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He began speaking on the radio and on the lecture circuit advocating for changes in the immigration laws. Over the decades he visited congressmen in Washington, DC pushing for changes in the law. In a favorite picture in his home today he is captured making his case with a young Senator John F. Kennedy.
Soon, the government of Italy hired Mr. Carano as their General Counsel. Only in the last few years did he turn over the stewardship of that role to his firm, now merged with and renamed Mattioni Ltd. He was honored by the Italian government four times for his work on behalf of the nation and its people, including the highest honor the government bestows, the title of Grande Ufficiale. In 1961 he had an audience with Pope John XXIII who thanked him for his work on behalf of Italy and for his efforts to reunite families involuntarily separated by the immigration laws. When Mr. Carano answered the Pope’s question about the work he did, he recalls the Pope commenting, “You’re a lawyer? That’s a hard job.”
A reward for his work in the courtroom and on the speaker’s circuit was that eventually he did have an impact on immigration law and it was changed. “It’s now fair,” he observes. Another reward was that he met his wife Gina at a radio station where she was singing. A graduate of Curtis School of Music in Philadelphia, Mrs. Carano performed in operas. She is a captivating figure portraying a number of operatic heroines in paintings that hang in Mr. Carano’s house today. It was her love for and pursuit of the arts that inspired frequent trips to Italy, over one hundred so far according to Mr. Carano’s estimate.
Is there more that a lawyer could hope for than to look back on a career in which his advocacy impacted a change in law for the better, and improved the lives of his clients yearning for a future in America? Enjoying the career along the way would be another benefit, and he did.
“I loved the thrill of a trial,” Mr. Carano says, “The challenge of it. I liked helping people, which I did all my life.” He shrugs his shoulders with a shy smile and fingers an ordered succession of business papers on his table, “It was a way of making a living.”
In addition to his work as a lawyer and for the Italian government, Mr. Carano founded and was treasurer of the America-Italy Society, a cultural organization, and was a founder, Secretary, and General Counsel of the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company. Most recently he was awarded the Legion of Honor Gold Medallion by The Chapel of Four Chaplains in recognition of his humanitarian activities.
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