Biography of Alexander L. "Sonny" DeMaioribus

Alexander L. "Sonny" DeMaioribus (1898-1968) was born in the Little Italy neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, and lived there on Coltman Rd. until the late 1930s. He was a bachelor who had four sisters and one brother. DeMaioribus attended Murray Hill School and East High School in Cleveland. In 1917, he became a messenger for the Cleveland Home Brewing Company. By the time the company closed in 1953, he had become its president and chief owner.

DeMaioribus' interest in politics prompted him to run for city council in 1925. Despite a loss in that election, support from his fellow Italians in the 19th Ward (Little Italy), got him elected as their councilman in 1927. This made DeMaioribus the first Italian American elected to serve on the city council. DeMaioribus held many positions throughout his career in politics, including Ward Leader (1932-1960), Council President (1934-1942), Chairman of the National Committee (1945), and County Chairman of the Board of Elections (1960). He was a major leader in the Republican Party, serving as a delegate to the Republican National Convention and chairman of the local GOP executive committee.

DeMaioribus worked to honor and emphasize Italian culture in the city of Cleveland through a number of different organizations and initiatives. One of his initiatives included the establishment and dedication of the Italian Cultural Garden. The Italian Cultural Garden was established in 1930, but was not completed. In 1939, DeMaioribus became president of the Italian Cultural Garden Association and the Italian Cultural Garden Sponsors Committee. He initiated fundraising campaigns for the garden as well as directed and oversaw its construction. His efforts came to fruition with the formal dedication of the garden on September 14, 1941.