Biographical Information:

Dates: 1929-
Dates in Ridgefield: 1929-

non-fiction writer, teacher, federal agent, investigator, radio show host, children's writer

"I first started out proud to be an Italian-American,” said Aldo Biagiotti about researching his book, Impact: The Historical Account of the Italian Immigrants of Ridgefield, Connecticut. "Now I'm fiercely proud." Mr. Biagiotti spent nearly four years working on the 345-page volume, Impact, published in 1990. He interviewed many Italian-Americans, examined old records and photographs, studied tombstones, and sent out questionnaires. The result is the story of scores of immigrants for whom America "was a dream come true." They came to Ridgefield early in the 20th Century, chiefly from the provinces of Ancona and Pesaro in northeastern Italy. Impact describes their arrival, settlement and growth in their new home, the roles they played, their heroism at war, and the effects they had on the town throughout the 20th century. It covers their everyday lives, and is full of anecdotes and even sections on nicknames that many of the old-timers acquired and the superstitions they believed in. "Lonely, bewildered and at times frightened, these Italian immigrants to Ridgefield, Connecticut, faced the uncertain future with courage, determination and high hopes," Mr. Biagiotti wrote in the book's introduction. "They held fast to their dreams...they forged new lives, established sound family foundations and contributed richly to the social, cultural, political, and economic life of the community." Unsurprisingly, Mr. Biagiotti is the son of Italian immigrants, and was born here in 1929. He graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1947 and the University of Connecticut in 1951, and became a special agent for the U.S. Army's Counter Intelligence Corps during the Korean War. In the years that followed, he was with the State Department in Italy, worked as an investigator for the New York Waterfront Commission, became a civilian intelligence officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency in Italy and the U.S, and was a federal agent for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. From 1971 to 1990, he taught Italian at Stamford High School. In Ridgefield, he served on the Police Commission -- his son, Peter, later became a police officer here.. For many years Mr. Biagiotti had a Sunday morning radio show on WREF, carrying Italian music and cultural news. His writing extends beyond history; he has written children's stories and contributed articles to National Gardener and other gardening publications. Like his father, Alfredo, Mr. Biagiotti loves animals, and he and his wife, Gloria Perini, maintain the old family farm on North Salem Road.

Impact: The Historical Account of the Italian Immigrants of Ridgefield, Connecticut, 1990

--Source: Notable Ridgefielders--Jack Sanders