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Former chief clerk of Brooklyn Surrogate’s Court Tony Caracciolo dies

July 24, 2018 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn Surrogate's Court. Image © 2018 Google Maps photo
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Former Brooklyn attorney, Anthony “Tony” Caracciolo died on Friday at his home in Rahway, N.J., at the age of 90. Caracciolo was a longtime political aide, district leader and chief clerk of the Brooklyn Surrogate’s Court.

“I spoke to Tony last month and he sounded great,” said John O’Hara, a friend who served on the Park Slope community board with Caracciolo in the 1990s. “Even though I’m 57 now, he still called me ‘kid.’ We talked about the old days. Tony was known as a ‘regular’ Democrat. He believed in the neighborhood Democratic club was there to help local people who needed access to people in power. Tony was the guy who called a deputy commissioner to get a pothole filled or a park bench fixed.”

“I’ll miss him,” O’Hara said. “I’ll miss that people like him aren’t in politics anymore.”

A graduate of Fordham University and St. John’s Law School, Caracciolo served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was discharged as a sergeant 1st class in 1952. He was married to Francesca M. Caracciolo for 59 years and the couple had two children, Angela and Maria, and four grandchildren, Michael, Joseph, Robert and Steven.

Caracciolo became a district leader in Brooklyn in 1974 and maintained that position until 1986. He was also chief counsel to NYC City Council Speaker Tom Cuite from 1970 until Cuite retired in 1985. Afterward, Caracciolo became chief clerk of the Kings County Surrogate’s Court under Justice Bernard Bloom.

People will perhaps know Caracciolo best from his days at the South Brooklyn Lions club where he served as president. The group met regularly on Monday and Thursday nights.

“Tony was the last of the old time district leaders,” O’Hara said. “He held court in his democratic club every Monday and Thursday night. He was elected as a Democratic district leader in 1974 and held that office until 1986. Every two years he had a tough race for re-election but nobody could beat him.”

Caracciolo was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Lawyers Guild, the American Legion and the Columbian Lawyers Association.

A funeral Mass is being held for Caracciolo today at 9:45 a.m. at St. Agnes Church in Clark, N.Y. The burial will follow at St. Gertrude Cemetery in Colonia, N.J.


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