Harry DeAngelis – My Great-Grandfather

Harry (Aristodemo) DeAngelis


This is a restored photograph of Harry DeAngelis, my Great Grandfather (my mother’s mother’s father) that I restored from a sadly dilapidated state. Here’s what it looked like beforehand:

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Born on one of the seven hills of Rome, he slipped through Ellis Island illegally to get into the United States and somehow found his brothers who were here, miles from Grand Central Station looking for him. He couldn’t speak a word of English, but he quickly learned. Becoming a citizen as quickly as he could (it was much easier back then) he dropped his given name, Aristodemo, and took on the name Harry (after the song “I’m Just Wild About Harry”) as Italians were looked down upon, and he wanted to fully integrate.

The DeAngelis brothers originally had a bicycle shop where they sold and repaired bikes of all sorts, but as automobiles became more popular people came to them asking if they did auto repairs as well. At the time, there wasn’t as much difference between the mechanics of a bike and a car, so they started repairing cars. This eventually lead to them founding a car dealership (Nash, and eventually Cadillac, and Buick).

He truly attained the American Dream, starting off penniless and founding a strong legacy with a focus on education, frugality, and perseverance.

Anyways, I’ll have a full and proper biography about him up eventually.


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