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44

MARCH 2015

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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

Before serving in Congress and

as a three-time mayor of New York,

the colorful Fiorello LaGuardia

spent nearly five years in the

U.S. Foreign Service.

BY LUC I ANO MANG I AF I CO

Luciano Mangiafico, an FSO from 1970 to 1991, is the author of two

books,

Contemporary American Immigrants

(Praeger, 1988) and

Italy’s

Most Wanted

(Potomac Books, 2007). He has also contributed articles

to

The Foreign Service Journal

and the literary journal

Open Letters

Monthly

, among other periodicals.

OURMAN IN FIUME:

Fiorello LaGuardia’s

Short Diplomatic

Career

S

auntering down the main street of Rijeka,

Croatia—the Corso—the tourist comes

across a building sporting a plaque in

two languages, Croatian and English.

The English version reads:

Fiorello

LaGuardia, Member of Congress and

Mayor of New York City, worked and

lived in this building from 1904 to 1906

in the capacity of Consular Agent of the

United States to Rijeka.

Yes, before serving in Congress and as a three-time mayor

of New York, the colorful LaGuardia spent nearly five years in

the U.S. Foreign Service. He was consular clerk and assistant to

the U.S. consul general in Budapest from 1900 to 1903, then the

consular agent in Fiume (now Rijeka) from 1903 to 1906. Both

cities were then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Fiorello LaGuardia was born in New York City on Dec. 11,

1882. His father, Achille LaGuardia, an Italian musician and

composer, hailed from southern Italy while his mother, Irene

FS HERITAGE