Politics

Bill de Blasio background: Proud to be an Italian-American!

Bill de Blasio background: Proud to be an Italian-American!

bill de blasio background Italian and German

Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio with wife Chirlane McCray (left) and kids.

Bill de Blasio background revealed

Bill de Blasio officially announced his candidacy for mayor of New York City on Sunday by recalling the person who influenced his life the most, an old Italian man with an accent that was nearly incomprehensible.

“He only had 70 years to get comfortable with English,” de Blasio jokingly defended his grandfather.

Commonly referred to as an Italian-American politician, he also boats German ancestry.

Bill de Blasio background: Raised Italian-American

Bill de Blasio was originally born Warren Wilhelm, and legally changed his last name to his mother’s maiden name.

In an April 2012 interview, de Blasio explained: “[My dad] He was an alcoholic, and my mother and father broke up very early and I was brought up by my mother’s family — that’s the bottom line — the de Blasio family.”

Although his grandfather passed away in 1977, the memory of him plays a large role in his decisions today.

De Blasio’s family has come a long way since his Italian grandparents emigrated to the United States with little in their pockets and he believes that the further he takes his career, the closer he must stick to his roots.

De Blasio knows that his grandfather’s olive skin and thick curls would face scrutiny under Arizona laws if he were alive today. “That gives me perspective,” he said.

In 2010, de Blasio took his children to Italy so they could connect with their heritage. “That connection to that part of my heritage has been a very important part of my life”, de Blasio said.

The occupancy of so many Italian Americans in high political offices is indeed impressive.

If de Blasio wins, he will become New York City’s first Democratic, Italian-American mayor since Vincent Impellitteri’s term ended in 1953.

With the Italian background of Andrew Cuomo, current governor of New York, it would also mean the two most powerful state politicians will be Italian-American.

This is a truly remarkable development when one considers that Italian Americans were virtually absent from the political scene only a few generations ago.

View Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. Alex Drinkwater

    January 27, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    He’s a miserable excuse for a mayor – I don’t care how much Italian blood he has. And Cuomo’s not much better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Politics

More in Politics

bobby jindal hyphenated americans

Bobby Jindal attacked for his view on hyphenated Americans

Daniel DenticoJanuary 25, 2015
Governor Mario Cuomo

Remembering former New York Governor Mario Cuomo

Kathy SalvatiJanuary 5, 2015
italy republic day

United States recognizes Italy Republic Day

Daniel DenticoJune 3, 2014
arizona joe arpaio italian

Joe Arpaio: America’s racial double standard towards Italian Americans

Daniel DenticoApril 11, 2014
mario cuomo mafia real

‘Disillusioned’ Ex-Governor Mario Cuomo finally admits the Mafia is real

Daniel DenticoOctober 23, 2013
wandering dago food truck andrew cuomo

Gov. Cuomo speaks out about Wandering Dago food truck

Daniel DenticoSeptember 24, 2013

If you know of a news story that should be covered or have an opinion on a story that’s making news, email your article to: news@iajournal.com

Copyright © 2015 Italian American Journal.

Copyright © 2009-2014 Italian American Journal.