Corporal Serphin R. Maltese
Award: Honoring Our Veterans
Serphin R. Maltese was born in Corona Queens, growing up on the Lower East Side. He graduated from PS 63, JHS 64 and then from Stuyvesant High School, before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps Reserve at 17 years of age. When the Korean War began, Mr. Maltese volunteered for the U.S. Army and served as Corporal in the 45th Infantry Division in Korea. He attended Manhattan College on a Regents Scholarship and GI Bill and received his Bachelor of Arts degree. Mr. Maltese was awarded the War Service Scholarship, and received his LL.B. and J.D. degrees from Fordham University Law School.
In 1971, Mr. Maltese became Executive Director of the New York State Conservative Party and was named Chairman of the Queens County Conservative Party in 1972, before being elected State Chairman in 1986. Mr. Maltese voluntarily relinquished that post in 1988, when he was elected to the New York State Senate, where he represented Queens County in the City of New York for 20 years. While in offi ce, he served as Chair of the Senate Veterans Committee. Among his proudest accomplishments was a law he sponsored that authorized the creation of a 250 bed State Veterans Nursing Home at St. Albans. During his tenure, Mr. Maltese also authored 219 bills that were signed into law.
In addition to his time in the Senate, Mr. Maltese also served as Counsel to United State Senators James Buckley and Alfonse D’Amato. He was the Queens Republican Party Chair for 10 years and served as National Board Director of the American Conservative Union for 25 years. Mr. Maltese has served 20 years as Executive Board Member of Stuyvesant High School Alumni Association, was a leader in the successful effort to reopen Christ the King High School and has served pro bono as Chairman of the Board of Trustees since 1975. Mr. Maltese also serves pro bono as the Vice President of Middle Village Preparatory Charter School.
Mr. Maltese is a life member of the American Legion, Catholic War Veterans, Korean War Veterans Association and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was named by the Allied Vets of Greater Ridgewood & Glendale as Veteran of the Year, and has been honored by VFW, Daniels Post 2813, Polish Legion American Veterans, Vietnam Vets of America, Korean War Vets Association and American Legion Continental Post 1424 as Memorial Day Grand Marshal. Mr. Maltese previously served as Queens Assistant District Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Homicide Bureau.
As prominent advocates of Italian American causes, Mr. Maltese and his wife, the former Constance Mary Del Vecchio, were both Knighted by the Republic of Italy and given the title “Cavaliere.” Mr. Maltese and Constance have been married for 58 years. They have two daughters, Andrea Maltese Spanarkel and Leslie Maltese McGill, and four grandchildren Sondra, Eva, Genevieve and James.