Calogero di Carlo, called "Lelio," is born 19 October 1901 in Corleone, the son of Vincenzo di Carlo and Maria Santa Castro. His godparents are Bernardo Sabella and Vincenza Jovino, a married couple.
A family history written by Calogero's nephew, Vincent di Carlo, gives Calogero's birth date one month earlier, on 19 September.
He immigrates around 1920. All of Calogero's brothers and two of his sisters also immigrate to New York.
In 1940, Calogero incorporates the Esperia Film Distributing Co., an enterprise he says began the previous year, for importing Italian films for distribution in the US. Esperia is active from 1936-40.
In 1942, Esperia is owned jointly by Calogero, the treasurer, who owns 60% of stock, John (Giovanni) di Carlo, who owns 10%, and Francesco, who owns 30%. In addition to a small income from the Italian government for his military service, Angelo earns an income from shares in one of the theaters to which Esperia distributes its films.
Immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, thousands of Italian nationals are arrested, including Lelio and his brothers John and Angelo. Angelo, who is a retired Italian Army officer, is interned for over a year. Lelio writes on his brother's behalf and includes a description of his business activities with Esperia in his letter.
Although Lelio explicitly denies the films are propaganda, the Fascist credentials of his partner in this venture, Francesco Macaluso, are well established. Esperia imports films that depict Mussolini's Italy in a positive light. All 29 of Esperia's 1940 releases "attempted to convince spectators that under the leadership of Mussolini Italy was a strong and mighty nation."
Angelo leaves the country early in 1948. According to Vincent, Lelio helps manage his brother Angelo’s business enterprises. When Angelo returns to Italy, Lelio is left with a fledgling travel agency.
Calogero marries Elena Barcia on 24 April 1949, in New York City. There is no record of them having any children.
Lelio borrows $4,000 to move the travel agency close to Times Square, and creates the Di Carlo Travel Bureau in New York. Di Carlo Travel become one of the most successful travel agencies in the United States. At one point it is the largest reservations agent for Alitalia Airlines in the United States and Pan American Airlines' biggest charter agent.
Calogero and Elena travel to Sicily, returning 8 November 1951 to New York. Their address is given on the manifest as 1143 First Ave., New York City. The notes in the Nationality column appear to indicate they are Italian nationals traveling on American visas.
Calogero and Elena fly back from Rome to New York on 8 January 1953.
Later that same year, they appear on a manifest, returning from Paris, on 13 October 1953. Calogero's name has been initially recorded as Lelio, his nickname.
Elena and Lelio return from Montego Bay, Jamaica on 23 April 1956.
Lelio dies on 30 August 1994 in New Jersey, at the age of 92. " He lived an excellent quality of life, living until 92. He was still driving his auto at that age," recalls his nephew, Vincent. Lelio is buried in Hawthorne, New York.
Helen dies 15 May 2009 in Ft. Lee, NJ. She is 97.
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