Skip to main content

John G. Spatuzza papers

Identifier: IHRC2479


The John G. Spatuzza Order Sons of Italy in America collection (1958-1985) includes Supreme Lodge records, Illinois Grand Lodge records, and other OSIA materials. Supreme Lodge records include convention documents (1965-1985), committee reports, correspondence (1975-1985), and financial reports. Illinois Grand Lodge materials include grand convention books and reports (1960-1980), correspondence (1958-1980), newsletters, scholarship and committee reports, and brochures from a variety of OSIA events. Several plaques and a variety of photographs are included, along with many issues of the OSIA News, other OSIA newspapers, and Italian-American newspapers. Non-OSIA records include those of the Justinian Society, the Joint Italian American Civic Committee, and political organizations.


  • Creation: 1958-1985


Language of Materials

All records are in English, except for an occasional document in 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.

Biographical / Historical

John G. Spatuzza was born in Oak Park, Illinois on August 15, 1925. He is the son of Past Supreme Venerable George J. Spatuzza and Mildred C. Barone-Spatuzza.

After graduating from St. Philips High school in Chicago in 1942, he attended the Citadel Military College of South Carolina. A World War II veteran, he served in the Pacific Theater. Following his discharge from the service, he attended and in 1948 recieved his Bachelor of Arts degree from DePaul University. He then entered Northwestern University School of Law and was awarded his degree of Juris Doctor in 1951.

In June of 1951 Spatuzza was admitted to the illinois Bar, and admitted to practice before the United States District Court in 1953. In April of 1960 he was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. Since 1955 he has practiced law with the firm of Spatuzza and Spatuzza in Chicago.

He is a former president of the Justinian Society of Lawyers, an organization of layers of Italian descent and is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He has been General Counsel and a member of the Board of Director of the National Republic Bank of Chicago and served as Secretary, General Counsel and a member of the Board of Directors of the Safeway Insurance Company.

He is also a member of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans and the Lay Advisory Board of Villa Scalabrini-Italian Old People's Home at Melrose Park, Illinois. A member of the Board of Governors of the Illinois Athletic Club, he was elected President in 1975.

In June of 1965, Spatuzza was decorated as Knight of Merit of the Republic of Italy and in December 1974 was awarded the title of Ufficiale of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy.

His career in OSIA began in August 1941, when he joined the Juventus Lodge #1900 in Chicago. Following his graduation from law school, he joined the Donna Francesca Cesario Chesrow Lodge #1974. Prior to becoming its Venerable in 1955 he served the lodge as Orator and Assistant Venerable.

he was elected as Grand Trustee of the Grand Lodge of the State of Illinois in 1955, and continued to serve the State as Grand Orator (1959-1961) and Assistant Grand Venerable (1961-1963). In 1963 he was elected Grand venerable of the State of Illinois. He was re-elected Grand Venerable in June of 1965 and at the Supreme Convention in Baltimore in August 1965 he was elected to the office of third Assistant Supreme Venerable. After two terms in that office he served as Second Assistant Supreme Venerable (1969-1971) and then as First Assistant Supreme Venerable (1973-1975). He was appointed as National Deputy (1971-1973) and as Chairman of the National Charities Commission until he was elected Supreme venerable in 1975. He and his father George are the only Illini and the only father and son combination to be elected to this highest office in OSIA.

in 1976, John Spatuzza was named to the Executive Committee of the Chicago Chapter of the March of Dimes Foundation and then to the Grant Review Committee. He also served as a member of the sponsoring committee of the Italian American Bicentennial Tribute Dinner and is a member of the Italian American Foundation, Inc. in Washington, D.C. in October of 1976, President Ford appointed him to a ten year term as a member of the Board of Trustees for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington, D.C.

Spatuzza has been active in local Republican politics, formerly serving as President of the 29th Ward Regular Republican Organization and also a member of the Oak Park Regular Republican Organization. He has been a member of the Italian American Republican Committee sine 1956 and has been the chairman of this commitee. Spatuzza has been Treasurer of the Illinois State Nationalities Council and was elected First Vice-president in 1974.


11 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 eight series as follows: 1) Biographical; 2) National OSIA; 3) State OSIA; 4) Local OSIA; 5) Non-OSIA; 6) Newsclippings; 7) Photographs; 8) Artifacts. All records are in English, except for an occasional document in Italian. The collection covers the period 1937 to 1985. The bulk of records are for the years 1963 to 1977.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was acquired from John Spatuzza in November 1987.

Processing Information

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

Inventory of the John G. Spatuzza 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