Fiorello H. La Guardia
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Woodlawn Cemetery - Bronx, New York

As with Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx has many famous people buried there, and there are a number of  sculptures by Attilio Piccirilli, the most famous of the seven Piccirilli brothers who were all sculptors, and who was a close friend of Fiorello LaGuardia and his family. 

The first one  called Mother and Child  is a copy of part of The Maine Monument. The sculpture shows a grieving mother and  child. It originally marked the grave of Barbara Giorgi Piccirilli mother of the Piccirilli family and her husband Giuseppe. The sculpture, an uninscribed marker, is the only indication that this is the site of sixteen burials of at least three generations of the Piccirilli family.  There are at least two more sculptures by Attilio Piccirilli in Woodlawn Cemetery. One is powerful and emotionally affective. The second, simpler in conception, is less powerful as sculpture, but its story still saddens many. 

First is the grave of Ensign Nathan Piccirilli, son of Orazio Piccirilli and his wife Angelina who are also buried here. Their son was killed in World War II at the Battle of Ormac Bay in the Philippine Islands. Attilio Piccirilli died less than a year after his nephew. The Outcast is a powerfully evocative sculpture of a young man clutching himself in intense grief. It goes by many names: The Outcast, The Pariah and The Friendless Immigrant.

Not too far away from the Nathan Piccirilli grave is the burial place of the first wife and infant daughter of Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia who many consider New York City’s most colorful and greatest mayor. Location of the plot: Section 93/106, Oakwood Plot

Attilio Piccirilli was one of a circle of close friends of the Little Flower (from his first name, Fiorello) and an early political supporter. In 1914 when LaGuardia was picked to run for Congress by the Republican Party he opened his election headquarters in a building owned by the Piccirilli family. Attilio Piccirilli campaigned for him and, “holding aloft a banner with LaGuardia’s name, led a parade of some twenty persons during a pouring rain on Fourth Street, where they were picked off by Tammany braves with vegetables, rotten eggs, and other campaign grapeshot.”

A large marble bas-relief sculpted by Attilio Piccirilli marks the grave of La Guardia’s infant daughter, Fioretta Thea.

Sources:

  • http://home.att.net/~ekjk/photos.html
  • New York Times archives - http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9800E5DB1231E433A25757C0A9679C946896D6CF&oref=slogin

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Created: Monday, March 08, 2010; Last Updated: Thursday, August 06, 2015
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