NEWS » American Italian Bill de Blasio becomes first democratic major of NYC

American Italian Bill de Blasio becomes first democratic major of NYC

The American-Italian Bill de Blasio, the first democratic mayor of New York in 20 years, is very attached to his Italian origins.

The New York Mayors’ election was followed with interest by the inhabitants of Sant Agata dei Goti (province of Benevento) the town from which de Blasio’s grandparents emigrated and where Bill still has some relatives.

During his first speech de Blasio spoke in Italian to greet Sant Agata dei Goti, where, in spite of the jet lag, the election was followed all night long by a small group of citizens. During the day many people gathered in piazza Municipio and in “cinema nuovo” to follow the counting ballots.

Finally Bill’s victory was celebrated with a toast of spumante di Falaghina, the most famous local wine.

As the news agency “Adnkronos” reported, Bill de Blasio is very attached to his family. His last visit to Sant Agata dei Goti was in 2010, when he  took a picture with his family from the roof terrace of his 93 year-old great aunt, Adele Picone Mongillo. 

As the local papers reported, that photo printed on the posters, invaded Sant Agata dei Goti in the last few days.

De Blasio was born Warren Wilhelm, Jr. in Manhattan, New York. His father had German ancestry, and his maternal grandparents, Giovanni and Anna, immigrated from Sant Agata dei Goti in the Province of Benevento. He was raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Bill was 7 years old when his father first left home and 8 years old when his parents divorced. His father was an officer in the army, he suffered from an incurable lung cancer and committed suicide in 1979.

In 1983 he legally changed his name to Warren de Blasio-Wilhelm. By the time he appeared on the public scene in 1990, he was using the name Bill de Blasio, as he explained, he had been called “Bill” or “Billy” in his personal life. He did not legally change over to this new name until 2002, when it was noted that he was using a different name during an election.

De Blasio received a B.A. from the New York University majoring in metropolitan studies, a program in urban studies with courses such as Politics of Minority Groups, he also had a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s school of International and public affairs. 

Giulia Lombardo

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