frank A. Langella Sr., a business executive who was the president of the Bayonne Barrel and Drum Company. Langella attended Washington Elementary School and Bayonne High School in Bayonne...

, Frankie Avalon
Frankie Avalon
Frankie Avalon is an American actor, singer, playwright, and former teen idol.-Career:By the time he was 12, Avalon was on U.S. television playing his trumpet. As a teenager he played with Bobby Rydell in Rocco and the Saints...

 (Avallone), Annette Funicello
Annette Funicello
Annette Joanne Funicello is an American singer and actress. She was Walt Disney's most popular cast member of the original Mickey Mouse Club, and went on to appear in a series of beach party films.-Early life and early stardom:...

, James Darren
James Darren
James William Ercolani , known by his stage name James Darren, is an American television and film actor, television director, and singer.-Career:...

 (Ercolani), Jimmy Durante
Jimmy Durante
James Francis "Jimmy" Durante was an American singer, pianist, comedian and actor. His distinctive clipped gravelly speech, comic language butchery, jazz-influenced songs, and large nose helped make him one of America's most familiar and popular personalities of the 1920s through the 1970s...

, Anthony Franciosa
Anthony Franciosa
Anthony Franciosa was an American actor, usually billed as Tony Franciosa during the height of his career.-Early life:...

, Sal Mineo
Sal Mineo
Salvatore "Sal" Mineo, Jr. , was an American film and theatre actor, best known for his performance as John "Plato" Crawford opposite James Dean in the film Rebel Without a Cause...

, Ben Gazzara
Ben Gazzara
-Early life:Gazzara was born Biagio Anthony Gazzara in New York City, the son of Italian immigrants Angelina and Antonio Gazzara, who was a laborer and carpenter. Gazzara grew up on New York's tough Lower East Side. He actually lived on E. 29th Street and participated in the drama program at...

, Harry Guardino
Harry Guardino
Harry Guardino was an American actor whose career spanned from the early 1950s to the early 1990s. In 1964, he was cast in a short-lived CBS series entitled The Reporter, a drama about a hard-hitting investigative journalist named Danny Taylor. His principal co-star was Gary Merrill as city...

, Aldo Ray
Aldo Ray
Aldo Ray was an American actor.-Life and career:Ray was born in Pen Argyl, PA, to an Italian family of five brothers and one sister. His brother Mario lettered in football at USC in the years 1952-54...

 (DaRe), Richard Conte
Richard Conte
Richard Conte was an American actor. He appeared in numerous films from the 1940s through 1970s, including I'll Cry Tomorrow and The Godfather.-Life and career:...

, Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters is an American actress, singer and children's book author from Ozone Park, Queens, New York. Over the course of a career that has spanned five decades, she has starred in musical theatre, films and television, as well as performing in solo concerts and recordings...

 (Lazzara), Connie Stevens
Connie Stevens
Connie Stevens is an American actress and singer, best known for her roles in the television series Hawaiian Eye and other TV and film work.-Early life:...

 (Concetta Ingoglia), Richard Crenna
Richard Crenna
Richard Donald Crenna was an American motion picture, television, and radio actor and occasional television director. He starred in such motion pictures as The Sand Pebbles, Wait Until Dark, Body Heat, the first three Rambo movies, Hot Shots! Part Deux, and The Flamingo Kid...

, Dom DeLuise
Dom DeLuise
Dominick "Dom" DeLuise was an American actor, comedian, film director, television producer, chef, and author. He was the husband of actress Carol Arthur from 1965 until his death and the father of: actor, director, pianist, and writer Peter DeLuise; actor David DeLuise; and actor Michael DeLuise...

, Armand Assante
Armand Assante
-Personal life:Assante was born in New York City and raised in Cornwall, New York, the son of Katherine , a music teacher and poet, and Armand Anthony Assante, Sr., a painter and artist. His father was Italian and his mother was Irish, and was raised in a devoutly Roman Catholic family...

, Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon is an American actress. She has worked in films and television since 1969, and won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1995 film Dead Man Walking. She had also been nominated for the award for four films before that and has received other recognition for her...

, Danny De Vito, Joe Mantegna
Joe Mantegna
Joseph Anthony "Joe" Mantegna, Jr. is an American actor, producer, writer,director, and voice actor. He is best known for his roles in box office hits such as Three Amigos , The Godfather Part III , Forget Paris , and Up Close & Personal...

, John Travolta
John Travolta
John Joseph Travolta is an American actor, dancer and singer. Travolta first became known in the 1970s, after appearing on the television series Welcome Back, Kotter and starring in the box office successes Saturday Night Fever and Grease...

, Tony Danza
Tony Danza
Tony Danza is an American actor best known for starring on the TV series Taxi and Who's the Boss?, for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award and four Golden Globe Awards...

, Alyssa Milano
Alyssa Milano
Alyssa Jayne Milano is an American actress and former singer, known for her childhood role as Samantha Micelli in the sitcom Who's the Boss? and an eight-year stint as Phoebe Halliwell on the series Charmed. She was also a series regular on the original Melrose Place portraying the role of...

, Paul Sorvino
Paul Sorvino
Paul Anthony Sorvino is an American actor. He often portrays authority figures on both sides of the law, and is possibly best known for his roles as Paulie Cicero, a portrayal of Paul Vario in the film Goodfellas and Sgt. Phil Cerreta on the police procedural and legal drama television series Law...

, Mira Sorvino
Mira Sorvino
Mira Katherine Sorvino is an American actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Mighty Aphrodite and is also known for her role as Romy White in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.- Early life :Sorvino was born in Tenafly, New Jersey...

, Al Pacino
Al Pacino
Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American film and stage actor and director. He is famous for playing mobsters, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, Tony Montana in Scarface, Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice in Dick Tracy and Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way, though he has also appeared...

, Liza Minelli, Rene Russo
Rene Russo
- Early life :Russo was born in Burbank, California, the daughter of Shirley , a factory worker and barmaid, and Nino Russo, a sculptor and car mechanic who left the family when Rene was two. Her father and maternal grandfather were of Italian descent. Russo grew up with her sister, Toni, and their...

, Leonardo di Caprio, Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro, Jr. is an American actor, director and producer. His first major film roles were in Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, both in 1973...

, Joe Pesci
Joe Pesci
Joseph Frank "Joe" Pesci is an American actor, comedian, and musician.He is known for playing a variety of different roles, from violent mobsters to comedic leads to quirky sidekicks...

, Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage is an American actor, producer and director, having appeared in over 60 films including Raising Arizona , The Rock , Face/Off , Gone in 60 Seconds , Adaptation , National Treasure , Ghost Rider , Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans , and...

 (Coppola), Stanley Tucci
Stanley Tucci
Stanley Tucci is an American actor, writer, film producer and film director. He has been nominated for several notable film awards, including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his performance in The Lovely Bones...

, Marissa Tomei, John Turturro
John Turturro
John Michael Turturro is an American actor, writer and director known for his roles in the films Do the Right Thing , Miller's Crossing , Barton Fink , Quiz Show , The Big Lebowski , O Brother, Where Art Thou? and the Transformers film series...

 and Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone
Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone , commonly known as Sylvester Stallone, and nicknamed Sly Stallone, is an American actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, film director and occasional painter. Stallone is known for his machismo and Hollywood action roles. Two of the notable characters he has portrayed...

.

Italian Americans were highly successful movie directors. Frank Capra
Frank Capra
Frank Russell Capra was a Sicilian-born American film director. He emigrated to the U.S. when he was six, and eventually became a creative force behind major award-winning films during the 1930s and 1940s...

 directed the classic movie It's a Wonderful Life
It's a Wonderful Life
It's a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra and based on the short story "The Greatest Gift" written by Philip Van Doren Stern....

 in 1946. Vincente Minelli directed a number of major box-office successes, including Gigi
Gigi
Gigi is a 1944 novella by French writer Colette. The plot focuses on a young Parisian girl being groomed for a career as a courtesan and her relationship with the wealthy cultured man named Gaston who falls in love with her and eventually marries her....

 and An American in Paris
An American in Paris
An American in Paris is a symphonic tone poem by the American composer George Gershwin, written in 1928. Inspired by the time Gershwin had spent in Paris, it evokes the sights and energy of the French capital in the 1920s. It is one of Gershwin's best-known compositions.Gershwin composed the piece...

. Later in the century a new generation of directors arose, three of which - Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He is widely acclaimed as one of Hollywood's most innovative and influential film directors...

, Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

 and Michael Cimino
Michael Cimino
Michael Cimino is an American film director, screenwriter, producer and author. He is best known for writing and directing Academy Award-winning The Deer Hunter and the infamous Heaven's Gate. His films are characterized by their striking visual style and controversial subject...

 - became Academy Award winners.

Italian Americans founded a number of well known business enterprises, including: Barnes and Noble, Tropicana Juices, Zamboni
Frank Zamboni
Frank Joseph Zamboni, Jr. was a U.S. inventor whose most famous invention is the modern ice resurfacer, with his surname becoming a generic colloquialism and trademark for these resurfacers.-Biography:...

, Transamerica
Transamerica Corporation
Transamerica Corporation is a holding company for various life insurance companies and investment firms doing business primarily in the United States. It was acquired by the Dutch financial services conglomerate AEGON in 1999.-History:...

, Subway
Subway (restaurant)
Subway is an American restaurant franchise that primarily sells submarine sandwiches and salads. It is owned and operated by Doctor's Associates, Inc. . Subway is one of the fastest growing franchises in the world with 35,519 restaurants in 98 countries and territories as of October 25th, 2011...

, Blimpie
Blimpie
Blimpie is a submarine sandwich chain in the United States. The company is based in Scottsdale, Arizona.The first Blimpie store was opened in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1964. . By mid-2002, there were about 2,000 Blimpie outlets in operation, located in 47 U.S...

, Castro Convertibles, Prince Pasta, American Italian Pasta Company
American Italian Pasta Company
American Italian Pasta Company is a pasta manufacturing company with corporate offices in Kansas City, Missouri and plants in Excelsior Springs, Missouri; Columbia, South Carolina; Tolleson, Arizona and Verolanuova, Italy...

, Mr. Coffee
Mr. Coffee
Mr. Coffee is a registered trademark of Sunbeam Products, Inc. d/b/a Jarden Consumer Solutions. The Mr. Coffee brand manufactures automatic-drip kitchen coffee machines as well as other products.-History:...

, Conair Beauty Products, and the Macaroni Grill and Carrabba's Italian Grill
Carrabba's Italian Grill
Carrabba's Italian Grill is a chain of over 200 Italian restaurants in 27 U.S. states. Its headquarters are located in Tampa, Florida.-History:...

 restaurant chains. Other enterprises founded by Italian Americans were Fairleigh Dickinson University
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Fairleigh Dickinson University is a private university founded as a junior college in 1942. It now has several campuses located in New Jersey, Canada, and the United Kingdom.-Description:...

, and the Syracuse Nationals
Syracuse Nationals
The Syracuse Nationals were an American professional basketball team that existed from 1946 to 1963 as part of the National Basketball League and National Basketball Association . They are currently known as the Philadelphia 76ers, and are the NBA's oldest continued franchise.The team began in...

 basketball team - later to become the Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers are a professional basketball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . Originally known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA...

.


Italians continued to immigrate after the war, and an estimated 600,000 arrived in the United States in the post-war decades. Many were well educated men and women who had come seeking greater opportunities in their chosen fields. Among these were four who were destined to become Noble Prize laureates: Salvatore Luria, Renato Dulbecco
Renato Dulbecco
Renato Dulbecco is an Italian virologist who won a 1975 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on reverse transcriptase. In 1973 he was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University together with Theodore Puck and Harry Eagle. Dulbecco was the recipient of the Selman A...

, Rita Levi-Montalcini
Rita Levi-Montalcini
Rita Levi-Montalcini , Knight Grand Cross is an Italian neurologist who, together with colleague Stanley Cohen, received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of nerve growth factor...

 and Riccardo Giacconi
Riccardo Giacconi
Riccardo Giacconi is an Italian/American Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist who laid the foundations of X-ray astronomy. He is currently a professor at the Johns Hopkins University.- Biography :...

.

Contemporary period

Within a century of the period of peak immigration, Italian Americans had achieved education, employment and income parity with Americans in general. They had excelled in all fields of endeavor, and had made substantial contributions in virtually all areas of American life and culture:
Italian Americans served with distinction in all of America's wars. Thirty had been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the most recent being Salvatore Giunta
Salvatore Giunta
Salvatore Giunta is a retired Italian football player who played for, among others, AC Milan and Albacete Balompié, as well as the Italian under-21 side.Giunta played for AS Cannes in French Ligue 2 during the 1998-99 season....

 for service in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. A number of Italian Americans were serving as top-ranking generals in the Army, including Anthony Zinni
Anthony Zinni
Anthony Charles Zinni is a retired four-star General in the United States Marine Corps and a former Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command...

, Raymond Odierno, Carl Vuono and Peter Pace
Peter Pace
Peter Pace is a retired United States Marine Corps general who served as the 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first Marine appointed to the United States' highest-ranking military office. Appointed by President George W. Bush, Pace succeeded U.S. Air Force General Richard Myers on...

, the latter three having also been appointed Army Chief of Staff
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
The Chief of Staff of the Army is a statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Army, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army, and as such is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Army; and is in...

.

Over two dozen of Italian descent had been elected as state governors, most recently Paul Cellucci
Paul Cellucci
Argeo Paul Cellucci is an American politician and diplomat who served as the 69th Governor of Massachusetts and US Ambassador to Canada.-Early life and career:...

 of Massachusetts, John Baldacci
John Baldacci
John Elias Baldacci is an American politician who served as the 73rd Governor of the U.S. state of Maine from 2003 until 2011. A Democrat, he also served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003....

 of Maine, Janet Napolitano
Janet Napolitano
Janet Napolitano is the third and current United States Secretary of Homeland Security, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama. She is the fourth person to hold the position, which was created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A member of the Democratic Party, she was the 21st...

 of Arizona, Donald Carcieri
Donald Carcieri
Donald L. "Don" Carcieri was the 73rd Governor of the U.S. state of Rhode Island. Carcieri has had a varied vocational background, having worked as a manufacturing company executive, aid relief worker, bank executive and teacher.-Personal background:...

 of Rhode Island, Joseph Manchin of West Virginia, Chris Christie of New Jersey, and Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Mark Cuomo is the 56th and current Governor of New York, having assumed office on January 1, 2011. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the 64th New York State Attorney General, and was the 11th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development...

 of New York.

A score or more Italian Americans, beginning with Charles Bonaparte in the Teddy Roosevelt administration, and continuing with Leon Panetta
Leon Panetta
Leon Edward Panetta is the 23rd and current United States Secretary of Defense, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama since 2011. Prior to taking office, he served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency...

 and Janet Napolitano in the Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 administration, had been appointed to Cabinet positions. John Podesta
John Podesta
John David Podesta was the fourth and final White House Chief of Staff under President Bill Clinton, from 1998 until 2001. He is the president of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington, D.C., and is also a Visiting Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law...

 and Leon Panetta had served in the capacity of White House Chief of Staff
White House Chief of Staff
The White House Chief of Staff is the highest ranking member of the Executive Office of the President of the United States and a senior aide to the President.The current White House Chief of Staff is Bill Daley.-History:...

.

At the close of the 20th century, 31 men and woman of Italian descent were serving in the U.S. Congress and Senate – including Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and served as the 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011...

, who was the first woman in American history to become Speaker of the House.

Two Italian Americans, Antonin Scalia
Antonin Scalia
Antonin Gregory Scalia is an American jurist who serves as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. As the longest-serving justice on the Court, Scalia is the Senior Associate Justice...

 and Samuel Alito
Samuel Alito
Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. is an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was nominated by President George W. Bush and has served on the court since January 31, 2006....

, were serving as U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 justices.

Over two dozen Italian Americans were serving in the Catholic Church as bishops. Four - Joseph Bernardin, Justin Rigali, Anthony Bevilacqua and Daniel DiNardo
Daniel DiNardo
Daniel Nicholas DiNardo is an American cardinal of the Catholic Church. He is the second and current Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, serving since 2006. He previously served as Bishop of Sioux City from 1998 to 2004....

 - had been elevated to Cardinals.

Italian Americans were responsible for major breakthroughs in engineering, medicine and science. Federico Faggin
Federico Faggin
Federico Faggin , who received in 2010 the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by Barack Obama, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists, engineers, and inventors, at the White House in Washington, is an Italian-born and naturalized U.S...

 developed the first micro-chip and micro-processor; Robert Gallo
Robert Gallo
Robert Charles Gallo is an American biomedical researcher. He is best known for his role in the discovery of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus , the infectious agent responsible for the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome , and he has been a major contributor to subsequent HIV research.Gallo is the...

 led research that identified a cancer-causing virus, and also the AIDS virus; Anthony Fauci
Anthony Fauci
Anthony S. Fauci is an immunologist who has made substantial contributions to research in the areas of AIDS and other immunodeficiencies, both as a scientist and as the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases .-Education and career:Anthony Stephen Fauci was born on...

 conducted significant research that led to the discovery of the AIDS virus; Riccardo Giacconi developed the X-ray telecope; and Enrico Fermi ushered in the nuclear age.

At the close of the 20th century, according to the National Italian American Foundation
National Italian American Foundation
The National Italian American Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, educational foundation that promotes Italian American culture and heritage...

, 82 of the 1,000 largest cities had mayors of Italian descent, and 166 college and university presidents were of Italian descent.

Eight Italian Americans (including a woman) have gone into space as astronauts: Dominic Antonelli
Dominic Antonelli
Dominic Antonelli may refer to:*Dominic A. Antonelli NASA Astronaut*Dominic F. Antonelli D.C. Developer partner Kingdon Gould, Jr....

, Charles Camarda, Michael Massimino, Richard Mastracchio
Richard Mastracchio
Richard Alan "Rick" Mastracchio is an American engineer and a NASA astronaut. He has flown on three NASA Space Shuttle missions as a mission specialist...

, Ronald Parise, Mario Runco, Albert Sacco
Albert Sacco
Albert Sacco, Jr. is an American chemical engineer who flew as a Payload Specialist on the Space Shuttle Columbia on shuttle mission STS-73 in 1995....

 and Nicole Marie Passonno Stott.

Americans of Italian descent were well known television personalities. Talk-show hosts included Jay Leno
Jay Leno
James Douglas Muir "Jay" Leno is an American stand-up comedian and television host.From 1992 to 2009, Leno was the host of NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Beginning in September 2009, Leno started a primetime talk show, titled The Jay Leno Show, which aired weeknights at 10:00 p.m. ,...

, Kelly Ripa
Kelly Ripa
Kelly Ripa is an American actress and television host. Since February 2001, she has served as the co-host of talk show Live with Regis and Kelly, along with Regis Philbin and now solo host of Live! With Kelly...

 and Joy Behar
Joy Behar
Josephina Victoria "Joy" Behar is an American comedian, writer, actress, and a co-host of the talk show The View. Behar has a commentary program, entitled The Joy Behar Show, on CNN's sister network, HLN...

 (Josephina Victoria Occhiuto). Current-affairs and financial- show hosts included Maria Bartiromo
Maria Bartiromo
Maria Bartiromo is an American television journalist, magazine columnist and author of three books. Bartiromo is a native of New York and attended New York University. She worked at CNN for five years before joining CNBC television...

, Neil Cavuto
Neil Cavuto
Neil Patrick Cavuto is an American television anchor and commentator on the Fox Business Network and host of three television programs, Your World with Neil Cavuto and Cavuto on Business, both on the Fox News Channel and Cavuto on sister channel Fox Business Network.Cavuto also tapes a nightly...

, Andrew Napolitano
Andrew Napolitano
Andrew Paolo Napolitano is a former New Jersey Superior Court Judge and now a political and legal analyst for Fox News Channel. Napolitano started on the channel in 1998, and currently serves as the network's senior judicial analyst, commenting on legal news and trials...

 and Charles Gasparino.

Italian Americans had changed the eating habits of America. An increasing number of Italian dishes were becoming known and enjoyed. Italian American TV personalities, such as Mario Batali
Mario Batali
Mario Batali is an American chef, writer, restaurateur and media personality. In addition to his classical culinary training, he is an expert on the history and culture of Italian cuisine, including regional and local variations. Batali co-owns restaurants in New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles,...

, Giada DeLaurentiis, Rachel Ray and Lidia Bastianich
Lidia Bastianich
Lidia Matticchio Bastianich is an American chef, author, and restaurateur....

 were hosting popular cooking shows featuring Italian cuisine.


In less than a century, Italian Americans had risen into the highest ranks of politics, the judiciary, business, the professions, the military and the Catholic hierarchy. They were counted among the country's best known sports and entertainment figures.

Politics

In the 1930s, Italian Americans voted heavily Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

.
Since 1968, voters have split about evenly between the Democratic (37%) and the Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 (36%) parties. The U.S. Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 includes Italian Americans who are leaders in both the Republican and Democratic parties. The highest ranking Italian American politician is currently Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and served as the 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011...

 (D-CA), who became the first woman and Italian American Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, or Speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives...

. Former Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani
Rudolph William Louis "Rudy" Giuliani KBE is an American lawyer, businessman, and politician from New York. He served as Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001....

 was a candidate for the U.S. presidency in the 2008 election
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

, as was Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo
Tom Tancredo
Thomas Gerard "Tom" Tancredo is an American politician from Colorado, who represented the state's sixth congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1999 to 2009, as a Republican...

. Geraldine Ferraro
Geraldine Ferraro
Geraldine Anne Ferraro was an American attorney, a Democratic Party politician, and a member of the United States House of Representatives. She was the first female Vice Presidential candidate representing a major American political party....

 was the first woman on a major party ticket, running for Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 as a Democrat in 1984. Two of the justices of the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

Antonin Scalia
Antonin Scalia
Antonin Gregory Scalia is an American jurist who serves as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. As the longest-serving justice on the Court, Scalia is the Senior Associate Justice...

 and Samuel Alito
Samuel Alito
Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. is an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was nominated by President George W. Bush and has served on the court since January 31, 2006....

—are Italian-Americans, appointed by Republican presidents. Both are members of the conservative wing of the court, along with Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts. The family name of Jill Jacobs Biden
Jill Biden
Jill Tracy Biden is an American educator and, as the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, is the Second Lady of the United States....

, the Second Lady, was originally Giacoppa.

The Italian American Congressional Delegation
Italian American Congressional Delegation
- The Italian American Congressional Delegation :The bi-cameral and bi-partisan Italian American Congressional Delegation is composed of nearly 200 Members of Congress: twenty-nine who trace their ancestry to Italy and more than 150 Associate IACD Members who, although not Italian American, have...

 currently includes 30 members of Congress who are of Italian descent. They are joined by more than 150 associate members, who are not Italian American but have large Italian American constituencies. Since its founding in 1975, the National Italian American Foundation
National Italian American Foundation
The National Italian American Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, educational foundation that promotes Italian American culture and heritage...

 (NIAF) has worked closely with the bicameral and bipartisan Italian American Congressional Delegation, which is led by co-chairs Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey and Rep. Pat Tiberi
Pat Tiberi
Patrick Joseph "Pat" Tiberi is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2001. He is a member of the Republican Party...

 of Ohio.

The NIAF hosts a variety of public policy programs, contributing to public discourse on timely policy issues facing the nation and the world. These events are held on Capitol Hill and other locations under the auspices of NIAF's Frank J. Guarini Public Policy Forum and its sister program, the NIAF Public Policy Lecture Series. NIAF's 2009 public policy programs on Capitol Hill featured prominent Italians and Italian Americans as keynote speakers, including Leon Panetta
Leon Panetta
Leon Edward Panetta is the 23rd and current United States Secretary of Defense, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama since 2011. Prior to taking office, he served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency...

, Director of the CIA
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

, and Franco Frattini, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of Italy.

By the 1890s Italian Americans in New York City were mobilizing as a political force. They helped elect Fiorello La Guardia (a Republican) as mayor in 1933, and helped reelect him in 1937, and 1941. They rallied for Vincent R. Impellitteri
Vincent R. Impellitteri
Vincent Richard Impellitteri was an American politician, who served as the 101st Mayor of New York City.-Biography:He was born in Isnello, Sicily, and moved with his family to the United States as an infant in 1901...

 (a Democrat) in 1950, and Rudolph W. Giuliani (a Republican) in 1989 (when he lost), and in 1993 and 1997 (when he won). All three Italian Americans aggressively fought to reduce crime in the city; each was known for his good relations with the city's powerful labor unions. La Guardia and Giuliani have the reputation among specialists on urban politics as two of the best mayors in American history.

Business and economy

Italian-Americans have served an important role in the economy of the United States, and have founded companies of great national prominence, such as Bank of America (by Amadeo Giannini
Amadeo Giannini
Amadeo Pietro Giannini, also known as Amadeo Peter Giannini or A.P. Giannini , born in San Jose, California, was the American founder of Bank of America.-Biography:...

 in 1904), and many companies that have contributed to the local culture and character of U.S. cities, such as Petrini's Markets
Petrini's
The Petrini's market chain was established in San Francisco and run as a family owned business until 1989, when it was sold to a large corporation, Provigo. The markets were widely known for having the finest meat in the San Francisco area, and the marketing strategies employed at the stores are...

 (founded by Frank Petrini in 1935), among many others. Italian-Americans have also made important contributions to the growth of the U.S. economy through their business expertise, such as the management of the Ford Motor Company and Chrysler
Chrysler
Chrysler Group LLC is a multinational automaker headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA. Chrysler was first organized as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925....

 Corporation by Lee Iacocca
Lee Iacocca
Lido Anthony "Lee" Iacocca is an American businessman known for engineering the Mustang, the unsuccessful Ford Pinto, being fired from Ford Motor Company, and his revival of the Chrysler Corporation in the 1980s...

.

Workers

About two thirds of America's Italian immigrants arrived during 1900-24. Having little education and industrial skills, most became unskilled laborers heavily concentrated in the cities. While 71% of the second-generation men had blue collar
Blue-collar worker
A blue-collar worker is a member of the working class who performs manual labor. Blue-collar work may involve skilled or unskilled, manufacturing, mining, construction, mechanical, maintenance, technical installation and many other types of physical work...

 jobs, the proportion was down to 52% in the third generation, according to surveys in 1963. The 1970 census revealed, however, that those under age 45 had achieved a level of education comparable to the national average. By 1990, according to the U.S. census, more than 65% of Italian Americans were employed as managerial, professional, or white-collar workers. Italian-Americans today are among America's highest paid workers, with a median annual income of $61,300 .

Women

Many in the early Italian communities were poor, but married women typically avoided factory work and chose home-based economic activities such as dressmaking, taking in boarders, and operating small shops in their homes or neighborhoods. Italian neighborhoods also proved attractive to midwives
Midwifery
Midwifery is a health care profession in which providers offer care to childbearing women during pregnancy, labour and birth, and during the postpartum period. They also help care for the newborn and assist the mother with breastfeeding....

, women who trained in Italy before seeking work in America. Unlike shopkeepers or factory workers, midwives largely chose careers before leaving Italy, and shaped their lives around work rather than their work around their lives.

Italian women fared better in western cities like Denver and San Francisco than did their compatriots in eastern urban centers. Italian women in the first two generations stayed largely within the Little Italies. Married women worked within their homes or in family-owned businesses, while single women held jobs in light industry, but often only temporarily. In the third generation, women who came of age during the 1940s-1950s, opportunities expanded as women gradually were accepted in the workplace and as entrepreneurs. Third-generation women also had much better job opportunities because they had a high school or college education and were willing to leave the Little Italies and commute to work.

Culture

Most Italian Americans have assumed a mainstream American identity. Erik Amfitheatrof observed in 1973 that, "The children of the Italian immigrants no longer feel Italian. They are American. In shedding a sense of apartness from American life, they have also relinquished their once-powerful emotional associations with a remote Italian world...." Most immigrants arrived from Italy by 1914, so most can trace multiple generations in the new country. Many have inter-married with other ethnic groups. They are well represented in all fields of endeavor. Many Italian Americans still retain aspects of their culture. This includes Italian food, drink
Italian-American cuisine
Italian American cuisine is the cuisine of Italian American immigrants and their descendents, who have modified Italian cuisine under the influence of American culture and immigration patterns of Italians to the United States...

, art, annual Italian American festivals, and a strong commitment to family, including extended family. Italian Americans influenced popular music, especially in the 1940s and '50's, and continuing into the present, one of their major contributions to American culture. Additionally, the National Italian American Foundation
National Italian American Foundation
The National Italian American Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, educational foundation that promotes Italian American culture and heritage...

 (NIAF) – a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. – works to represent Italian Americans, spread knowledge of the Italian language, foster U.S./Italy relations and connect the greater Italian American community.

Literature

A large and growing number of Italian American authors are having success getting their works publishing in America. Some of the authors who have written about the Italian American experience are Pietro Di Donato
Pietro Di Donato
Pietro Di Donato was an American writer and bricklayer best known for his novel, Christ in Concrete, which recounts of the life and times of his bricklayer father, Geremio, who was killed in 1923 in a building collapse...

; Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti is an American poet, painter, liberal activist, and the co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers...

; Dana Gioia
Dana Gioia
-Poetry:It was as a poet that Gioia first began to attract widespread attention in the early 1980s, with frequent appearances in The Hudson Review, Poetry, and The New Yorker. In the same period, he published a number of essays and book reviews...

, Executive Director of the National Endowment for the Arts; John Fusco
John Fusco
John Fusco is an American screenwriter born in Waterbury, Connecticut, USA. His screenplays include Crossroads, Young Guns, Young Guns II, Thunderheart, Hidalgo, and the Oscar-nominatedSpirit: Stallion of the Cimarron...

, author of Paradise Salvage; and Daniela Gioseffi
Daniela Gioseffi
Daniela Gioseffi is a poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and performer who won the American Book Award in 1990 for Women on War; International Writings from Antiquity to the Present...

, winner of the John Ciardi Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry and The American Book Award. Poets Sandra (Mortola) Gilbert and Kim Addonizio were also winner of the award from Italian Americana, Vol. 19, no. 1 and Vol. 21, no. 2, respectively; and Helen Barolini
Helen Barolini
Helen Barolini is an American author, born in Syracuse, New York. She married Antonio Barolini, an Italian poet, and lives outside New York City.She has been included in Best American Essays for 1991 and 1993...

, author of The Dream Book, a collection of Italian American women's writings. Several of these herein mentioned Italian American women writers and editors are American Book Award
American Book Award
The American Book Award was established in 1978 by the Before Columbus Foundation. It seeks to recognize outstanding literary achievement by contemporary American authors, without restriction to race, sex, ethnic background, or genre...

 winners and pioneers of Italian American writing, as is poet Maria Mazziotti Gillan. These women have authored many books depicting Italian American women in a new light. Helen Barolini
Helen Barolini
Helen Barolini is an American author, born in Syracuse, New York. She married Antonio Barolini, an Italian poet, and lives outside New York City.She has been included in Best American Essays for 1991 and 1993...

's The Dream Book: An Anthology of Writings by Italian American Women (1985) was the first anthology that pulled together the historic range of writing from the late 19th century to the 1980s. It exhibited the wealth of fiction, poetry, essays, and letters, and paid special attention to the interaction of Italian American women with American social activism.

A scholarly literature has also emerged that critiques the literary output. Common themes include conflicts between marginal Italian American and mainstream culture, and tradition-bound immigrant parents opposed by their more assimilated children. Mary Jo Bona (1999) provided the first full-length scholarly analysis of the literary tradition. She is especially interested in showing how authors portrayed the many configurations of family relationships, from the early immigrant narratives of journeying to a new world, through novels that stress intergenerational conflicts, to contemporary works about the struggle of modern women to form nontraditional gender roles.

Among the scholars who have led the renaissance in Italian American literature are professors Richard Gambino, Anthony Julian Tamburri
Anthony Julian Tamburri
Anthony Julian Tamburri is Dean of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute of Queens College/CUNY and Professor of Italian & Italian/American Studies...

, Paolo Giordano
Paolo Giordano
Paolo Giordano is an Italian writer who won the Premio Strega literary award with his first novel The Solitude of Prime Numbers.- Biography :...

, and Fred Gardaphe. The latter three founded Bordighera Press and edited From the Margin, An Anthology of Italian American Writing, Purdue University Press. These men, along with academics like novelist and accomplished critic, Dr. Josephine Gattuso Hendin
Josephine Gattuso Hendin
Josephine Gattuso Hendin is an Italian American feminist novelist and critic.-Life:She grew up in Queens and now lives in Manhattan....

 of New York University
New York University
New York University is a private, nonsectarian research university based in New York City. NYU's main campus is situated in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan...

, have taught Italian American studies at such institutions as the City University of New York
City University of New York
The City University of New York is the public university system of New York City, with its administrative offices in Yorkville in Manhattan. It is the largest urban university in the United States, consisting of 23 institutions: 11 senior colleges, six community colleges, the William E...

, John D. Calandra Institute, Queens College (CUNY)
Queens College, City University of New York
Queens College, located in Flushing, Queens, New York City, is one of the senior colleges of the City University of New York. It is also the fifth oldest of the City University's twenty-three institutions of higher learning. The college's seventy seven acre campus is located in the heart of the...

, and Stony Brook University, as well as Brooklyn College
Brooklyn College
Brooklyn College is a senior college of the City University of New York, located in Brooklyn, New York, United States.Established in 1930 by the New York City Board of Higher Education, the College had its beginnings as the Downtown Brooklyn branches of Hunter College and the City College of New...

, where Dr. Robert Viscusi founded the Italian American Writers Association, and is an author and American Book Award winner, himself.
As a result of the efforts of magazines like VIA: Voices in Italian Americana, "Ambassador", a publication of the National Italian American Foundation and Italian Americana, edited by Carol Bonomo Albright, and numerous authors young and old, as well as early immigrant pioneer writers like poet Emanuel Carnevali ("Furnished Rooms") and novelist Pietro DiDonato, author of Christ in Concrete, Italian Americans have been reading more works of their own writers. A supplemental website at www.italianamericana.com to the journal "Italian Americana", edited by novelist Christine Palamidessi Moore, also offers historical articles, stories, memoirs, poetry, and book reviews. A growing number of books about the Italian American experience are published each year. Famed authors such as Don DeLillo
Don DeLillo
Don DeLillo is an American author, playwright, and occasional essayist whose work paints a detailed portrait of American life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries...

, Giannina Braschi
Giannina Braschi
Giannina Braschi is a Puerto Rican writer. She is credited with writing the first Spanglish novel YO-YO BOING! and the poetry trilogy Empire of Dreams , which chronicles the Latin American immigrant's experiences in the United States...

, Gilbert Sorrentino
Gilbert Sorrentino
Gilbert Sorrentino was an American novelist, short story writer, poet, literary critic, and editor.In over twenty-five works of fiction and poetry, Sorrentino explored the comic and formal possibilities of language and literature...

, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti is an American poet, painter, liberal activist, and the co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers...

, Gay Talese
Gay Talese
Gay Talese is an American author. He wrote for The New York Times in the early 1960s and helped to define literary journalism...

, John Fante
John Fante
John Fante was an American novelist, short story writer and screenwriter of Italian descent. He is perhaps best known for his work, Ask the Dust, a semi-autobiograpical novel about life in and around Los Angeles, California, which was the third in a series of four novels, published between 1938...

 Tina DeRosa, Daniela Gioseffi
Daniela Gioseffi
Daniela Gioseffi is a poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and performer who won the American Book Award in 1990 for Women on War; International Writings from Antiquity to the Present...

, Kim Addonizio
Kim Addonizio
Kim Addonizio is an award-winning American poet and novelist.-Life:Addonizio is the daughter of tennis champion Pauline Betz and sports writer Bob Addie....

 and Dana Gioia
Dana Gioia
-Poetry:It was as a poet that Gioia first began to attract widespread attention in the early 1980s, with frequent appearances in The Hudson Review, Poetry, and The New Yorker. In the same period, he published a number of essays and book reviews...

 have broken into mainstream American literature and publishing. Many of these authors' books and writings are easily found on the internet, as for example on an archive of Contemporary Italian American authors always in-progress edited by American Book Award winning author, Daniela Gioseffi
Daniela Gioseffi
Daniela Gioseffi is a poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and performer who won the American Book Award in 1990 for Women on War; International Writings from Antiquity to the Present...

, as well as in bibliographies online at Stonybrook University's Italian American Studies Department in New York, or at the Italian American Writers Association website. Dana Gioia was Poetry Editor of Italian Americana from 1993 to 2003. He initiated an educational series in which a featured poet talked about his/her work with poet Kim Addonizio as his first Featured Poet selection. Poet Michael Palma continues Dana Gioia's work in the journal. He also selects poems for Italian Americanas webpage supplement. Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti is an American poet, painter, liberal activist, and the co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers...

, Daniela Gioseffi
Daniela Gioseffi
Daniela Gioseffi is a poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and performer who won the American Book Award in 1990 for Women on War; International Writings from Antiquity to the Present...

 and Paul Mariani
Paul Mariani
Paul Mariani is an American poet and a professor at Boston College. He grew up on Long Island, the eldest of seven children...

, are among the widely and internationally published authors who have been awarded The John Ciardi Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry by Italian Americana during Michael Palma's tenure as Poetry Editor. Daniela Gioseffi
Daniela Gioseffi
Daniela Gioseffi is a poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and performer who won the American Book Award in 1990 for Women on War; International Writings from Antiquity to the Present...

 with Alfredo De Palchi founded The Annual $2000 Bordighera Poetry Prize to further the names of Italian American Poets in American literature. As of 1997, twelve books have been published in the bilingual series from Bordighera Press .

Italian Americans have written not only about the Italian American experience but, indeed, the human experience. Some of the most popular inspirational books have been authored by Italian Americans - notably, those of Og Mandino
Og Mandino
Augustine "Og" Mandino II was an American author. He wrote the bestselling book The Greatest Salesman in the World. His books have sold over 50 million copies and have been translated into over twenty-five different languages...

, Max Lucado
Max Lucado
Max Lucado is a best-selling author and writer and preacher at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas...

, Leo Buscaglia
Leo Buscaglia
Felice Leonardo "Leo" Buscaglia Ph.D. , also known as "Dr Love," was an author and motivational speaker, and a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Southern California.-Biography:...

 and Antoinette Bosco. Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo
Mario Gianluigi Puzo was an American author and screenwriter, known for his novels about the Mafia, including The Godfather , which he later co-adapted into a film by Francis Ford Coppola...

's first novel, The Fortunate Pilgrim, was a highly inspiration treatment of the immigrant experience, which was widely reviewed as being well crafted, moving and poetic. Puzo considered it to be his best work. The Right Thing to Do, by Josephine Gattuso Hendin
Josephine Gattuso Hendin
Josephine Gattuso Hendin is an Italian American feminist novelist and critic.-Life:She grew up in Queens and now lives in Manhattan....

, is an iconic inspirational novel for Italian American women. A series of inspirational books for children has been written by Tomie dePaola
Tomie dePaola
Thomas Anthony "Tomie A." dePaola , is an American author and illustrator of over 200 children's books, including Caldecott Honor book Strega Nona and Newbery Honor book 26 Fairmount Avenue. DePaola was awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal in 2011.-Biography:DePaola was born in Meriden,...

. Contemporary best-selling fiction writers include David Baldacci
David Baldacci
David Baldacci is a bestselling American novelist.-Biography:Baldacci received a B.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University and a law degree from the University of Virginia. As a student, Baldacci wrote short stories in his spare time, and later practiced law for nine years near Washington, D.C....

, Kate DiCamillo
Kate DiCamillo
Katrina Elizabeth "Kate" DiCamillo is an American children's author. She is known for the Newbery Medal-winning book The Tale of Despereaux, the Newbery Honor book Because of Winn-Dixie, and the Mercy Watson series, plus numerous other award-winning and honored books.-Early life:Born in...

, Adriana Trigiani
Adriana Trigiani
Adriana Trigiani is an American novelist, television writer, producer and film director.-Career:Trigiani grew up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia and attended Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She was a writer for The Cosby Show and its spin-off series A Different World before beginning on...

 and Lisa Scottoline
Lisa Scottoline
Lisa Scottoline is an American author of legal thrillers. Her novels have been translated into 25 languages.Scottoline was born in Philadelphia and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a degree in English. In 1981, she received a Juris Doctorate from the...

.

Religion

The vast majority of the Italian Americans are Catholics, at least nominally. Four hundred Italian Jesuit priests left Italy for the American West between 1848-1919. Most of these Jesuits left their homeland involuntarily, expelled by Italian nationalists in the successive waves of Italian unification that dominated Italy. When they came to the West, they ministered to Indians in the Northwest, Irish-Americans in San Francisco and Mexican Americans in the South West; they also ran the nation's most influential Catholic seminary, in Woodstock, Md. In addition to their pastoral work, they founded numerous high schools and colleges, including Regis University
Regis University
Regis University is a private, co-educational Roman Catholic, Jesuit university in the United States. Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1877, it is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities...

, Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University is a private, not-for-profit, Jesuit-affiliated university located in Santa Clara, California, United States. Chartered by the state of California and accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, it operates in collaboration with the Society of Jesus , whose...

, the University of San Francisco
University of San Francisco
The University of San Francisco , is a private, Jesuit/Catholic university located in San Francisco, California. Founded in 1855, USF was established as the first university in San Francisco. It is the second oldest institution for higher learning in California and the tenth-oldest university of...

, Gonzaga University
Gonzaga University
Gonzaga University is a private Roman Catholic university located in Spokane, Washington, United States. Founded in 1887 by the Society of Jesus, it is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and is named after the young Jesuit saint, Aloysius Gonzaga...

 and Seattle University
Seattle University
Seattle University is a Jesuit Catholic university located in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, USA.SU is the largest independent university in the Northwest US, with over 7,500 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs within eight schools, and is one of 28 member...

.

In some Sicilian American communities, primarily Buffalo
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

 and New Orleans, Saint Joseph's Day (March 19) is marked by parades and celebrations, including traditional "St. Joseph's tables", where meatless dishes are served for the benefit of the communities' poor. Columbus Day
Columbus Day
Many countries in the New World and elsewhere celebrate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas, which occurred on October 12, 1492, as an official holiday...

 is also widely celebrated, as are the feasts of some regional Italian patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

s. In Boston's North End, the Italian immigrants celebrate the "Feast of all Feasts" Saint Anthony's Feast. Started by Italian immigrants from Montefalcione, a small town near Naples, Italy in 1919, the feast is widely considered the largest and most authentic Italian Religious festival in the United States. Over 100 vendors and 300,000 people attend the feast over a 3 day period in August. San Gennaro (September 19) is another popular saint, especially among Neapolitans. Santa Rosalia (September 4), by immigrants from Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

. Immigrants from Potenza
Potenza
-Transportation:Potenza is a rail junction on the main line from Salerno to Taranto, managed by FS Trenitalia; it has also a connection to Altamura, served by the Ferrovie Appulo Lucane regional company...

 celebrate the San Rocco's Day (August 16) feast at the Potenza Lodge in Denver the third weekend of August. San Rocco is the patron saint of Potenza, as is San Gerardo. Many still celebrate the Christmas season with a Feast of the Seven Fishes
Feast of the seven fishes
The Feast of the Seven Fishes , celebrated on Christmas Eve, also known as The Vigil , is believed to have originated in Southern Italy and is not a known tradition in many parts of Italy. Today, it is a feast that typically consists of seven different seafood dishes...

. The Feast of the Assumption is celebrated in Cleveland's Little Italy on August 15. On this feast day, people will pin money on a Blessed Virgin Mary statue as a symbol of prosperity. The statue is then paraded through Little Italy to Holy Rosary Church. For almost 25 years, Cleveland Bishop Anthony Pilla
Anthony Pilla
Anthony Michael Pilla is a bishop of the Catholic Church in the United States. He served as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland from 1979 to 1980 and Bishop of Cleveland from 1980 to 2006.-Biography:...

 would join in the parade and Mass to celebrate his Italian heritage. Bishop Pilla retired in April 2006, but continues to participate.

While most Italian-American families have a Catholic background, there are converts to Protestantism
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 as well. In the early 20th century, about 300 Protestant missionaries worked in urban Italian American neighborhoods. Some have joined the Episcopal Church
Episcopal Church (United States)
The Episcopal Church is a mainline Anglican Christian church found mainly in the United States , but also in Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe...

, which still retains much of the Catholic liturgical
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

 form. Some have converted to evangelical
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

 churches. Fiorello La Guardia was an Episcopalian on his father's side; his mother was from the small but significant community of Italian Jews
Italian Jews
Italian Jews can be used in a broad sense to mean all Jews living or with roots in Italy or in a narrower sense to mean the ancient community who use the Italian rite, as distinct from the communities dating from medieval or modern times who use the Sephardi or Ashkenazi rite.-Divisions:Italian...

. Frank Santora is an ex-Catholic Italian-American pastor of Faith Church, an evangelical megachurch
Megachurch
A megachurch is a church having 2,000 or more in average weekend attendance. The Hartford Institute's database lists more than 1,300 such Protestant churches in the United States. According to that data, approximately 50 churches on the list have attendance ranging from 10,000 to 47,000...

 in New Milford, Connecticut
New Milford, Connecticut
New Milford is a town in southern Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States north of Danbury, on the Housatonic River. It is the largest town in the state in terms of land area at nearly . The population was 28,671 according to the Census Bureau's 2006 estimates...

. There is a small charismatic
Charismatic movement
The term charismatic movement is used in varying senses to describe 20th century developments in various Christian denominations. It describes an ongoing international, cross-denominational/non-denominational Christian movement in which individual, historically mainstream congregations adopt...

 denomination, known as the Christian Church of North America
Christian Church of North America
The International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies , formerly known as the Christian Church of North America , is a North American Pentecostal denomination of Christians. Central offices are located in Transfer, Pennsylvania. Ministries of the church include Benevolence, Home Missions, FOCUS,...

, which is rooted in the Italian Pentecostal Movement
Pentecostalism
Pentecostalism is a diverse and complex movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, has an eschatological focus, and is an experiential religion. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek...

 that originated in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 in the early 20th century. A group of Italian immigrants in Trenton, New Jersey
Trenton, New Jersey
Trenton is the capital of the U.S. state of New Jersey and the county seat of Mercer County. As of the 2010 United States Census, Trenton had a population of 84,913...

 converted to the Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 denomination. Max Lucado
Max Lucado
Max Lucado is a best-selling author and writer and preacher at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas...

—bestselling author, alumnus of Abilene Christian University
Abilene Christian University
Abilene Christian University is a private university located in Abilene, Texas, affiliated with Churches of Christ. ACU was founded in 1906, as Childers Classical Institute...

, and preacher in the Churches of Christ—is a prominent leader. The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite), a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement
Latter Day Saint movement
The Latter Day Saint movement is a group of independent churches tracing their origin to a Christian primitivist movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in the late 1820s. Collectively, these churches have over 14 million members...

, which is headquartered in Monongahela, Pennsylvania
Monongahela, Pennsylvania
Monongahela, colloquially called "Mon City," is a Third Class City in Washington County, Pennsylvania, United States and is part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area, located approximately south of the city proper. The population was 4,761 at the 2000 census...

, counts significant numbers of Italian-Americans in its leadership and membership.

Education

According to Census Bureau data, Italian Americans have an average high school graduation rate, and a higher rate of advanced degrees compared to the national average. Italian Americans throughout the United States are well represented in a wide variety of occupations and professions, from skilled trades, to the arts, to engineering, science, mathematics, law, and medicine, and include a number of Nobel prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 winners. Within six decades of their peak immigration year, Italian Americans had equaled the national average in educational attainment.

Language

According to the Sons of Italy News Bureau, from 1998 to 2002 the enrollment in college Italian language
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 courses grew by 30%, faster than the enrollment rates for French and German. Italian is the fourth most commonly taught foreign language in U.S. colleges and universities behind Spanish, French, and German. According to the U.S. 2000 Census, Italian (including Sicilian) is the fifth (seventh overall) most spoken language in the United States (tied with Vietnamese) with over 1 million speakers.

As a result of the large wave of Italian immigration to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Italian and Sicilian were once widely spoken in much of the U.S., especially in northeastern and Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 area cities like Buffalo
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

, Rochester
Rochester, New York
Rochester is a city in Monroe County, New York, south of Lake Ontario in the United States. Known as The World's Image Centre, it was also once known as The Flour City, and more recently as The Flower City...

, Detroit, Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Cleveland, and Milwaukee, as well as San Francisco, St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

 and New Orleans. Italian-language newspapers exist in many American cities, especially New York City, and Italian-language movie theatres existed in the U.S. as late as the 1950s. Arba Sicula
Arba Sicula
Arba Sicula is a not-for-profit international society whose main objective is the preservation and promotion of the Sicilian language and culture. Its administration is located in New York, USA...

 (Sicilian Dawn) is a semiannual publication of the society of the same name, dedicated to preserving the Sicilian language
Sicilian language
Sicilian is a Romance language. Its dialects make up the Extreme-Southern Italian language group, which are spoken on the island of Sicily and its satellite islands; in southern and central Calabria ; in the southern parts of Apulia, the Salento ; and Campania, on the Italian mainland, where it is...

. The magazine and a periodic newsletter offer prose, poetry and comment in Sicilian, with adjacent English translations.

Today, prizes like the Bordighera Annual Poetry Prize, founded by Daniela Gioseffi, Pietro Mastrandrea and Alfredo di Palchi, with support from the Sonia Rraiziss-Giop Foundation and Bordighera Press, which publishes the winners in bilingual editions, have helped to encourage writers of the diaspora to write in Italian. Chelsea Books in New York City and Gradiva Press on Long Island
Long Island
Long Island is an island located in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York, just east of Manhattan. Stretching northeast into the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island contains four counties, two of which are boroughs of New York City , and two of which are mainly suburban...

 have published many bilingual books due to the efforts of bilingual writers of the diaspora like Paolo Valesio, Alfredo de Palchi, and Luigi Fontanella. Dr. Luigi Bonaffini of the City University of New York, publisher of The Journal of Italian Translation at Brooklyn College, has fostered Italian dialectic poetry throughout Italy and the U.S. Joseph Tusiani of New York and New York University, a distinguished linguist and prize-winning poet born in Italy, paved the way for Italian works of literature in English and has published many bilingual books and Italian classics for the American audience, among them the first complete works of Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

's poems in English to be published in the United States. All of this literary endeavor has helped to foster the Italian language, along with Italian opera, of course, in the United States. Many of these authors and their bilingual books are located throughout the internet.
Author Lawrence Distasi argues that the loss of spoken Italian among the Italian American population can be tied to U.S. government pressures during World War II. During World War II, in various parts of the country, the U.S. government displayed signs that read, "Don't Speak the Enemy's Language". Such signs designated the languages of the Axis powers
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

, German, Japanese, and Italian, as "enemy languages". Shortly after the Axis powers declared war on the U.S., many Italian, Japanese and German citizens were interned. Among the Italian Americans, those who spoke Italian, who had never become citizens, and who belonged to groups that praised Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

, were most likely to become candidates for internment. Distasi claims that many Italian language schools closed down in the San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, along with smaller urban and rural areas...

 within a week of the U.S. declaration of war on the Axis powers. Such closures were inevitable since most of the teachers in Italian languages were interned.

Despite previous decline, Italian and Sicilian are still spoken and studied by those of Italian American descent, and it can be heard in various American communities, especially among older Italian Americans. During the late 20th and early 21st centuries, interest in Italian language and culture has surged among Italian Americans.

The official Italian that is taught in colleges and universities is an amalgam of the Tuscan and Roman
Romanesco
Romanesco or Romanesque is a regional language or sociolect subsumed within the Italian language spoken in Rome. It is part of the Central Italian dialects and is thus genetically closer to the Tuscan dialect and Standard Italian....

 dialects. It is generally not the "Italian" with which Italian Americans are generally acquainted. Because the languages spoken by Italian Americans come from a time just after the unification of Italy, their languages are in many ways archaic and resemble the southern Italian and Sicilian dialects of pre-unification Italy. These variations, though still spoken along with Standard Italian (Tuscan/Roman), have also evolved in minor ways.

Despite it being the fifth most studied language in higher education (college and graduate) settings throughout America, the Italian language has struggled to maintain being an AP course of study in high schools nationwide. It was only in 2006 that AP Italian classes were first introduced, and they were soon dropped from the national curricula after the spring of 2009. The organization which manages such curricula, the College Board
College Board
The College Board is a membership association in the United States that was formed in 1900 as the College Entrance Examination Board . It is composed of more than 5,900 schools, colleges, universities and other educational organizations. It sells standardized tests used by academically oriented...

, ended the AP Italian program because it was "losing money" and had failed to add 5,000 new students each year. Since the program's termination in the spring of 2009, various Italian organizations and activists have attempted to revive the course of study. Most notable in the effort is Margaret Cuomo, sister of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Mark Cuomo is the 56th and current Governor of New York, having assumed office on January 1, 2011. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the 64th New York State Attorney General, and was the 11th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development...

. She provided the impetus for the program's birth in 2006 and is currently attempting to secure funding and teachers to reinstate the program. It is also worth noting that Italian organizations have begun fundraisers to revive AP Italian. Organizations such as the NIAF
National Italian American Foundation
The National Italian American Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, educational foundation that promotes Italian American culture and heritage...

 and Order Sons of Italy in America
Order Sons of Italy in America
The Order Sons of Italy in America is the largest and oldest Italian American fraternal organization in the United States. A similar organization also exists in Canada.-History:...

 have made strides in collecting money, and are prepared to aid in the monetary responsibility any new AP Italian program would bring with it.

Moreover, web-based Italian organizations, such as ItalianAware, have begun book donation campaigns to improve the status and representation of Italian and Italian American literature in the New York public libraries
New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is the largest public library in North America and is one of the United States' most significant research libraries...

. According to ItalianAware, the Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library
The Brooklyn Public Library is the public library system of the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. It is the fifth largest public library system in the United States. Like the two other public library systems in New York City, it is an independent nonprofit organization that is funded by the...

 is the worst offender in New York City. It has 11 books pertaining to the Italian immigrant experience available for checkout spread across 60 branches. That amounts to 1 book for every 6 branches in Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

, which (according to ItalianAware) cannot supply the large Italian/Italian American community in the borough. ItalianAware aims to donate 100 books to the Brooklyn Public Library by the end of 2010.

Newspapers

Generoso Pope
Generoso Pope
Generoso Pope , born with the name of Generoso Antonio Pompilio Carlo Papa, the owner of a chain of Italian-language newspapers in major cities, stands out as the epitome of the Italian American ethnic political broker....

 (1891–1950), the owner of a chain of Italian-language newspapers in major cities, stands out as the epitome of the Italian American ethnic political broker. He bought Il Progresso Italo-Americano in 1928 for $2 million; he doubled its circulation to 200,000 in New York City, making it the largest Italian-language paper in the country. He purchased additional papers in New York and Philadelphia, which became the chief source of political, social, and cultural information for the community. Pope encouraged his readers to learn English, become citizens, and vote; his goal was to instill pride and ambition to succeed in modern America. A conservative Democrat who ran the Columbus Day parade and admired Mussolini, Pope was the most powerful enemy of anti-Fascism among Italian Americans. Closely associated with Tammany Hall
Tammany Hall
Tammany Hall, also known as the Society of St. Tammany, the Sons of St. Tammany, or the Columbian Order, was a New York political organization founded in 1786 and incorporated on May 12, 1789 as the Tammany Society...

 politics in New York, Pope and his newspapers played a vital role in securing the Italian vote for Franklin D. Roosevelt's Democratic tickets
New Deal coalition
The New Deal Coalition was the alignment of interest groups and voting blocs that supported the New Deal and voted for Democratic presidential candidates from 1932 until the late 1960s. It made the Democratic Party the majority party during that period, losing only to Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952...

. He served as chairman of the Italian Division of the Democratic National Committee in 1936, and helped persuade the president to take a neutral attitude over Italy's invasion of Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

. He broke with Mussolini in 1941 and enthusiastically supported the American war effort. In the late 1940s Pope supported the election of William O'Dwyer
William O'Dwyer
William O'Dwyer was the 100th Mayor of New York City, holding that office from 1946 to 1950.-Biography:O'Dwyer was born in County Mayo, Ireland and migrated to the United States in 1910, after abandoning studies for the priesthood...

 as mayor in 1945 and Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 as president. His business concerns continued to prosper under New York's Democratic administrations, and in 1946 he added the Italian language radio station WHOM to his media holdings. In the early years of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, Pope was a leading anti-Communist and orchestrated a letter-writing campaign by his subscribers to stop the Communists from winning the Italian elections in 1948.

Voters did not always vote the way editorials dictated, but they depended on the news coverage. At many smaller papers, support for Mussolini, short-sighted opportunism, deference to political patrons who were not members of the Italian-American communities, and the necessity of making a living through periodicals with a small circulation, generally weakened the owners of Italian-language newspapers when they tried to become political brokers of the Italian American vote.

James V. Donnaruma purchased Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

's La Gazzetta del Massachusetts in 1905. La Gazzetta enjoyed a wide readership in Boston's Italian community because it emphasized detailed coverage of local ethnic events and explained how events in Europe affected the community. Donnaruma's editorial positions, however, were frequently at odds with the sentiments of his readership. Donnaruma's conservative views and desire for greater advertising revenue prompted him to court the favor of Boston's Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 elite, to whom he pledged editorial support in return for the purchase of advertising space for political campaigns. La Gazzetta consistently supported Republican candidates and policy positions, even when the party was proposing and passing laws to restrict Italian immigration. Nevertheless, voting records from the 1920s-1930s show that Boston's Italian Americans voted heavily for Democratic candidates. Carmelo Zito took over the San Francisco newspaper Il Corriere del Popolo in 1935. Under Zito, it became one of the fiercest foes of Mussolini's fascism on the West Coast. It vigorously attacked Italy's 1935 invasion of Ethiopia and its intervention in the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

. Zito helped form the Italian-American Anti-Fascist League and often attacked certain Italian prominenti like Ettore Patrizi, publisher of L'Italia and La Voce del Popolo. Zito's paper campaigned against alleged Italian pro-Fascist language schools of San Francisco.

Folklore

The most characteristic and popular of Italian American cultural contributions has been their feasts. Throughout the United States, wherever one may find an "Italian neighborhood" (often referred to as "Little Italy"), one can find festive celebrations such as the well known Feast of San Gennaro
Feast of San Gennaro
The Feast of San Gennaro, originally a one-day religious commemoration, began in September 1926 when newly arrived immigrants from Naples congregated along Mulberry Street in the Little Italy section of New York City, to continue the tradition they had followed in Italy to celebrate San Gennaro as...

 in New York City, the unique Our Lady of Mount Carmel "Giglio" Feast in the Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Williamsburg is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, bordering Greenpoint to the north, Bedford-Stuyvesant to the south, Bushwick to the east and the East River to the west. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board 1. The neighborhood is served by the NYPD's 90th ...

 section of Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

, New York, Italian feasts involve elaborate displays of devotion to Jesus Christ and patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

s. On the weekend of the last Sunday in August, the residents of Boston's North End celebrate the "Feast of all Feasts" in honor of St. Anthony of Padua, which was started over 300 years ago in Montefalcione
Montefalcione
Montefalcione is a town and comune of the province of Avellino in the Campania region of southern Italy.The town lies on a hill which at its summit is 523 meters high.-History:...

, Italy. Perhaps the most widely known is St. Joseph's feast day on March 19. These feasts are much more than simply isolated events within the year. Feast (Festa in Italian) is an umbrella term for the various secular and religious, indoor and outdoor activities surrounding a religious holiday. Typically, Italian feasts consist of festive communal meals, religious services, games of chance and skill and elaborate outdoor processions consisting of statues resplendent in jewels and donations. The celebration usually takes place over the course of several days, and is communally prepared by a church community or a religious organization over the course of several months.

Currently, there are more than 300 Italian feasts celebrated throughout the United States. The largest is Festa Italiana, held in Milwaukee every summer. These feasts are visited each year by millions of Americans from various backgrounds who come together to enjoy Italian music and food delicacies. In the past, as to this day, an important part of Italian American culture centers around music and cuisine.

Stereotyping

During the period of mass immigration to the United States, Italians suffered widespread discrimination in housing and employment. They were often victims of prejudice, economic exploitation, and sometimes even violence, particularly in the South. Italian stereotypes abounded as a means of justifying this maltreatment of the immigrants. The print media greatly contributed to the stereotyping of Italians with lurid accounts of secret societies and criminality. In the 1890–1920 period, Italian neighborhoods were often stereotyped as violent and controlled by criminals. Two highly publicized cases illustrate the impact of these negative stereotypes:

In 1891, eleven Italian immigrants in New Orleans were lynched due to their alleged role in the murder of the police chief David Hennessy. This was one of the largest mass lynching
Lynching
Lynching is an extrajudicial execution carried out by a mob, often by hanging, but also by burning at the stake or shooting, in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate, control, or otherwise manipulate a population of people. It is related to other means of social control that...

s in U.S. history. The lynching took place after nine of the immigrants were tried for the murder and acquitted. Subsequently, a mob broke into the jail where they were being held and dragged them out to be lynched, together with two other Italians who were being held in the jail at the time, but had not been accused in the killing.

In 1920, two Italian immigrants, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti
Sacco and Vanzetti
Ferdinando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were anarchists who were convicted of murdering two men during a 1920 armed robbery in South Braintree, Massachusetts, United States...

, were tried for robbery and murder in Braintree
Braintree, Massachusetts
The Town of Braintree is a suburban city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. Although officially known as a town, Braintree adopted a municipal charter, effective 2008, with a mayor-council form of government and is considered a city under Massachusetts law. The population was 35,744...

, Massachusetts. Many historians agree that they were given a very unfair and biased trial because of their anarchistic political beliefs and their Italian immigrant status. In spite of world-wide protests, Sacco and Vanzetti were eventually executed.

While the vast majority of Italians immigrants brought with them a tradition of honesty and hard work, others brought a very different old-world custom. This criminal element preyed on the immigrants of the Little Italies, using intimidation and threats to extract protection money from the wealthier immigrants and shop owners, and were also involved in a multitude of other illegal activities. When the Fascists came to power in Italy, they made the destruction of the Mafia
Mafia
The Mafia is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering...

 in Sicily a high priority. Hundreds fled to America in the 1920s and '30s to avoid prosecution.

Prohibition
Prohibition
Prohibition of alcohol, often referred to simply as prohibition, is the practice of prohibiting the manufacture, transportation, import, export, sale, and consumption of alcohol and alcoholic beverages. The term can also apply to the periods in the histories of the countries during which the...

, which went into effect in 1920, proved to be an economic windfall for those in the Italian American community already involved in illegal activities, and those who had fled from Sicily. This entailed smuggling liquor into the country, wholesaling it, and then selling it through a network of outlets. While other ethnic groups were also deeply involved in these illegal ventures, Italian Americans were among the most notorious. Though eventually repealed, Prohibition had a long-term effect as the spawning ground for later criminal activities.

In the 1950s, the scope of Italian American organized crime became well known though a number of highly publicized congressional hearings that followed a police raid on a top-level meeting of racketeers
Apalachin Meeting
The Apalachin Meeting was a historic summit of the American Mafia held on November 14, 1957, at the home of mobster Joseph "Joe the Barber" Barbara in Apalachin, New York. The meeting was attended by roughly 100 Mafiosi from the United States, Canada, and Italy...

 in Apalachin
Apalachin, New York
Apalachin is a census-designated place within the Town of Owego in Tioga County, New York, United States. The population was 1,126 in the 2000 census. It is named after the Apalachin Creek. Apalachin means From where the messenger returned in the Lenape.Apalachin is in the southeast part of the...

, New York. With advanced surveillance techniques, the Witness Protection Program, the Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act, and vigorous and sustained prosecution the power and influence of organized crime were greatly diminished in the decades that followed. Two Italian American prosecutors, Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani
Rudolph William Louis "Rudy" Giuliani KBE is an American lawyer, businessman, and politician from New York. He served as Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001....

 and Louis Freeh
Louis Freeh
Louis Joseph Freeh was the 5th Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, serving from September 1993 to June 2001....

, were instrumental in bringing this about. Freeh was later appointed director of the FBI.

From the earliest days of the movie industry, Italians have been portrayed as violent criminals and sociopaths. This trend has continued to the present day. The stereotype of Italian Americans is the standardized mental image which has been fostered by the entertainment industry, especially through commercially successful movies like The Godfather
The Godfather
The Godfather is a 1972 American epic crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the 1969 novel by Mario Puzo. With a screenplay by Puzo, Coppola and an uncredited Robert Towne, the film stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard...

, Goodfellas
Goodfellas
Goodfellas is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a film adaptation of the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese...

 and Casino
Casino (film)
Casino is a 1995 crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Nicholas Pileggi, who also co-wrote the screenplay for the film with Scorsese...

; and TV programs such as The Sopranos
The Sopranos
The Sopranos is an American television drama series created by David Chase that revolves around the New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads...

. This follows a known pattern in which it is possible for the mass media to effectively create universally recognized, and sometimes accepted, stereotypes. A highly publicized protest from the Italian America community came in 2001 when the Chicago-based organization AIDA (American Italian Defamation Association) unsuccessfully sued Time Warner
Time Warner
Time Warner is one of the world's largest media companies, headquartered in the Time Warner Center in New York City. Formerly two separate companies, Warner Communications, Inc...

 for distribution of HBO's series The Sopranos because of its negative portrayal of Italian Americans.

More recently, MTV
MTV
MTV, formerly an initialism of Music Television, is an American network based in New York City that launched on August 1, 1981. The original purpose of the channel was to play music videos guided by on-air hosts known as VJs....

 launched a reality show, Jersey Shore
Jersey Shore (TV series)
Jersey Shore is an American reality television series that premiered on MTV on December 3, 2009 in the United States. The series follows the lives of eight housemates spending their summer at the Jersey Shore in the U.S. state of New Jersey. Season 2 followed the cast escaping the cold northeast...

, which prompted severe criticism from Italian American organizations such as the National Italian American Foundation, Order Sons of Italy in America, and Unico National for its stereotypical portrayal of Italian Americans.

The effective stereotyping of Italian Americans as being associated with organized crime was shown by a comprehensive study of Italian American culture on film, conducted from 1996 to 2001, by the Italic Institute of America. The findings showed that over two-thirds of the more than 2,000 films studied portray Italian Americans in a negative light. Further, close to 300 movies featuring Italian Americans as criminals have been produced since The Godfather, an average of nine per year. The study also shows that, according to recent FBI statistics, Italian American organized crime members and associates number approximately 3,000; and, given an Italian American population estimated to be approximately 18 million, it may be concluded that only one in 6,000 has any involvement with organized crime. According to The Italic Institute of America: The mass media has consistently ignored five centuries of Italian American history, and has elevated what was never more than a minute subculture to the dominant Italian American culture.

Communities

Little Italies
Little Italy
Little Italy is a general name for an ethnic enclave populated primarily by Italians or people of Italian ancestry, usually in an urban neighborhood.-Canada:*Little Italy, Edmonton, in Alberta*Little Italy, Montreal, in Quebec...

 were, to a considerable extent, the product of Italophobia
Anti-Italianism
Anti-Italianism is a hostility toward Italian people utilizing stereotypes about them, such as the idea that the Italians are tolerant of violence, political corruption, Italy's former alliance with Nazi Germany and criminal groups such as the Mafia...

 by the English-speaking, WASP
White Anglo-Saxon Protestant
White Anglo-Saxon Protestant or WASP is an informal term, often derogatory or disparaging, for a closed group of high-status Americans mostly of British Protestant ancestry. The group supposedly wields disproportionate financial and social power. When it appears in writing, it is usually used to...

 society. Ethnocentrism and anti-Catholicism by Protestant English-speakers helped to create an ideological foundation for fixing foreignness on urban spaces occupied by immigrants, who seemed racially different from the earlier Anglo-Celtic and northern European settlers. Communities of Italian Americans were established in most major industrial cities of the early 20th century, such as Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

, Maryland; Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Massachusetts (the "North End"); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is the capital and most populous city of Rhode Island and was one of the first cities established in the United States. Located in Providence County, it is the third largest city in the New England region...

; St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

; Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

; Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

; and Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

. New Orleans, Louisiana was the first site of immigration of Italians and Sicilians into America in the 19th century, before Italy was a unified nation-state. This was before New York Harbor
New York Harbor
New York Harbor refers to the waterways of the estuary near the mouth of the Hudson River that empty into New York Bay. It is one of the largest natural harbors in the world. Although the U.S. Board of Geographic Names does not use the term, New York Harbor has important historical, governmental,...

 and Baltimore became the preferred destinations for Italian immigrants. In sharp contrast to the Northeast
Northeastern United States
The Northeastern United States is a region of the United States as defined by the United States Census Bureau.-Composition:The region comprises nine states: the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Mid-Atlantic states of New...

, most of the Southern states
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 (exceptions being the Atlantic coast of Florida, New Orleans, and a fast-growing community in Atlanta) have very few Italian-American residents. During the labor shortage in the 19th and early 20th centuries, planters in the Deep South
Deep South
The Deep South is a descriptive category of the cultural and geographic subregions in the American South. Historically, it is differentiated from the "Upper South" as being the states which were most dependent on plantation type agriculture during the pre-Civil War period...

 did attract some Italian immigrants to work as sharecroppers
Sharecropping
Sharecropping is a system of agriculture in which a landowner allows a tenant to use the land in return for a share of the crop produced on the land . This should not be confused with a crop fixed rent contract, in which a landowner allows a tenant to use the land in return for a fixed amount of...

, but they soon left the extreme anti-Italian discrimination and strict regimen of the plantations for towns or other states. The state of California has had Italian-American residents since the 1850s. By the 1970s gentrification of inner city neighborhoods and the arrival of new immigrant groups caused a sharp decline in the old Italian-American and other ethnic enclaves. Many Italian Americans moved to the rapidly growing Western states, including Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and California. Today, New York and New Jersey have the largest numbers of Italian Americans in the U.S.

New York

Several Little Italies exist in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, including Manhattan
Little Italy, Manhattan
Little Italy is a neighborhood in lower Manhattan, New York City, once known for its large population of Italians. Today the neighborhood of Little Italy consists of Italian stores and restaurants.-Historical area:...

, Bronx, Bensonhurst
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Bensonhurst is a neighborhood located in the southwestern part of the New York City borough of Brooklyn.-Geography:Sometimes erroneously thought to include all or parts of such neighborhoods as Bath Beach, Dyker Heights, and Borough Park, or to be defined by the streets where the concentration of...

, Howard Beach
Howard Beach, Queens
Howard Beach is a suburban neighborhood in the southwestern portion of the borough of Queens in New York City. It is bordered in the north by the Belt Parkway and South Conduit Avenue in Ozone Park, the south by Jamaica Bay in Broad Channel, the east by 102nd-104th streets, and the west by 78th...

 and Rosebank
Rosebank, Staten Island
Rosebank is a neighborhood in the northeastern part of Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City.Originally called Peterstown, the name "Rosebank" appears to have been first used to denote the neighborhood around 1880...

. Historically, Little Italy on Mulberry Street in Manhattan, extends as far south as Canal Street, as far north as Bleecker
Bleecker Street
Bleecker Street is a street in New York City's Manhattan borough. It is perhaps most famous today as a Greenwich Village nightclub district. The street is a spine that connects a neighborhood today popular for music venues and comedy, but which was once a major center for American bohemia.Bleecker...

, as far west as Lafayette
Lafayette Street (Manhattan)
Lafayette Street is a major north-south street in New York City's Lower Manhattan, which runs roughly parallel to Broadway to the west. Originally, the part of the street below Houston Street was called Elm Place....

 and as far east as the Bowery
Bowery
Bowery may refer to:Streets:* The Bowery, a thoroughfare in Manhattan, New York City* Bowery Street is a street on Coney Island in Brooklyn, N.Y.In popular culture:* Bowery Amphitheatre, a building on the Bowery in New York City...

. The neighborhood was once known for its large population of Italians. Today it consists of Italian stores and restaurants. The Italian immigrants congregated along Mulberry Street
Mulberry Street (Manhattan)
Mulberry Street is a principal thoroughfare in Manhattan, New York. The street was listed on maps of the area since at least 1755. The "Bend" in Mulberry in which the street changes direction from southwest to northeast to a northerly direction was to avoid the wetlands surrounding the Collect Pond...

 in Manhattan's Little Italy to celebrate San Gennaro as the Patron Saint of Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

. The Feast of San Gennaro is a large street fair, lasting 11 days, that takes place every September along Mulberry Street between Houston and Canal Streets. The festival is as an annual celebration of Italian culture
Culture of Italy
From antiquity until the 16th century, Italy was at the centre of Western culture, fulcrum or origin of the Etruscan civilization, Ancient Rome, the Roman Catholic Church, Humanism and the Renaissance....

 and the Italian-American community. Today, much of the neighborhood has been absorbed and engulfed by Chinatown
Chinatown, Manhattan
Manhattan's Chinatown , home to one of the highest concentrations of Chinese people in the Western hemisphere, is located in the borough of Manhattan in New York City...

, as immigrants from China moved to the area.
Arthur Avenue in the Fordham
Belmont, Bronx
Belmont is a residential neighborhood geographically located in the west Bronx. The neighborhood is part of Bronx Community Board 6. Its boundaries, starting from the north and moving clockwise are: Fordham Road to the north, Bronx Park to the east, East 183rd Street to the south, and the Third...

 section of New York City's northernmost borough
Borough (New York City)
New York City, one of the largest cities in the world, is composed of five boroughs. Each borough now has the same boundaries as the county it is in. County governments were dissolved when the city consolidated in 1898, along with all city, town, and village governments within each county...

, The Bronx
The Bronx
The Bronx is the northernmost of the five boroughs of New York City. It is also known as Bronx County, the last of the 62 counties of New York State to be incorporated...

, was once the heart of the Bronx's "Little Italy
Little Italy
Little Italy is a general name for an ethnic enclave populated primarily by Italians or people of Italian ancestry, usually in an urban neighborhood.-Canada:*Little Italy, Edmonton, in Alberta*Little Italy, Montreal, in Quebec...

". Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro, Jr. is an American actor, director and producer. His first major film roles were in Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, both in 1973...

's directing debut, A Bronx Tale
A Bronx Tale
A Bronx Tale is a 1993 American crime drama film set in The Bronx during the turbulent era of the 1960s. It was the directorial debut of Robert De Niro, and follows a young Italian-American teenager as his path in life is guided by two father figures, played by De Niro and Chazz Palminteri...

, takes place within Little Italy, however, it was largely filmed in Astoria, Queens
Astoria, Queens
Astoria is a neighborhood in the northwestern corner of the borough of Queens in New York City. Located in Community Board 1, Astoria is bounded by the East River and is adjacent to three other Queens neighborhoods: Long Island City, Sunnyside , and Woodside...

. The series Third Watch
Third Watch
Third Watch is an American television drama series which first aired on NBC from 1999 to 2005 for a total of 132 episodes, broadcast in 6 seasons of 22 episodes each....

 was initially based on Arthur Avenue, with the first episode referring to the firehouse as "Camelot", based on its location at the intersection of King Street and Arthur Avenue. The 1973 film "The Seven-Ups
The Seven-Ups
The Seven-Ups is a 1973 American film released by 20th Century Fox. It stars Roy Scheider as a renegade policeman who is the leader of The Seven-Ups, a police team who uses dirty, unorthodox tactics to snare their quarry on charges leading to prison sentences of seven years or more upon...

", starring Roy Scheider
Roy Scheider
Roy Richard Scheider was an American actor. He was best known for his leading role as police chief Martin C...

, was filmed on Arthur Avenue and Hoffman Street. In 2003, a scene from the HBO series The Sopranos was shot in Mario's Restaurant. Leonard, of James Frey
James Frey
James Christopher Frey is an American writer. His books A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard , as well as Bright Shiny Morning , were bestsellers...

's A Million Little Pieces
A Million Little Pieces
A Million Little Pieces is a semi-fictional memoir by James Frey. It tells the story of a 23-year-old alcoholic and drug abuser and how he copes with rehabilitation in a Twelve steps-oriented treatment center...

, grew up in this area. Much of the novel Underworld
Underworld (DeLillo novel)
Underworld is a postmodern novel published in 1997 by Don DeLillo. It was nominated for the National Book Award, was a best-seller, and is one of DeLillo's better-known novels....

 takes place near Arthur Avenue. The author himself, Don DeLillo
Don DeLillo
Don DeLillo is an American author, playwright, and occasional essayist whose work paints a detailed portrait of American life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries...

, grew up in that neighborhood.
Bensonhurst is heavily Italian-American, and it is usually considered the main "Little Italy" of Brooklyn. The Italian-speaking community remains over 20,000 strong, according to the census of 2000
United States Census, 2000
The Twenty-second United States Census, known as Census 2000 and conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, to be 281,421,906, an increase of 13.2% over the 248,709,873 persons enumerated during the 1990 Census...

. However, the Italian-speaking community is becoming "increasingly elderly and isolated, with the small, tight-knit enclaves they built around the city slowly disappearing as they give way to demographic changes". Its main thoroughfare, 18th Avenue (also known as Cristoforo Colombo Boulevard) between roughly 60th Street and Shore Parkway, is lined with predominantly small, Italian family-owned businesses—many of which have remained in the same family for several generations. 86th Street is another popular local thoroughfare, lined by the arches of the elevated BMT West End Subway Line. The 18th Avenue Station was popularized in opening credits of Welcome Back, Kotter
Welcome Back, Kotter
Welcome Back, Kotter was an American television sitcom starring Gabe Kaplan and featuring a young John Travolta.It originally aired on the ABC network from September 9, 1975 to June 8, 1979.-Premise:...

.
Rosebank in Staten Island
Staten Island
Staten Island is a borough of New York City, New York, United States, located in the southwest part of the city. Staten Island is separated from New Jersey by the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull, and from the rest of New York by New York Bay...

 was another one of NYC's main area of Italian immigrants since the 1880s, and their descendants have continued as its predominant ethnic group, exemplified by the location of the Garibaldi Memorial
Garibaldi Memorial
The Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, formerly known as the Garibaldi Memorial, is a circa 1840 Gothic Revival cottage in the Rosebank section of Staten Island, New York. It was home to inventor and candle maker Antonio Meucci...

 in the community. In recent years the town has experienced an influx of other ethnic groups, including Eastern Europeans, various Latin nationalities as well as Asians, particularly from the Philippines.
Howard Beach in the Queens is also home to a large Italian population.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia's Italian American community is the second-largest in the United States. Most of South Philadelphia
South Philadelphia
South Philadelphia, nicknamed South Philly, is the section of Philadelphia bounded by South Street to the north, the Delaware River to the east and south, and the Schuylkill River to the west.-History:...

's communities are largely Italian, and the area has many Italian stores and restaurants.

Newark

In its heyday, Seventh Avenue
Seventh Avenue, Newark, New Jersey
Seventh Avenue, formerly known as the First Ward, is a neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey's North Ward. It was famously the heart of the city's large Little Italy....

 in Newark
Newark, New Jersey
Newark is the largest city in the American state of New Jersey, and the seat of Essex County. As of the 2010 United States Census, Newark had a population of 277,140, maintaining its status as the largest municipality in New Jersey. It is the 68th largest city in the U.S...

 was one of the largest Little Italies in the U.S. with a population of 30,000, in an area of less than a square mile. The center of life in the neighborhood was St. Lucy's Church, founded by Italian immigrants in 1891. Throughout the year, St. Lucy's and other churches sponsored processions in honor of saints that became community events. The most famous procession was the Feast of St. Gerard, but there were also great feasts for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Our Lady of Snow, the Assumption, and St. Rocco. Joe DiMaggio
Joe DiMaggio
Joseph Paul "Joe" DiMaggio , nicknamed "Joltin' Joe" and "The Yankee Clipper," was an American Major League Baseball center fielder who played his entire 13-year career for the New York Yankees. He is perhaps best known for his 56-game hitting streak , a record that still stands...

 loved the restaurants of Seventh Avenue so much that he would take the New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

 to Newark to show them "real Italian food". Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

 had bread from Giordano's Bakery sent to him every week until his death, no matter where in the world he was. New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

 catcher
Catcher
Catcher is a position for a baseball or softball player. When a batter takes his turn to hit, the catcher crouches behind home plate, in front of the umpire, and receives the ball from the pitcher. This is a catcher's primary duty, but he is also called upon to master many other skills in order to...

 Rick Cerone
Rick Cerone
Richard Aldo Cerone from Seton Hall University is a former Major League Baseball player from 1975 to 1992 for the Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, and Montreal Expos...

 also grew up in the First Ward. One of the nation's largest Italian newspapers, The Italian Tribune, was founded on Seventh Avenue. Seventh Avenue produced stars such as Joe Pesci
Joe Pesci
Joseph Frank "Joe" Pesci is an American actor, comedian, and musician.He is known for playing a variety of different roles, from violent mobsters to comedic leads to quirky sidekicks...

 and Frankie Valli
Frankie Valli
Frankie Valli is an American musician, most famous as frontman of The Four Seasons. He is well-known for his unusually powerful falsetto singing voice...

 of the Four Seasons
The Four Seasons (group)
The Four Seasons are an American rock and pop band who became internationally successful in the mid-1960s. The Vocal Group Hall of Fame has stated that the group was the most popular rock band before The Beatles...

. Congressman Peter Rodino, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee during its impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon was a native of the First Ward as well. Seventh Avenue was notoriously devastated by urban renewal
Urban renewal
Urban renewal is a program of land redevelopment in areas of moderate to high density urban land use. Renewal has had both successes and failures. Its modern incarnation began in the late 19th century in developed nations and experienced an intense phase in the late 1940s – under the rubric of...

 efforts during the 1950s. Eighth Avenue was obliterated by the city council, scattering the Italian American residents. Most of its businesses never recovered. The construction of Interstate 280
Interstate 280 (New Jersey)
Interstate 280 is a Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of New Jersey. It provides a spur from I-80 in Parsippany-Troy Hills, Morris County to Newark, and I-95 Interstate 280 (abbreviated I-280) is a Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of New Jersey. It provides a spur from I-80 in...

 also served to cut the neighborhood off from the rest of the city. After the devastating urban renewal, some of the First Ward's Italians stayed in the neighborhood, while others migrated to other Newark neighborhoods like Broadway
Broadway, Newark, New Jersey
Broadway is a neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. It is located on the west bank of the Passaic River, in Newark's North Ward, east of Forest Hill and north of Seventh Avenue. The neighborhood extends from Interstate 280 to Belleville. The term "Broadway" has only come into use recently, most...

, Roseville
Roseville, Newark, New Jersey
Roseville is a neighborhood in northwestern Newark, New Jersey, bordering Bloomfield and East Orange. To the neighborhood's immediate east is the Newark City Subway and Branch Brook Park...

, and the Ironbound
Ironbound
The Ironbound is a large working-class neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. This close-knit, multi-ethnic community covers approximately four square miles . Historically, the area was called "Dutch Neck," "Down Neck," or simply "the Neck," because of the way the Passaic River curved to form what...

.

Syracuse

Italian immigrants first came to the area around Syracuse, New York
Syracuse, New York
Syracuse is a city in and the county seat of Onondaga County, New York, United States, the largest U.S. city with the name "Syracuse", and the fifth most populous city in the state. At the 2010 census, the city population was 145,170, and its metropolitan area had a population of 742,603...

 in 1883 after providing labor for the construction of the West Shore Railroad
West Shore Railroad
The West Shore Railroad was the final name of a railroad from Weehawken, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York City, north along the west shore of the river to Albany, New York and then west to Buffalo...

. At first, they were quite transient and came and went, but eventually settled down on the Northside
Northside, Syracuse
The Northside is a neighborhood in the city of Syracuse, New York consisting of a residential area bordered by commercial corridors. As defined by Syracuse's "Tomorrow's Neighborhoods Today" planning system, the Northside is a large section of the city of Syracuse, covering almost four square...

. By 1899, the Italian immigrants were living on the Northside
Northside, Syracuse
The Northside is a neighborhood in the city of Syracuse, New York consisting of a residential area bordered by commercial corridors. As defined by Syracuse's "Tomorrow's Neighborhoods Today" planning system, the Northside is a large section of the city of Syracuse, covering almost four square...

 of the city in the area centered around Pearl Street. The Italians all but supplanted the Germans
Germans in Syracuse, New York
A German mission was established in Onondaga County, New York in 1750, by Moravian missionaries from Pennsylvania, however, most of the earliest Germans to arrive in the area did not remain for very long....

 in that area of the city and had their own business district along North State and North Salina Streets. By September 2009, Syracuse's Little Italy
Little Italy, Syracuse
Little Italy Syracuse is an ethnic enclave in Syracuse, New York that contains several bakeries, cafés, pizzerias, restaurants, beauty salons, shops, bars and nightclubs...

 district received millions of dollars of public and private investment for new sidewalks, streetscapes, landscaping, lighting and to set up a "Green Train" program, which trains men to work in green construction and renovation industries. In recent years, the neighborhood is a mix of Italian shops, restaurants and businesses that cater to the area's South Asian and African population, and vacant storefronts. Although the neighborhood is far less Italian than in past years, banners throughout the district still read Little Italy. By 2010, demographics showed that 14.1% of the population in Syracuse was Italian descent.

Providence

Federal Hill in Providence
Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is the capital and most populous city of Rhode Island and was one of the first cities established in the United States. Located in Providence County, it is the third largest city in the New England region...

, Rhode Island, is best known for its Italian American community and abundance of restaurants. The first two decades of the 20th century witnessed heavy Italian-American immigration into Federal Hill, making it the city's informal Little Italy
Little Italy
Little Italy is a general name for an ethnic enclave populated primarily by Italians or people of Italian ancestry, usually in an urban neighborhood.-Canada:*Little Italy, Edmonton, in Alberta*Little Italy, Montreal, in Quebec...

. Though the area today is more diverse, Federal Hill still retains its status as the traditional center for the city's Italian-American community. The neighborhood features a huge square dedicated to Giuseppe Garibaldi, a monumental gateway arch decorated with La Pigna sculpture (a traditional Italian symbol of welcome, abundance, and quality) and a DePasquale Plaza used for outdoor dining. Providence's annual Columbus Day
Columbus Day
Many countries in the New World and elsewhere celebrate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas, which occurred on October 12, 1492, as an official holiday...

 parade marches down Atwells Avenue.

Boston

North End in Boston since the early 20th century became the center of the Italian community of Boston. It is still largely residential and well-known for its small, authentic Italian restaurants and for the first Italian cafe, Caffe Vittoria
Caffe Vittoria
Caffe Vittoria is an Italian cafe in the North End, Boston.-History:Caffe Vittoria was established in 1929. It is possibly the first Italian caffe in Boston. It is located in the North End, the center of Boston's Italian population, restaurants, and culture...

. The influx of Italian inhabitants has left a lasting mark on the area; many seminal Italian American institutions have called Boston's North End their home. Some multi-national Italian products companies that began in the North End include Prince Pasta and the Pastene Corporation. Prince Pasta was begun by three Sicilian immigrants Gaetano LaMarco, Giuseppe Seminara, and Michele Cantella. Pastene was formed by Sicilian immigrant Luigi Pastene. Both companies have grown into million dollar a year businesses, and continue to succeed to this day. To fully understand the sheer size of the Italian immigrant population, one must look back at the groups that preceded them. The Irish, at their peak, numbered roughly 14,000 and the Jews numbered 17,000. The Italians, however, peaked at over 44,000.

Chicago

Chicago's legendary Taylor Street has been called the port of call
Port of Call
-Synopsis:Berit, a young woman living in a working-class port town begins a relationship with Gösta, a sailor newly returned from overseas and intent upon staying on land...

 for Chicago's Italian American immigrants. Taylor Street's Little Italy became the laboratory upon which Hull House
Hull House
Hull House is a settlement house in the United States that was co-founded in 1889 by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr. Located in the Near West Side of , Hull House opened its doors to the recently arrived European immigrants. By 1911, Hull House had grown to 13 buildings. In 1912 the Hull...

, America's first settlement house, founded by Jane Addams
Jane Addams
Jane Addams was a pioneer settlement worker, founder of Hull House in Chicago, public philosopher, sociologist, author, and leader in woman suffrage and world peace...

 and Ellen Starr in 1889, tested its sociological theories and formulated its protests to the Establishment
The Establishment
The Establishment is a term used to refer to a visible dominant group or elite that holds power or authority in a nation. The term suggests a closed social group which selects its own members...

. The Italian American experience, as documented in the chronicles of Chicago's Taylor Street Archives, receives a unique treatment, abandoning political correctness in favor of some hard-hitting, finger-pointing historical accuracies. Chicago's Italian American experience begins with the mass migration from the shores of southern Italy, the Hull House experiment, the Great Depression, World War II, and the machinations behind the physical demise of a neighborhood by the University of Illinois
University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago, or UIC, is a state-funded public research university located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Its campus is in the Near West Side community area, near the Chicago Loop...

 in 1963.

Italian Americans dominated the inner core of the Hull House neighborhood, 1890s–1930s. One of the first newspaper articles about Hull House (Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
The Chicago Tribune is a major daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, and the flagship publication of the Tribune Company. Formerly self-styled as the "World's Greatest Newspaper" , it remains the most read daily newspaper of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Great Lakes region and is...

, May 19, 1890) acknowledges the following invitation, written in Italian, sent to the residents of the Hull House neighborhood. It begins with the following salutation: "Mio Carissimo Amico", and is signed, "Le Signorine, Jane Addams and Ellen Starr". The Bethlehem-Howard Neighborhood Center Records further substantiate the observation that, as early as the 1890s, the inner core of "The Hull House Neighborhood", from the river on the east, Roosevelt Road on the south, Harrison Street on the north, and on out to the neighborhood's western most boundaries, was virtually all Italian.

The 1924 historic picture, "Meet the 'Hull House Kids'", was taken by Wallace K. Kirkland Sr., one of the Hull House directors. It served as a poster for Jane Addams and the Hull House Settlement House. All twenty kids were first generation Italian Americans...all with vowels at the end of their names. "They grew up to be lawyers and mechanics, sewer workers and dump truck drivers, a candy shop owner, a boxer and a mob boss." That picture became a classic and was circulated throughout the world.

Chicago's current and official "little Italy" is concentrated on the city's northwestern side and neighboring Elmwood Park
Elmwood Park, Illinois
Elmwood Park is a village bordering the northwest side of the City of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 25,405 at the 2000 census. The community has long maintained a large Italian-American population, with a more recent influx of Polish-American and Hispanic...

, which has the highest concentration of Italian Americans in the state. Harlem Avenue
Harlem Avenue
Harlem Avenue is a major north-south street in Chicago and the West/Southwest/Northwest Suburbs. For most of its length it carries Illinois Route 43...

, "La Corsa Italia", is lined with Italian stores, bakeries, clubs and organizations. The Feast of our Lady of Mount Carmel, in nearby Melrose Park
Melrose Park, Illinois
Melrose Park is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. It is a "near-in" suburb of Chicago. The population was 23,171 at the 2000 census. Melrose Park has long been home to a large Italian-American population, though now it is majority Mexican-American. It was the home of Kiddieland...

, has been a regular event in the area for more than one hundred years. The near-west suburbs of Elmwood Park, Melrose Park, Schiller Park
Schiller Park, Illinois
Schiller Park is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 11,850 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Schiller Park is located at .According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of , all of it land....

, Franklin Park
Franklin Park, Illinois
Franklin Park is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 19,800 at the 2004 census.-Geography:Franklin Park is located at ....

, River Grove
River Grove, Illinois
River Grove is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 10,668 at the 2000 census.-Geography:River Grove is located at .According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of ....

, Norridge
Norridge, Illinois
Norridge is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 14,582 at the 2000 census. The current Mayor of Norridge is Ronald A. Oppedisano.The village is completely surrounded by Chicago and Harwood Heights.-Name origin:...

, Chicago Heights, and Harwood Heights
Harwood Heights, Illinois
Harwood Heights is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 8,297 at the 2000 census. The current Mayor is Arlene Jezierny...

 are where many Italian Americans live. Suburban Stone Park
Stone Park, Illinois
Stone Park is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 5,127 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Stone Park is located at ....

 is home of Casa Italia and the area's Italian American cultural center.

Cleveland

Cleveland's Little Italy, also known as Murray Hill, is the epicenter of Italian culture in Northeast Ohio, a combined statistical area
Combined Statistical Area
The United States Office of Management and Budget defines micropolitan and metropolitan statistical areas. Metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas consist of one or more counties...

 reporting 278,000 Italian Americans. Little Italy took root when Joseph Carabelli, immigrating in 1880, saw the opportunity for monument work in Cleveland's Lake View Cemetery
Lake View Cemetery
Lake View Cemetery is located on the east side of the City of Cleveland, Ohio, along the East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights borders. There are over 104,000 people buried at Lake View, with more than 700 burials each year. There are remaining for future development. Known locally as "Cleveland's...

 and established what soon became the city's leading marble and granite works. Most fresco and mosaic work in Cleveland was accomplished by Italian artist immigrants. Local Cleveland industrial billionaire John D. Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller
John Davison Rockefeller was an American oil industrialist, investor, and philanthropist. He was the founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S. business trust. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry and defined the structure of...

 took a special liking to the Italian immigrants of the neighborhood and commissioned the building of the community center Alta House, named after his daughter Alta Rockefeller Prentice
Alta Rockefeller Prentice
Alta Rockefeller Prentice was the third daughter of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller and his wife Laura Celestia "Cettie" Spelman . Alta married Colonel Ezra Parmalee Prentice , a prominent Chicago attorney, son of Sartell Prentice and wife Jemima Parmalee, in 1901...

, in 1900. In 1906, Italian immigrant Angelo Vitantonio invented the first hand-crank pasta machine, which made pasta much easier to produce by eliminating the need to flatten and cut it by hand. Some other famous Italian Americans from Northeast Ohio included Anthony J. Celebrezze
Anthony J. Celebrezze
Anthony Joseph Celebrezze Sr. was an Italian American politician of the Democratic Party, who served as the 49th mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, as a cabinet member in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and as a U.S. appeals court judge....

 (49th Mayor of Cleveland), Ettore "Hector" Boiardi
Ettore Boiardi
Ettore "Hector" Boiardi was the Italian-born chef famous for his eponymous brand of food products, named Chef Boyardee.-Early life:Boiardi was born in Piacenza, Italy, to Giuseppe and Maria Maffi Boiardi...

 (Chef Boyardee
Chef Boyardee
Chef Boyardee is a brand of canned pasta products sold internationally by ConAgra Foods. Named after its founder, Italian-American immigrant Ettore Boiardi, the company began production in the United States in the 1920s...

), Frank Battisti
Frank J. Battisti
Frank James Battisti was an American jurist who served as the 21st district judge for the Northern District of Ohio, between 1961 and 1990. He spent 22 of his 31 years on the District Court as chief judge, replacing Judge Girard E...

 (Federal Judge), and Dean Martin
Dean Martin
Dean Martin was an American singer, film actor, television star and comedian. Martin's hit singles included "Memories Are Made of This", "That's Amore", "Everybody Loves Somebody", "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You", "Sway", "Volare" and "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?"...

, born Dino Paul Crocetti in Steubenville, Ohio
Steubenville, Ohio
Steubenville is a city located along the Ohio River in Jefferson County, Ohio on the Ohio-West Virginia border in the United States. It is the political county seat of Jefferson County. It is also a principal city of the Weirton–Steubenville, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area...

.

Ohio's largest outdoor Italian American street festival, the Feast of the Assumption
Cleveland Feast of the Assumption Festival
The annual Feast of the Assumption Festival takes place each year in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood. The festival is held each year on the Catholic holiday of the Feast of the Assumption , commemorating the Virgin Mary's assumption into heaven...

, takes place the weekend of August 15 every year and draws over 100,000 people to the Little Italy neighborhood. The festival is sponsored by the congregation of Holy Rosary Church
Holy Rosary Church (Cleveland, Ohio)
Holy Rosary Church is a historic Roman Catholic church in the Little Italy neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. It is the center of the annual Cleveland Feast of the Assumption Festival....

, which was founded in 1892 with the current church built in 1905.

Milwaukee

Italians first came to Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

, in the late 19th century. Then in the 19th and 20th centuries large numbers of Italian immigrants began to come in mainly from Sicily and southern Italy. Brady Street, the historic Third Ward and the east side of Milwaukee is considered the heart of Italian immigration to the city, where as many as 20 Italian grocery stores once existed on Brady Street alone. Every year the largest Italian American festival in the United States, Festa Italiana
Festa Italiana
Festa Italiana is an ethnic festival held annually at the Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is the largest Italian-American festival in America and features Italian music, food and entertainment...

, takes place in Milwaukee. Italians number at around 40,000 in the city, but in Milwaukee County they number at 111,000. There is also an Italian newspaper called The Italian Times printed by the Italian Community Center (ICC).

Ybor City

The community of Ybor City
History of Ybor City
Ybor City is a historic neighborhood in Tampa, Florida, located just northeast of downtown. It was founded as an independent town in 1885 by a group of cigar manufacturers led by Vicente Martinez-Ybor and was annexed by Tampa in 1887...

 in Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Tampa is a city in the U.S. state of Florida. It serves as the county seat for Hillsborough County. Tampa is located on the west coast of Florida. The population of Tampa in 2010 was 335,709....

 is a cigar-centric company town
Company town
A company town is a town or city in which much or all real estate, buildings , utilities, hospitals, small businesses such as grocery stores and gas stations, and other necessities or luxuries of life within its borders are owned by a single company...

 founded in 1885 and originally populated by a unique mix of Spanish, Cuban, Jewish, and Italian immigrants, with most of the Italians coming from a small group of villages in southwestern Sicily. At first, Italians found it difficult to find employment in the insular and guild-like
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

 cigar industry, which had moved to Tampa from Cuba and Key West and was dominated by Hispanic workers. Many founded businesses to serve cigar workers, most notably small grocery stores in the neighborhood's commercial district supplied by Italian-owned vegetable and dairy farms located on open land east of Tampa's city limits. The immigrant cultures in town became better integrated as time went by; eventually, approximately 20% of the workers in the cigar industry were Italian Americans. The tradition of local Italian-owned groceries continued, however, and a handful of such businesses founded in the late 1800s were still operating into the 21st century Many descendants of Sicilian immigrants eventually became prominent local citizens, such as mayors Nick Nuccio
Nick Nuccio
Mayor of Tampa 1956-1959, 1963-1967Nick Chillura Nuccio was a two-time mayor of Tampa, Florida in the 1950s and 60s...

 and Dick Greco.

Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

, was representative of smaller industrial centers. Most Italians in the early 20th century came to work in the burgeoning iron and coal industries. Dorothy L. Crim founded the Ensley Community House in the Italian district in 1912 at the behest of the Birmingham City Mission Board. From 1912 to 1969, Ensley House eased the often difficult transition to American life by providing direct assistance such as youth programs and day care services, social clubs, and 'Americanization' programs.

San Francisco

According to the 1940 census, 18.5% of all European Immigrants were Italian, the Largest in the City. North Beach is San Francisco
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

's Little Italy, and has historically been home to a large Italian American population. It still holds many Italian restaurants today, though many other ethnic groups currently live in the neighborhood. It was also the historic center of the beatnik
Beatnik
Beatnik was a media stereotype of the 1950s and early 1960s that displayed the more superficial aspects of the Beat Generation literary movement of the 1950s and violent film images, along with a cartoonish depiction of the real-life people and the spiritual quest in Jack Kerouac's autobiographical...

 subculture
Subculture
In sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, a subculture is a group of people with a culture which differentiates them from the larger culture to which they belong.- Definition :...

. Today, North Beach is one of San Francisco's main red light
Red-light district
A red-light district is a part of an urban area where there is a concentration of prostitution and sex-oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, adult theaters, etc...

 and nightlife
Nightlife
Nightlife is the collective term for any entertainment that is available and more popular from the late evening into the early hours of the morning...

 districts as well as a residential neighborhood populated by a mix of young urban professionals, families and Chinese immigrants connected to the adjacent Chinatown. Thanks to its valuable architectural heritage, the American Planning Association (APA)
American Planning Association
The American Planning Association is a professional organization representing the field of city and regional planning in the United States. The APA was formed in 1978 when two separate professional planning organizations, the American Institute of Planners and the American Society of Planning...

 has named North Beach as one of ten 'Great Neighborhoods in America'.

San Diego

Historically, Little Italy in San Diego was the home to Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 fishermen and their families. Many Italians moved to San Diego from San Francisco
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

 after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake
1906 San Francisco earthquake
The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was a major earthquake that struck San Francisco, California, and the coast of Northern California at 5:12 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, 1906. The most widely accepted estimate for the magnitude of the earthquake is a moment magnitude of 7.9; however, other...

 in search of tuna
Tuna
Tuna is a salt water fish from the family Scombridae, mostly in the genus Thunnus. Tuna are fast swimmers, and some species are capable of speeds of . Unlike most fish, which have white flesh, the muscle tissue of tuna ranges from pink to dark red. The red coloration derives from myoglobin, an...

 and other deep-sea sport and commercial fish. When Interstate 5
Interstate 5
Interstate 5 is the main Interstate Highway on the West Coast of the United States, running largely parallel to the Pacific Ocean coastline from Canada to Mexico . It serves some of the largest cities on the U.S...

 was constructed through Little Italy in the early 1970s, 35% of the neighborhood was destroyed and during the same time the California tuna industry was declining, which caused the neighborhood to suffer nearly 30 years of decline. With the creation of the Little Italy Association in 1996, the neighborhood has gone through gentrification
Gentrification
Gentrification and urban gentrification refer to the changes that result when wealthier people acquire or rent property in low income and working class communities. Urban gentrification is associated with movement. Consequent to gentrification, the average income increases and average family size...

 and has seen a renaissance as Community Benefit District specializing in Italian food, boutique shopping and maintenance that makes this shopping district the place to live in Downtown San Diego. Prior to gentrification, the neighborhood was mainly composed of low-density commercial businesses and single-family detached homes. Currently, the neighborhood is mainly composed of residential units, mostly mid-rises, high-rises, and loft
Loft
A loft can be an upper story or attic in a building, directly under the roof. Alternatively, a loft apartment refers to large adaptable open space, often converted for residential use from some other use, often light industrial...

s, with ground floor retail stores and a few commercial buildings.

Demographics

In the 2000 U.S. Census
United States Census
The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by the United States Constitution. The population is enumerated every 10 years and the results are used to allocate Congressional seats , electoral votes, and government program funding. The United States Census Bureau The United States Census...

, Italian Americans constituted the fifth largest ancestry group in America with about 15.6 million people, 5.6% of the total U.S. population. Sicilian Americans are a subset of numerous Americans of regional Italian ancestries. As of 2006, the U.S. Census estimated the Italian-American population at 17.8 million persons, or 6% of the population, constituting a 14% increase over the six year period.

U.S. States with over 100,000 people of Italian ancestry

The U.S. States with over 100,000 people of Italian ancestry in 2000:
  1. New York
    New York
    New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

     2,737,146
  2. New Jersey
    New Jersey
    New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

     1,503,637
  3. California
    California
    California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

     1,450,884
  4. Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania
    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

     1,418,465
  5. Florida
    Florida
    Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

     1,003,977
  6. Massachusetts
    Massachusetts
    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

     860,079
  7. Illinois
    Illinois
    Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

     744,274
  8. Ohio
    Ohio
    Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

     675,749
  9. Connecticut
    Connecticut
    Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

     634,364
  10. Michigan
    Michigan
    Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

     450,952
  11. Texas
    Texas
    Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

     363,354
  12. Maryland
    Maryland
    Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

     267,573
  13. Virginia
    Virginia
    The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

     257,129
  14. Arizona
    Arizona
    Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

     224,795
  15. Colorado 201,787
  16. Rhode Island
    Rhode Island
    The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

     199,077
  17. Louisiana
    Louisiana
    Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

     195,561
  18. Washington 191,442
  19. Missouri 176,209
  20. Wisconsin
    Wisconsin
    Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

     172,578
  21. Georgia
    Georgia (U.S. state)
    Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

     163,218
  22. Nevada
    Nevada
    Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

     132,515
  23. Indiana
    Indiana
    Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

     141,486
  24. Oregon
    Oregon
    Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

     111,462
  25. Minnesota
    Minnesota
    Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

     111,270
  26. New Hampshire
    New Hampshire
    New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

     105,610

U.S. States with over 10% people of Italian ancestry

  1. Rhode Island
    Rhode Island
    The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

     19.0%
  2. Connecticut
    Connecticut
    Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

     18.6%
  3. New Jersey
    New Jersey
    New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

     17.9%
  4. New York
    New York
    New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

     14.4%
  5. Massachusetts
    Massachusetts
    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

     14.2%
  6. Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania
    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

     11.6%

U.S. Communities with the most residents of Italian ancestry

The top 25 U.S. communities with the highest percentage of people claiming Italian ancestry are:
  1. Johnston, Rhode Island
    Johnston, Rhode Island
    Johnston is a town in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 28,769 at the 2010 census. Johnston is the site of the Clemence Irons House a stone-ender museum and the only landfill in Rhode Island...

     46.7%
  2. Hammonton, New Jersey
    Hammonton, New Jersey
    Hammonton is a town in Atlantic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town population was 14,791. It is located directly between Philadelphia and the resort town of Atlantic City, along a former route of the Pennsylvania Railroad currently used by New Jersey...

     45.9%
  3. Frankfort, New York
    Frankfort (village), New York
    Frankfort is a village in Herkimer County, New York, USA. The population was 2,537 at the 2000 census. Like the town, the village is named after early settler, Lawrence Frank....

     (village) 44.7%
  4. East Haven, Connecticut
    East Haven, Connecticut
    East Haven is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the town population was 28,189. The town is just 3 minutes from downtown New Haven...

      43.1%
  5. Roseto, Pennsylvania
    Roseto, Pennsylvania
    Roseto is a borough in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, United States. Roseto is located in the Lehigh Valley region of the state. It is part of Pennsylvania's Slate Belt.The population of Roseto was 1,653 at the 2000 census.-Geography:...

     41.8%
  6. Franklin Square, New York
    Franklin Square, New York
    Franklin Square is a hamlet in Nassau County, New York, United States. The population was 29,320 at the 2010 census...

     40.0%
  7. North Massapequa, New York
    North Massapequa, New York
    North Massapequa is a hamlet located on Long Island within the town of Oyster Bay in Nassau County, New York, United States. The population was 17,886 at the 2010 census...

     38.9%
  8. Frankfort, New York
    Frankfort (town), New York
    Frankfort is a town in Herkimer County, New York, United States. The population was 7,478 at the 2000 census. The town is named after one of its earliest settlers, Lawrence Frank. The town of Frankfort includes a village also called Frankfort. The town is east of Utica...

     38.5%
  9. Totowa, New Jersey
    Totowa, New Jersey
    Totowa is a borough in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2000 United States Census, the borough population was 9,892.Totowa was formed as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 15, 1898, from portions of the now-defunct Manchester Township and Wayne...

     37.7%
  10. Lowellville, Ohio
    Lowellville, Ohio
    Lowellville is a village in Mahoning County, Ohio, United States, in the "Steel Valley" area of the northeast part of the state, southeast of Youngstown. The village is an older, predominantly Italian-American, working-class community built along the banks of the Mahoning River, and centered around...

     37.4%
  11. Fairfield, New Jersey 37.2%
  12. North Providence, Rhode Island
    North Providence, Rhode Island
    North Providence is a town in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 32,078 at the 2010 census.The town has the distinction of being the smallest by area in the smallest state . Though at only , the city of Central Falls is Rhode Island's smallest municipality...

     36.6%
  13. Thornwood, New York
    Thornwood, New York
    Thornwood is an unincorporated hamlet and census-designated place in the town of Mount Pleasant in Westchester County, New York. The population was 3,759 at the 2010 census.-History:...

     36.5%
  14. South Hackensack, New Jersey
    South Hackensack, New Jersey
    South Hackensack Township is a township in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 2,378....

     36.3%
  15. Hawthorne, New York
    Hawthorne, New York
    Hawthorne is an unincorporated hamlet and census-designated place located in the town of Mount Pleasant in Westchester County, New York. The population was 4,586 at the 2010 census.-History:...

     36.2%
  16. Nutley, New Jersey
    Nutley, New Jersey
    2010 Census Data:*TOTAL: 28,370 or 100%*White: 23,405 *African American: 628 *Asian: 2,824 *American Indian and Alaska Native: 36 *Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 4...

     36.0%
  17. Jessup, Pennsylvania
    Jessup, Pennsylvania
    Jessup is a borough in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 4,676 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Jessup is located at ....

     35.9%
  18. Revere, Massachusetts
    Revere, Massachusetts
    Revere is a city in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States, and located approximately from downtown Boston. It is named after the American patriot Paul Revere. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 51,755.- History :...

     (greatest percentage of any city) 35.7%
  19. East Hanover, New Jersey
    East Hanover, New Jersey
    East Hanover Township is a township in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. As of the United States 2000 Census, the township population was 11,393. The town was incorporated in 1928. The headquarters of the Nabisco company and the pharmaceutical company Novartis are located in East...

     35.6
  20. Harrison, New York
    Harrison, New York
    Harrison is a village and town in Westchester County, New York, United States, located approximately northeast of Manhattan. The population was 27,472 at the 2010 census.-Establishment:...

     34.9%
  21. Deer Park, New York
    Deer Park, New York
    Deer Park is a hamlet and census-designated place in Suffolk County, New York, United States. The population was 27,745 at the 2010 census.-History:...

     34.9%
  22. West Paterson, New Jersey
    West Paterson, New Jersey
    Woodland Park is a borough in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough population was 10,987....

     34.3%
  23. Valhalla, New York
    Valhalla, New York
    Valhalla is an unincorporated hamlet and census-designated place that is located within the town of Mount Pleasant, New York, in Westchester County. Its population was 3,162 at the 2010 U.S. Census...

     34.2%
  24. Lyndhurst, New Jersey
    Lyndhurst, New Jersey
    Lyndhurst is a township in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 20,554.Lyndhurst was originally formed as Union Township on February 19, 1852 from portions of Harrison Township...

     33.8%
  25. North Haven, Connecticut
    North Haven, Connecticut
    North Haven is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut on the outskirts of New Haven, Connecticut.North Haven is less than ten miles from downtown New Haven and Yale University. It is near Sleeping Giant State Park and home the Quinnipiac University School of Health Sciences, the School of Nursing,...

     33.7%

See also

  • European American
    European American
    A European American is a citizen or resident of the United States who has origins in any of the original peoples of Europe...

  • Hyphenated American
    Hyphenated American
    In the United States, the term hyphenated American is an epithet commonly used from 1890 to 1920 to disparage Americans who were of foreign birth or origin, and who displayed an allegiance to a foreign country. It was most commonly used to disparage German Americans or Irish Americans who called...

  • Immigration to the United States
    Immigration to the United States
    Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

  • Italian-American cuisine
    Italian-American cuisine
    Italian American cuisine is the cuisine of Italian American immigrants and their descendents, who have modified Italian cuisine under the influence of American culture and immigration patterns of Italians to the United States...

  • Italian diaspora
    Italian diaspora
    The term Italian diaspora refers to the large-scale migration of Italians away from Italy in the period roughly beginning with the unification of Italy in 1861 and ending with the Italian economic miracle in the 1960s...

  • Italy–USA Foundation
  • List of Italian Americans
  • Padrone system
    Padrone system
    The padrone system was an indentured labor system that preyed upon Italian immigrants to the United States.Many thousands of Italian immigrants found themselves prisoners of the padrone, or patron, system of labor. The padroni were labor brokers, sometimes immigrants themselves, who recruited...

  • Utah Italians
    Utah Italians
    Utah Italians include the descendants of immigrants from Italy, and a small number of recent immigrants from Italy. More and more Utah Italians of the third and fourth generations are trying to reconnect to the rich heritage of their country of origin, also to gain a better perspective of their...

  • Anti-Italianism
    Anti-Italianism
    Anti-Italianism is a hostility toward Italian people utilizing stereotypes about them, such as the idea that the Italians are tolerant of violence, political corruption, Italy's former alliance with Nazi Germany and criminal groups such as the Mafia...



External links

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