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Dominic R. Massaro papers

Identifier: IHRC1496


The Dominic R. Massaro Order Sons of Italy in America Collection (1923-2008) consists of records and minutes of Supreme Conventions (1960-1987), Supreme Council Minutes (1963-1987); correspondence of Massaro as Director of Public Relations, Chairman of the Membership and Expansion Committee, and as National Historian; correspondence and reports of various OSIA committees and activities; convention material, council minutes, correspondence, committees, and activities of the OSIA New York Grand Lodge; and some records of other state lodges. Also included are documents relating to local lodges, in particular, the Northwest Bronx Lodge No. 2091, including minutes, financial records, correspondence, membership lists,and activities. In addition, there is a large amount of material pertaining to non-OSIA activities relating to Italian Americans and general ethnic issues and programs in New York, newspaper clippings, photographs, and artifacts.

In addition to a large amount of materials pertaining to Judge Massaro's numerous activities in the Order Sons of Italy in America, the collection contains documentation of his involvement in many other organizations, Italian American and beyond. These include the following: Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations; Columbian Lawyers Association; National Italian American Foundation (NIAF); Path to Peace foundation; Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo; AMITA; National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) Foundation, Inc; House of Savoy; Holy Sepulchre; Italian American Museum, CUNY; La Scuola D’Italia Guglielmo Marconi; Tiro a Segno; American University of Rome; Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA); La Guardia Foundation; American Society of the Italian Legions of Merit; Columbus Citizens Foundation, Vatican; American University of Rome; Constantinian Order of St. George.


  • Creation: 1923-2008


Language of Materials

English, Italian


Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

For further information regarding the copyright, please contact the IHRCA.


Dominic R. Massaro is a Justice of the New York State Supreme Court (appointed in 1987). It is he who advanced the Sons of Italy Archives project in 1973. Born and raised in the Bronx section of the New York City on November 29, 1939, he is a graduate of St. Helena’s High School for Boys. An attorney by profession, he also holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in government. While an undergraduate at New York University, he was invited to membership in two national scholastic honor societies—sociology (Alpha Kappa Delta) and the law (Aeropagus). Admitted to practice before state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court, Judge Massaro holds active memberships in the Bronx County, New York State, and American Bar Associations, as well as past membership in the Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity. During the mid 1960s, he served for three years as a New York City Human Rights commissioner by appointment of Mayor John V. Lindsay.

In 1971, he was appointed administrative commissioner of the New York State Division of Human Rights in the Executive Department of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. Prior to government service, he was Vice President of industrial relations for Stillman Teledyne in the Bronx. During the Ford Administration, Judge Massaro served as United States regional director of ACTION, the Federal Agency on Voluntary Service, with jurisdiction from New York to the Caribbean over such well known programs as the Peace Corps, Vista, R.S.V.P., Foster Grandparents Program, Youth Challenge Program, and a host of others. Thereafter, in 1976, and until his appointment to the state judiciary by Governor Cuomo a decade later, he returned full-time to the practice of law. On the Federal level, he also rendered service first as Government Appeals Agent and then by appointment of President Nixon as a member of the New York Appeals Board of the Selective Service System from 1969 to 1976. He has seen service as a member of the national panel of the American Arbitration Association, president of the Bronx Jaycees, of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, and of the Gramercy Boys’ Club of New York. He is past board chairman of the Bronx County Civic Association, and has served on local boards of the Police Athletic League, Boy Scouts of America, Red Cross, Harriman College, Cancer Care, Council on the Arts, Council for Environmental Quality, and YMCA. For four years (1969-1973) he served as a member of the Bronx Community Planning Board. He is a founder of the Bronx County Historical Society Journal (1963), and was assistant editor and columnist for Bronx Life magazine during the late 1950s.

A past “Outstanding Young Man of America” in 1964, he was named to the New York City Police Honor Legion that same year. In 1971, he was a recipient of Bronx County’s “Distinguished Community Service Award” and in 1976 was awarded an honorary doctorate in law from Mercy College. In 1986, he was named “Outstanding Citizen of Bronx County.” Judge Massaro holds more than three dozen awards, honors, and citations presented to him over the years for professional and community accomplishments, including the Congressional Medal of Merit awarded to him in 1982. He is a former chair of the Bronx County Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution. A republican, he is a former GOP district leader and county vice chairman. For some years, he headed the Party’s New York State ethnic campaign efforts. He was general counsel to the Republican County Committee of Bronx County at the time of his being named to the bench.

Well known in Italian-American and Catholic circles, he served seven years (1973-1979) as national deputy of OSIA, the organization’s highest appointee and official representative to Washington, D.C. Judge Massaro entered OSIA in 1958, when he joined the Northeast Bronx Lodge No. 2091, and later served as its venerable (president). In 1965, he authored a brochure, “A Fascinating Past, a Bright Future,” on the history of the Sons of Italy. He is a past chairman of the New York Metropolitan Council of Lodges. On the New York State level, he served as chair of the Public Relations Committee (1959-1962), as a Grand Trustee (1962-63), and as state chair of Italian Affairs (1966-68). In the national OSIA scene, he served as the Order’s National Director of Public Relations (1963-1966), as chairman of the Commission on Membership and Expansion (1966-69), and as Supreme Deputy to Bermuda (1969-1973). He is a former National Historian for the Order. He has been elected as grand delegate to every state convention since 1959 and was first named a supreme delegate in 1965. Judge Massaro is the only member of the Order to have held all four of its highest appointive offices, and has served as counsel to the Sons of Italy Foundation. In 1986, he was elected president of the Order’s National Commission for Social Justice, its anti-defamation arm. He was an initial member of the executive committee of the National Italian-American Coordinating Association (NIACA) when it was formed in 1974. He served as a member of the New York State Education Department’s first Italian-American Advisory Council (1973-1977). He was a long-time director of the American Committee on Italian Migration from. Judge Massaro serves on the Board of Directors of both the National Italian American Foundation and La Guardia Foundation.

He is a current member of the Judicial Board at the Marino Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Judge Massaro is past chair of the Italian Apostolate of the New York Archdiocese; he is also past chair of the Board of Directors of the Columbia Association of New York State Civil Service Employees, of the Board of Governors of Verrazzano Institute, of the Board of Overseers of the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum; and past president of the Italian-American ESCA (Educational, Social, Civil, American-Italian) Club of New York Youth Auxiliary (1958-1959), and of both the Italian-American Center for Urban Affairs and the Italian-American Coalition of the City of New York. A trustee of many Bronx institutions, including Mercy College (past) and Lavelle School for the Blind, he has also served as chair of the Dick Gidron Foundation. As Judge Massaro currently serves on the Advisory Board of Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at New York University, he is also an Honorary Committee Member of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute. In addition, he is a trustee of the Board at the American University of Rome in Rome, Italy.

Published on legal and Italian American subjects, Judge Massaro has been knighted five times, including Commendatore by the President of the Republic of Italy in 1969 and by the Pope in the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem in 1973.


201 Linear Feet


The collection consists of three sets of materials, acquired and processed on separate occasions over the two decades between 1987 and 2013. Each of these sets forms a record group within the collection:

Record Group 1 (38 linear feet)

Record Group 2 (55 linear feet)

Record Group 3 (108 linear feet)


Collection acquired from Judge Dominic Massaro of New York between 1987 and 2013.

Inventory of the Dominic R. Massaro papers.
IHRC Archives
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding Aid in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Immigration History Research Center Archives Collecting Area