My Journey:
Prior to graduating from NCHS in 1959 all my years had been spent in the same small town so my expectations and anticipations were boundless. I spent the next four years not so far away at Fairfield University and then, via a generous scholarship, went to Villanova (PA) School of Law where I earned a juris doctor degree & started dating my future wife, (of 42 years) Debbie Bacon.

After law school I accepted an appointment as a special agent with the FBI and in the summer of 1966, reported to Washington, DC & Quantico, Virginia to train. My first assignment was the FBI field Office in Mississippi, a highly active arena in the middle of the Civil Rights era. There, among other assignments, I worked the trial and investigation of the Klansmen (including a sheriff & his deputy) who killed three noted Civil Rights workers (the subject of Mississippi Burning). Early in my Mississippi tenure I returned to marry Debbie and then back to Tupelo, Mississippi, where and our first child, David, was born.

I was transferred from Mississippi to Jacksonville, Florida where I worked organized crime and civil rights cases and the famous, Barbara Mackel kidnapping – she was the co-ed abducted from Emory University and buried underground in a coffin. That particular case found me riding over the everglades in the back of an open-door helicopter with a sniper rifle which was no help after bailing out into a mangrove swamp. A far cry from little old New Canaan. Our second child, Marysue, was born in Jacksonville, the same year I left the FBI.

Debbie & I, with two small children in tow, bought our first home in New Canaan and I joined a law firm in Darien. Two more children joined the family, Joseph John III (Josh) and Theodore (Ted), & all attended New Canaan public schools just like their dad. The next generation is following suit, with our two oldest grandchildren in first and fourth grades at West school. Additional grandchildren include a New Canaan pre-schooler and two granddaughters in London.

I started my own law firm in 1978 in Darien and we expanded into New Canaan several years later. Today I sit in the managing partner’s chair and among my 7 partners is my oldest son, David. Our second child, Marysue, is an executive editor at Simon & Schuster, son, Josh is “across the pond” running a division of Getty Images, and Teddy, our youngest, began his second year at the Quinnipiac University School of Law this week. I couldn’t be prouder of them all.

Along the way my ventures and adventures included starting local banks, coaching baseball, Rotary, 16 years as a member of the New Canaan Town Council, (11 as Chairman) and a 1994 run for Lieutenant Governor of CT. Today one of my great joys is being a Director of the AmeriCares Foundation ( and participating firsthand in the good that can be done worldwide.

The years since 1959 have been busy and rewarding, and today just like then, I look forward to “what comes next” with expectation & anticipation.