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The IAMLA Receives a Major Gift
from the
Angelo and Phyllis Mozilo
Family Foundation
The Mozilo Family has joined the Museum's
elite cadre of donors known as the Founding Families.

In preparation for the Museum's opening, the IAMLA's Founding Family designation
was created to recognize individuals and families whose dedication, generosity,
and achievements make them ripe for distinction.

The Mozilo Family Story
In an attempt to bring color to his pale, gaunt face, Angelo Mozzillo pinched his cheeks repeatedly as he entered the medical inspection line at Ellis Island. The steamship agent in Italy had warned him about the examinations he would undergo in order to gain admittance to America, and while the 29-year-old began the transatlantic journey in relatively good health, he had become seriously ill during the thirteen days spent at sea.

1903 ship manifest for Angelo Mozzillo, which lists his occupation as “shoemaker."
Angelo could neither read nor write, and arrived in the United States with $16.

Like most emigrants, Angelo traveled third class, or steerage, which was located on the ship’s lower deck, below water level, and resembled a dormitory, with areas designated for families, women traveling alone, and men. For a fare of $30, the equivalent of $800 today, the steerage passenger received a 2 ½’ x 6’, coffin-like berth in the perpetually dark compartment, where he or she slept and stored personal belongings. Privacy was non-existent in steerage; an average of fifty people shared a single room and a lone iron rod separated the multi-tiered rows of berths. Although ocean liner companies achieved fame for the opulence of their first-class cabins, the immigrant trade produced their principal source of income. On the average voyage, the vessels carried upwards of 800 steerage passengers in addition to several hundred first- and second-class passengers, for which they netted a profit of approximately $50,000.

The SS Sicilian Prince, the ship that transported Angelo Mozzillo to the United States.

“The steerage of the modern ship ought to be condemned as unfit for the transportation of human beings,” wrote American photographer Arthur Steiglitz, who documented the abysmal conditions of steerage in the early 1900s. Designed to transport cargo, the compartment’s sanitary conditions were deplorable; pots served as toilets, and basic necessities such as soap and potable water were scarce. These factors, coupled with the grossly inadequate ventilation (a twelve-inch shaft served as the air supply for 25 people), made steerage a breeding ground for disease. At the turn of the twentieth century when Angelo traveled, one in ten third-class passengers did not survive the voyage.




On his seventh day at sea, Angelo lay in his berth, clammy and feverish. The chorus of voices around him grew muffled, and he descended into a stupor. In his mind, Angelo walked along the winding roads of Casalnuovo di Napoli, where his wife stood in the distance, cradling their tightly swaddled infant son.




Right: Stieglitz' iconic 1907 image
"The Steerage."

The SS Sicilian Prince erupted with jubilation as it entered the harbor, but as the emigrants disembarked, their mood grew anxious. Angelo, who had lost ten pounds during the voyage, adjusted his coat and pants to make his slight frame appear more robust, careful not to disturb the tag attached to his lapel. His fear of rejection loomed as he watched inspectors mark the clothing of several passengers who were subsequently removed from line. What did the letters signify? Were they being sent back?
Immigrants being inspected for trachoma at Ellis Island.
(Courtesy of Office of the Public Health Service Historian)

The mere thought of deportation evoked an olfactory memory of the ship’s horrific stench, and Angelo’s hands trembled as he felt the Public Health Officers scrutinize him from head to toe. One officer examined his eyes for what seemed like an eternity, before lifting each eyelid with a buttonhook and peering underneath. Finally, Angelo was permitted to proceed to the cage-like structure where he would be disinfected and vaccinated. He exhaled, and practiced reciting the name of his destination: Dabrancs. Dabrancs. It was a strange word, with many harsh-sounding consonants, unlike any he knew in napoletano.

Angelo was unaware that the area where he would settle, the Bronx, was named after its first European resident, Jonas Bronck, a Swede, who arrived in 1639. By the time Angelo immigrated in 1901, the Italian population of the Bronx had grown quite large. Some immigrants purchased farms in the borough’s rural northeastern section, where the contrast between the old world and the new was not as pronounced.

138th Street and 3rd Avenue in the Bronx, circa 1902. (Courtesy of the Bronx County Historical Society Collection)

Others lived near the factories of Melrose, and in the neighborhoods of Fordham and Belmont, where they worked in the construction trades and played integral roles in the creation of the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden. Fordham's little Italy, regarded today as one of the nation’s few, intact Italian neighborhoods, stretched across East 187th Street, from Prospect to Arthur Avenue. In 1906, after being excluded from the Irish-dominated Catholic Church and forced to worship in church basements, the enclave’s Italian immigrants founded Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, which quickly became the neighborhood’s focal point.

Dedicated in 1906, Our Lady of Mount Carmel became the largest Italian National Parish in the Archdiocese of New York. In the 1940s and 1950s, more than 40,000 Italian Americans belonged to the parish. (Courtesy of Regina Magazine)

While his wife, Raffaela, and son, Biagio, waited in Casalnuovo, Angelo earned a subsistence level salary as a shoemaker. Two years later, his passage financed by a family member, Angelo returned to Italy in order to accompany his family on the transatlantic journey. Whereas many immigrants of Angelo’s time were sojourners, individuals who planned to work in the United States for a brief period and return to their homeland, when Angelo left Italy the second time, he did not look back. Though he never mastered the English language, and his limited literacy skills prevented him from obtaining United States citizenship, Angelo thought of himself as an American from that day forward.
Angelo Mozzillo’s WWI draft registration.


By 1915, the Mozzillo family had doubled in size. Raffaela gave birth to five children in the United States, Annunziata, August, Raffaele Giacomo, Raffaele Giuseppe, and Pasquale, and the family of eight lived in a tiny apartment on East 152nd Street in the Bronx. During an era when a single pair of shoes served multiple children before being handed down to a neighbor or cousin, the Mozzillo family struggled to make ends meet. Raffaela took in wash and mending, and at an age inconceivable by modern Western standards, Angelo sent his children to work. In 1918, as the influenza epidemic swept across the nation, the Mozzillo family buried twelve-year-old Annunziata; one year later, Angelo and Raffaela lost their youngest son, Raffaele Giuseppe, weeks before his eighth birthday.

This 1910 image by Jessie Tarbox Beals, the nation’s first, published female photojournalist, shows a mother and her eight children in their New York tenement apartment. Prior to 1901, windows were not a requirement in apartments, and communicable diseases, such as tuberculosis, spread like wildfire. (Courtesy of Columbia University Library)

By the time brothers August, Raffaele Giacomo, and Pasquale reached their teenage years, they provided the lion’s share of the family’s income. August, or Auggie, worked in a piano factory, and Pasquale and Raffaele, who preferred to be called Ralph and Pat, became butcher’s apprentices. Biagio, the eldest Mozzillo son, Americanized his name to Harry, and secured a position at the Eastern Seaboard supermarket chain, A&P. Ralph soon acquired his own butcher shop in the heart of the Bronx’s vibrant commercial district, and after a brief courtship, married Lucia “Pauline” Miluzzo, the American-born daughter of Sicilian immigrants. In 1938, the couple welcomed their first child, who, according to Italian tradition, was named after his paternal grandfather, Angelo.

Angelo (right) stands next to his parents, Ralph and Pauline, and his younger brother.
Ralph served in the U.S. Navy during WWII
.
Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States’ entrance into World War II, the government introduced rationing to regulate the amount of commodities, including gasoline, clothing, tires, and food, that consumers could obtain. Designed to prevent price gouging and ensure every family received their fair share, rationing inadvertently gave birth to thriving black markets. America’s hunger for meat, specifically beef, made the meat trade the largest black market in food.

World War II ration book.
(From the collection of the IAMLA)
On several occasions, anonymous gentlemen visited Ralph’s butcher shop and offered him lucrative opportunities. Ralph resisted the temptation, however. To provide for his family, he worked seven days a week, and eventually purchased a second butcher shop. Even when bad weather made the roads nearly impassable, Ralph awoke each morning before sunrise and drove 30 miles across town in his Ford panel truck to check on his parents and in-laws before opening the store. Despite his long hours and Pauline’s frugality, homeownership remained out of reach for the couple, who rented a duplex owned by Ralph’s brother. “One day,” Ralph often told his bride, “we will own our own home. One day.” That day did not come until seventeen years later.
Grand Concourse and Fordham Road in the Bronx, 1941.
It was the 23rd of December 1941, and the Christmas rush required Ralph to remain at work long after closing. Before leaving, Ralph gathered the expertly curated bag of groceries that he would bring to Pauline. He imagined how his wife would smile as she unpacked his selections: bacala, or cod; pork and beef that he had ground personally; chestnuts for roasting; fresh, locally produced mozzarella; and an assortment of produce grown by Italian farmers in Long Island, including chicory, escarole, broccoli rabe, and carduni, or artichoke thistle.He tucked the neatly wrapped roast he had reserved for the family under his arm, and clutching the sack of groceries in his other, and Ralph headed home.

As he approached the family’s walk-up, Ralph heard the mournful sound of a child crying, and his heart filled with dread. The crying grew louder as Ralph hurried up the stairs. When he opened the door, he found Pauline cradling baby Angelo, whose face was red and soaked with tears. “It’s back,” Pauline murmured, as she held a warm compress to Angelo’s ear, her enormous blue eyes distraught with worry. In a year’s time, Angelo had experienced nearly a dozen ear infections, which grew worse with each occurrence, and were accompanied by dangerously high fevers. In the early 1940s, antibiotics were not widely available, so the family utilized remedies such as warm olive oil drops and heated table salt, which they placed in a sock, and applied to the affected ear. As bare-chested Angelo sobbed, tugged, and batted at his ears, Ralph soaked a cloth in water and knelt beside Pauline, wiping his son’s forehead and stomach, in hope of reducing the fever. During Angelo’s previous illness, the mastoid bone adjacent to his ear had become inflamed, a telltale sign of a serious infection. The doctor had warned the family that surgery would be necessary to prevent their son from losing his hearing or suffering other serious complications, such as a perforated eardrum.

Angelo (front row) with friends, circa 1945

“How much will it cost?” asked Ralph. “About $200,” replied the doctor, “plus the hospital stay.” Ralph swallowed and lowered his head; $200 equated to over two month’s salary for him. Where would he find the money?

Days after Christmas, Ralph sold the second butcher shop to pay for Angelo’s double mastoidectomy, an operation that involves removing diseased cells and the infected portion of the bone at the base of the skull. At first, it seemed the operation was successful, but within six months, the infections returned. “He will need another surgery,” the doctor informed Pauline. Unwilling to accept government assistance, Ralph brought in a partner at the butcher shop. While a pot of water boiled on the stove, and Bing Crosby’s bass-baritone played on the radio, the doctor performed Angelo’s second mastoidectomy on the family’s kitchen table. Humble and stoic, Ralph never told Angelo how his myriad of childhood ailments, including chronic asthma, placed considerable strain on the family’s finances.

Members of the Mozilo and Miluzzo families, including Ralph Mozilo (seated in the foreground with a flower and his lapel); Pauline Mozilo (seated to his right); and Pauline’s brother Joe Miluzzo (seated behind Pauline), who was a major influence upon Angelo’s life. Auggie Mozilo is seated on Ralph’s left; Pauline’s parents are pictured on the other side of the table.

Determined to protect their children from the destructive force of prejudice, shortly before Angelo’s birth, Ralph and Pauline dropped the second z and l from their surname. Although Mozilo and Miluzzo elders spoke primarily Italian, Ralph and Pauline decided their children would speak English, exclusively. They also impressed upon their children the importance of dressing properly, and behaving in a way that engendered respect. During holidays and at the dinner table, however, the family’s italianitá shone brightly. On Sunday afternoons following Mass, the entire family gathered for exquisite, multi-course suppers that spanned hours, and included specialties such as Raffaela’s purpette a la passula, tender Neapolitan meatballs with raisins and pine nuts; Pauline’s cavatelli, a shell-shaped pasta made with fresh ricotta; and her feather-light ravioli stuffed with veal, which was laid on a sheet to dry, before being boiled and smothered in a decadent sauce. As a ritual, the Sunday dinners maintained a sense of connectivity amidst change and symbolized the family’s triumph over the scourges of hunger.
Concert goers waiting in line to see Mexican performer Pedro Vargas at Teatro Puerto Rico in the Bronx. (Courtesy of the New York State Archives)
World War II had ended, and the Bronx, a microcosm of America, sustained a series of socio-cultural changes. The influence of ethnic institutions weakened as immigrants’ children and grandchildren developed American identities, and a national American culture penetrated the borough. With the advent of the supermarket, Bronxites, who had previously dedicated an entire day to shopping at multiple, specialized stores, willingly sacrificed quality for convenience, and Ralph witnessed his customer base gradually evaporate. Nevertheless, he continued to provide relief to the poorest members of the community. On Saturday evenings after closing, with a dozen parcels stacked between them, Angelo accompanied his father as he drove through the neighborhood on a methodically planned course. Each time Ralph stopped, Angelo grabbed one of the packages, which contained a modest assortment of meats, and made his way to the upper floors of the buildings where his father’s former customers lived. Elderly or infirmed, the absence of elevators relegated many to the confines of their apartments. Angelo never forgot the gratitude that the recipients expressed for his father’s charity.
Angelo, age 11, with sister, Paula, and brother, Ralph.

From the time he could speak in complete sentences, Angelo had dutifully assisted his father at work, sweeping floors, trimming chicken, and making sausage. Ralph assumed that Angelo would take over the business, but Angelo had no intention of pursuing his father’s vocation. In the blink of an eye, the generational divide had grown wide. While she revered her husband, Pauline also envisioned a different future for her children. Despite her tremendous academic promise, following the revelation that one of her classmates was pregnant, Pauline’s father withdrew her from school in the ninth grade. From that day forward, Pauline worked in a sweatshop, sewing zippers into dresses, hour after hour, while her mind drifted to The Good Earth, the bestselling novel of 1931 that her class had begun reading days before she left. A tireless advocate of education, Pauline championed to send the children to parochial high schools and ensured that they prioritized their studies above all other activities.

In high school, Angelo ascended to the top 5% of his class at Mount Saint Michael Academy, and discovered a world that stretched far beyond his North Bronx neighborhood. Nonetheless, when he expressed interest in attending college, Ralph, a man of materialities, retorted incredulously, “What are you going to feed your kids, books?!” Aside for a few exceptions, employment, as exemplified by the adults in Angelo’s life, involved either selling or making, and it was not until age thirteen that he learned of another occupation that defied this paradigm. “Mortgage?” Angelo said, repeating the word he had heard for the first time from his uncle Joe, an insurance executive who purchased mortgages for Union Labor Life Insurance Company, “What’s a mortgage?” After Joe provided a brief explanation, Angelo stated decisively. “That’s it. That’s what I want to do. Can you help me find a job?” “You’re not old enough to work yet!” his uncle scoffed. “But when I am?” “Sure, sure,” Joe replied, before turning away and changing the topic.

On his fourteenth birthday, Ralph woke Angelo earlier than usual. “We need to get your working papers,” he said. They proceeded to the health department, where Ralph signed documents authorizing Angelo to receive a worker’s permit. That evening, soon after Uncle Joe returned from work, he received a phone call. “I have it,” Angelo announced proudly. “Have what?” asked Joseph. “My worker’s permit!” As a nod to his nephew’s determination, or perhaps to avoid being pestered further, Joe kept his promise, and within weeks, Angelo was working in the mailroom at Lawyers Mortgage and Title, a Midtown Manhattan firm. Though it seemed inconsequential at the time, Uncle Joe forever changed the course of his nephew’s life; Angelo remains eternally grateful.

Angelo’s childhood home on Powell Street in the Bronx.

In the years that followed, Angelo worked in every department of the company, including the insurance, technology and title divisions, and served as a messenger and cashier. He was accepted to Fordham University, an academically rigorous Jesuit university in New York, where he double majored in philosophy and theology, and minored in marketing. While Fordham prohibited Greek life, Angelo received permission from university leadership to create Chi Rho, a religious-based fraternity that raised money for the homeless, and derived its name from one of the earliest monograms, or or symbolic abbreviations, of the word Christ.

The Chi Rho, an early symbol of Christ.

When class ended in the afternoon, Angelo took the subway to Midtown, where he worked until the early evening, and with a monthly salary of $180, self-financed his education. After work, he went to the library, before finally returning home to complete his remaining schoolwork. During Angelo’s freshman year, Ralph and Pauline purchased a co-op in the Bronx. A labor dispute prevented the family from occupying the building for more than a year, however, during which time the family of five lived in the basement of Ralph’s partner.

Angelo’s Fordham University yearbook photo.

In 1957, Angelo met Phyllis Ardese, who lived a block away, and was also the grandchild of Italian immigrants. Although Phyllis’ grade point average would have guaranteed her admission to dozens of prestigious schools, the Ardese family’s limited resources, coupled with the fact that financial aid as we know it today had not yet been introduced, made attending college extremely challenging. While working as an executive secretary at IBM, Phyllis attended Westchester Community College ─ the best school she could afford ─ where she obtained an associate’s degree.

On their first date, Angelo invited Phyllis to attend a play at Fordham, and at the end of the evening, bid her a polite farewell. Days later, the phone rang at the Mozilo residence; it was Phyllis, seeking Angelo’s help with algebra. During the tutoring sessions, as Phyllis solved polynomial equations, Angelo discovered a woman whose physical beauty was matched by intelligence, wit, and an unfaltering commitment to core values that he deeply admired. The two began to date steadily, and as a symbol of his long-term commitment, Angelo presented Phyllis with his fraternity pin. He then proposed to her on graduation day.

After completing his bachelor’s degree in 1960, Angelo, the first in his family to complete college, enrolled in graduate school at New York University. While he aspired to work at the New York Stock Exchange, he soon discovered that his ancestry barred him from entering the patrician world of Wall Street.
Ralph and Angelo on graduation day at Fordham.

That same year, Lawyer’s Mortgage and Title merged with another company, Virginia-based Lomas Realty and Security, which had been founded by a man named David Loeb ten years earlier. Angelo, who had worked in every department of Lawyer’s Mortgage and Title and knew the intricacies of the industry, was selected to oversee the merger, from which a new company, United Mortgagee Servicing Corporation, was born. Angelo, age 23, traveled to Virginia, and in six months, completed the merger that was slated to take one year.

Angelo and Phyllis on their wedding day.



In the company of family and friends, Angelo and Phyllis married on a mild morning in June of 1961 at St. Frances of Rome Church in the Bronx. While the couple was still on their honeymoon, the phone rang.

Yonkers Herald Statesman announcement of Phyllis and Angelo’s wedding.
Loeb recognized Angelo’s talent and determination, and had another assignment for him. This time, it involved traveling to Orlando, Florida, where the nascent space industry had drawn engineers from across the country to a largely unknown strip of land called Cape Canaveral. The demand for housing in the region was great, and Angelo was tasked with lending the funds needed to develop the land, construct the houses, and ultimately, finance the homebuyers of what became one of the area’s first subdivisions.
Angelo immediately began interfacing with brokers, financial institutions, and builders, yet after months of working sixteen-hour days and forging what seemed to be solid agreements, nothing materialized. Angelo was baffled. One evening, he shared his dilemma with Alan Katz, an Orlando-based accountant. “You won’t get any business here. No one is going to do business with you,” Katz said matter-of-factly. “Why?” asked Angelo, with a look of confused indignation. “You’re Italian. You’re dark. You’re Catholic. They won’t work with you,” repeated Katz. “Look,” Katz continued, “I know three Jewish guys who want to build houses here, but can’t get help from traditional banks. Why don’t you do something together?”

A children's book about Cape Canaveral written by Czech emigre author and illustrator M. Sasek (Miroslav Šašek)
Months later, with the financing he provided, Angelo’s clients built a series of homes in Brevard County. Although an engineering miscalculation caused the development to flood, during the properties’ first day on the market, Angelo accepted loan applications from seventeen buyers, who purchased homes later that evening. Angelo’s first account, Cosmopolitan Construction, headed by William Metz, Sumner Kramer, and Lester Mandel, later became one of the largest residential builders in Central Florida.
Angelo skiing with his sons (R-L Mark, David, and Eric).
By 1967, the Mozilos had been blessed with three children, and Angelo rose in the ranks to become executive vice-president of United Mortgagee Servicing. After moving across the country several times, the family was finally enjoying a moment of serenity. This changed in mid-October, when Angelo received a call from his mother’s neighbor. At the young age of 56, Angelo’s father had suffered a massive heart attack and collapsed behind the butcher counter. For Pauline, the death of her husband was particularly devastating. During their marriage, which spanned almost thirty years, Pauline had never worked outside of the home, nor had she learned how to pay a bill. Moreover, in addition to the couple’s three adult children, Pauline and Ralph had two daughters, who were ages two and twelve when their father died. While tending to her own three children under the age of five, Phyllis, and the older Mozilo siblings stepped in to assist Pauline. Angelo, meanwhile, organized the family’s finances and ensured that his mother and young siblings were provided for.
In her older years, Pauline frequently accompanied Angelo to events, and stood proudly at his side.

Eventually, Pauline overcame her grief. She secured a job in the cafeteria of a local elementary school, and as a single parent, raised two daughters during the turbulent 1960s. Pauline’s love of knowledge never ceased; she was a voracious reader, and was often overheard speaking to young people about the importance of education.
In 1968, when a larger firm acquired a major position in United Mortgagee Servicing, Loeb proposed that he and Angelo start their own company, and Countrywide Credit Industries was born. Headquartered in California, the company went public the following year, and soon thereafter, was serving 25% of the state’s mortgages. By utilizing technology to process loans efficiently and respond to buyers rapidly, Mozilo and Loeb found their niche, and became innovative leaders in the industry. By offering interest rates lower than their competitors, Countywide’s market share grew steadily.

The New York Stock Exchange welcomes Angelo on Countrywide’s 25th anniversary.

As credit shortages devastated socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods in the 1970s, public outcry led Congress to investigate the role of financial institutions in the communities’ decline by failing to provide adequate financing to qualified applicants of color. In 1975, Congress enacted the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), which requires certain lending institutions to submit lists of loan applicants they approved, and antithetically, denied. If a financial institution accepted a disproportionately low percentage of applications from certain races, ethnicities, genders, or applicants in a specific area compared to surrounding regions, then there is reason to suspect that said institution may be discriminating against these classes of borrowers.
Mortgage discrimination was, in fact, rampant in the industry; in addition to ethnic and racial minorities, single women and same-sex couples experienced its wrath. The push for fairer lending practices was particularly important to Angelo, whose immigrant roots remained at the very center of his being, and who was an ardent believer in equality. For years, Angelo had maintained that income disparity was among the greatest threats to the American way of life. Homeownership, he contended, encouraged Americans to recognize their interconnected destinies, and served as the foundation for the healthy neighborhoods and sustainable communities that formed the backbone of a strong nation.

Angelo reacts to the news that his tenth grandchild was born.

In 1991, Angelo was appointed president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. That same year, the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston published a landmark study revealing that African Americans and Latinos were four times as likely to be denied funding than Caucasians. While the banks claimed poor credit was to blame, Angelo believed otherwise, and began examining the prevailing lending requirements. Through Countrywide programs such as House America, Angelo created new opportunities for historically disenfranchised communities that could not overcome hurdles to qualify for a loan, such as three years of employment with the same company. Angelo also established branches in communities in which other banks had refused to do business. He hired multilingual staff and printed documents in languages other than English. Under Angelo’s direction, Countrywide interfaced with community groups and churches, hosted housing fairs, and established education programs that provided free counseling for prospective home buyers. After changing the underwriting criteria, Angelo helped cut the rejection rate of underrepresented groups from 4:1 to 2:1.

The Mozilo family in 1980s.

Angelo’s recommendations were later adopted as industry practice, and he received considerable praise for his vanguard efforts to democratize the lending industry. Countrywide became the nation’s largest originator of single family mortgages; it had more than 500 branch offices, 62,000 employees, and assets of $200 billion. During its history, Countrywide employed more than 250,000 people, and financed 25 million families, enabling them to become proud homeowners. In a twenty-five year period, the company’s stock appreciated 25,000%, making it one of the best-performing stocks in the New York Stock Exchange’s history.

In front of an audience of 1500, Angelo conducts a two-hour interview with President George Bush about topics that ranged from his son’s presidency to the elder Bush’s political legacy.

Today, Angelo Mozilo and Phyllis, his wife of over 55 years, enjoy spending time with their five children and ten grandchildren. They contribute generously to numerous charities, including Providence Tarzana Medical Center, where the Mozilo Family Foundation established a pediatric intensive care unit; Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California; Gonzaga University; and Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and St. Francis High School, in La Cañada-Flintridge, California. As recipients of the National Italian American Foundation’s Humanitarian Achievement Award , the Horatio Alger Award and Ellis Island Medal of Honor, Angelo and Phyllis are ever-mindful of the contributions immigrants make to the American nation.

Angelo with his granddaughters in 2013.

“We became a Founding Family of the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles because we are proud of our heritage, and support the Museum’s efforts to showcase and preserve our history and culture. Moreover, we hope to share our ancestors’ rich legacy with our children, our children’s children, and generations to come, so that they too may understand their origins and appreciate the struggles that made their lives possible. From science to entertainment, architecture to medicine, cuisine to design, Italian Americans have impacted every aspect of American life. We recognize the IAMLA as an avenue through which visitors of all generations and nationalities will encounter a counter-discourse to the mafia myth, and in the process, gain an accurate understanding of the many contributions Italian Americans have made to this nation.”
-The Mozilo family

Angelo and his grandsons in 2013.

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