Joseph A. Suozzi, a former mayor and judge for the City of Glen Cove, died on Oct. 16, at the age of 95.
“Judge Suozzi was a genuinely great American,” said Lois Schlissel, managing attorney at Meyer Suozzi English and Klein, where Suozzi was a senior partner. “A brave soldier, a learned jurist, a wise counselor and a dedicated father, he will be missed greatly and remembered always.”
Suozzi was the third of Glen Cove’s City Court Judges when he was elected in November 1949. He was then 28 years of age and was said to be the youngest elected or appointed judge in the United States. Born in the village of Ruvo del Monte located in the province of Potenza, Italy, Suozzi and his mother immigrated to the United States in 1925. They joined his father, Michele, who had preceded them to the United States, arriving here in 1913. Michele Suozzi had served in the U.S. Infantry and had become a naturalized citizen. As a result, Judge Suozzi was a citizen of the United States.
Judge Suozzi attended elementary and high school in Glen Cove and Oyster Bay. He volunteered as an Aviation Air Cadet prior to his graduation from college. He then entered military service with the United States Air Force during World War II and became a navigator assigned to a B-24 bombing crew of the 15th Air Force. Based at Torretta Air Field in Cerignola, Italy, less than 50 miles from his birthplace, he completed 35 bombing missions in Austria, Yugoslavia, Germany, and Italy, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters.
After graduating from Harvard Law School, Judge Suozzi entered the practice of law in Glen Cove and subsequently was elected to the bench of the City Court of Glen Cove in 1949 and re-elected in 1953. He resigned in September of 1955 to become a candidate for Mayor of Glen Cove and served as mayor from 1956 until 1960. In 1961 he was elected to a 14-year term as Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, and was re-elected in 1974 for another term with bipartisan support. In 1976, then Governor Hugh Carey appointed him Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department. In1980, he left the bench and resumed the practice of law as a senior partner at Meyer Suozzi.
Suozzi is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marguerite, and four children: son Thomas R. Suozzi, who served as mayor of the City of Glen Cove and Nassau County Executive, daughter Rosemary Mancini Lloyd, a Unitarian minister and assistant pastor of the First Church of Boston, Dr. William Suozzi, a doctor of internal medicine, and Christopher Suozzi, an investment banker with Credit Suisse First Boston. He was predeceased by his eldest son, Joseph M. Suozzi, an attorney and accountant who was associated with Deutsche Bank in Europe.