NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Happy birthday to New Rochelle's Joseph J. DioGuardi.
DioGuardi, a certified public accountant and Republican politician, was born Sept. 20, 1940.
DioGuardi's father, Joseph Sr., immigrated to the United States from Greci, Italy. The family traces its roots to the Arbëreshë minority in Italy. His father eventually established a grocery and vegetable store in East Bronx. The family moved to Westchester County in 1957.
Joseph Sr. married Grace Paparella on Jan. 8, 1939, and the couple settled in Orchard Hills in White Plains.
Joseph J. is the oldest of three DioGuardi children. After the family's move to Westchester, he attended Fordham Preparatory School. In 1957, he landed a summer job as a busboy for Elmwood Country Club in Westchester County. He advanced to a waiter position..
DioGuardi graduated from Fordham University in 1962. After college, he was hired at Arthur Andersen & Co. He became a certified public accountant and achieved partner status at age 31, after 10 years at the firm.
DioGuardi specialized in federal and state taxation for nonprofit organizations, as well as the tax economics of charitable giving.
He served in the House of Representatives representing the 20th Congressional District of New York from 1985-89.
DioGuardi was also the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in New York during the 2010 special election but lost to incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand.
DioGuardi also serves as president of the Albanian American Civic League, an organization he co-founded with his wife, Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi.
He is the father of former "American Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi.
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