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John Ottaviano, Jr. papers

Identifier: IHRC2002


The John Ottaviano Jr. Order Sons of Italy in America collection consists of OSIA Supreme Convention reports, committee reports, correspondence, legal and financial records, and correspondence with lodges in Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Northwest, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Ottaviano was National President of OSIA (1961-1965).


  • 1960-1986


Language of Materials



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.

Biographical / Historical

John Ottaviano, Jr. was born in New Haven, Connecticut on October 12, 1917. His parents, Giovanni Ottaviano and maria Luigia Bosia, were immigrants from the region of Piedmont, Italy. In 1948 he married Olga Rita Leiss and the couple raised two children.

Ottaviano graduated from Yale University in 1938 and recieved a law degree from Harvard University in 1941. A World War II veteran, he taught law at Quinnipic College from 1946 to 1951. Active in the Republican Party, he was elected State Treasurer of Connecticut in 1954.

John Ottaviano joined OSIA in 1933 when he became a member of the Elm City Young Men's Lodge #1758. At the Connecticut Grand Lodge level he served as Assistant Grand Venerable, 1945-1951, and Grand Venerable, 1951-1953. He then proceeded to the national level and held the offices of Supreme Orator, 1953-1957, First Assistant Supreme Venerable, 1957-1961, and Supreme Venerable, 1961-1965. He is the only native of Connecticut to have held the national Presidency of the Order.

Ottaviano has been a member of many other organizations, including the Knights of Columbus, American Legion, Italian American War Veterans, the Washington Club and the Circolo italiano. He has been honored as a Cavaliere and also recieved the Star of Solidarity from the Republic of Italy. In more recent years John Ottaviano has moved Chesire, COnnecticut and served as a judge.


2 Linear Feet


The original arrangement of the files at the time of their transfer to the IHRC has been largely maintained. Series and subseries categories were artificially established in processing the material but drew heavily upon pre-existing groups.

The collection is divided into six series as follows: 1) Biographical, 2) National OSIA, 3) State OSIA, 4) Local OSIA, 5) Non-OSIA, and 6) Photographs. All records are in English except for an occasional document in Italian. The collection covers the period 1905 to 1987. The bulk of the records is for the years 1957 to 1965.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was acquired from John Ottaviano, Jr. in March 1987 by John Andreozzi, Sons of Italy Archives Project Coordinator.

Processing Information

The collection was processed in July 1988 by John Andreozzi, Sons of Italy Archives Project Coordinator.

Inventory of the John Ottaviano, Jr. 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