Charles A. Gargano

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Charles A. Gargano
United States Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago
In office
PresidentGeorge H.W. Bush
Preceded bySheldon J. Krys
Succeeded bySally G. Cowal
Personal details
Born(1934-10-28)October 28, 1934
Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi, Avellino, Italy
Political partyRepublican

Charles A. Gargano (born October 28, 1934 in Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi, Avellino, Italy)[1] is an Italian born American businessman, government official and the former U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago. He was the chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation during the tenure of Governor George Pataki.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Gargano was born in Avelino, Italy and his family emigrated to the United States when he was 4. His family settled in the Park Slope neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn.

Gargano received both his B.S. and M.B.A. degrees from Farleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey and his M.S. degree from Manhattan College in Riverdale, Bronx.[3][4]

Following and in between a career in construction (including founding his own firm) Gargano served in government; first in 1981 as deputy administrator of the United States Urban Mass Transit Administration[5] and then from 1988 until 1991 as the United States Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago.

From 1995 until 2007 Gargano served as chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation and vice chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, both positions of which he was appointed to by the then Governor of New York State, George Pataki.[6] During this span Gargano was often referred to as the New York State "Economic Czar".[7][8]

In 2008 President George W. Bush selected Gargano to become the next United States Ambassador to Austria but after congressional inaction eventually the nomination was withdrawn.[9]

In films[edit]

In 1997 Gargano and then United States Senator Alfonse D'Amato made cameo appearances in The Devil's Advocate starring Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino as themselves in their real life roles as New York Politicians.[10]

Gargano appeared as a Maitre d'hotel in the 2003 film Analyze That starring Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal.[11]

He also appears as a Port Authority Police commander in Oliver Stone's 2006 film World Trade Center.[12]


  1. ^ "Nomination of Charles A. Gargano To Be United States Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago". The American Presidency Project. April 28, 1988. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  2. ^ "Chairman of Empire State Development Corp Ambassador Gargano Joins NIAF Board of Directors". The National Italian American Foundation. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  3. ^ Cuozzo, Steve (October 1, 2000). "Captain Cornerstone If It's A Big Deal In NY Real Estate, Charles Gargano Has A Hand In it". New York Post. Retrieved September 1, 2018. Education:B.S. and M.B.A., Fairleigh Dickinson; M.S., Manhattan College
  4. ^ Cuozzo, Steve. "Captain Cornerstone If It’S A Big Deal In Ny Real Estate, Charles Gargano Has A Hand In It", New York Post, October 1, 2000. Accessed July 30, 2018. "Education:B.S. and M.B.A., Fairleigh Dickinson; M.S., Manhattan College"
  5. ^ "Ambassador Charles A. Gargano". American Iranian Council. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  6. ^ "Charles Gargano, Former Chairman of Empire State Development, Joins Perf Go Green Board of Directors". Business Wire. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  7. ^ Michaud, Anne (December 26, 2006). "Pataki's decisions will stand the test of time". Crain's. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  8. ^ Gerhart, Ann; Groer, Annie (November 4, 1997). "The Reliable Source". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  9. ^ "Bush Gives Up On Gargano Appointment". New York Sun. March 14, 2008. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  10. ^ Snart, Stephen (October 22, 2009). "The Devil's Advocate". Not Coming. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  11. ^ Willis, John (2004). Screen World 2003. Hal Leonard. p. 147. ISBN 978-1-55783-526-0. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  12. ^ Colford, Paul D. (July 26, 2006). "Pa Honcho is ready for his closeup". Daily News. Retrieved January 2, 2019.