Mario Toglia, son of Calitri born immigrants, Ernest and Giuseppina (Codella) Toglia, grew up in Brooklyn and attended local Catholic schools, including Fordham University School of Education. He taught Romance languages in the New York City school system for some 33 years. Researching his family history was an avocation, done initially as a leisurely pastime, but the introduction of the “Age of Computer Technology” opened up new ways to search and study. The collection of data expanded outward after he connected with fellow Calitrani descendents. Mario Toglia acknowledged the ties that bound the Calitrani American community. “With all the material that I gathered,” he said, “it became obvious it was my generation’s mission to honor and preserve the immigrant history and legacy of Calitri.” The end product was the book, They Came by Ship: The Stories of the Calitran Immigrants in America published in 2007. This was followed in 2013 with Preserving Our History.
Mr. Toglia is a member of the Calitri American Cultural Group, the Italian American Studies Association and the Italian Genealogical Group. He currently resides on Long Island.