written by Luis Granados II (aka "Sonny")
Tony was born at 9:10 p.m. on Sunday, August 20, 1922 in Riverdale,
Md. He attended Riverdale Elementary School and graduated from
Hyattsville High School in June, 1939.
On June 21, 1937, his father had a massive stroke in his office and
died. His mother had died seven years earlier. Upon his father’s
death, he and his brother Johnny moved in with their older brother
Ramon and his wife Kitty until Tony graduated from high school and
Johnny had gone out on his own.
During the summer of 1939, Tony got a job as a laborer with
Rosario’s husband Whitie, earning 25¢ an hour for a 60-hour week.
He moved in with Rosario’s family, dividing his $15.00 weekly pay
three ways: $5 for room & board; $5 for himself and $5 in the
In December, 1940, at 18, he got a job as a messenger with the U.S.
Dept. or Agriculture in Philadelphia and promotions came rapidly. By
the time he was 20, he had an office and secretary, and was
responsible for all furniture and equipment in a 13-state region.
His replacement as messenger was Edward Flood, who 5 years later
would become his brother-in-law.
In October, 1942 he enlisted and was accepted into the Naval Air
Corps pilot training program. After 14 months of rigorous training,
he received his "Wings," and by choice entered the U. S.
Marine Corps as a 2nd Lt. on April 14, 1944.
After training to go to the South Pacific, he was detailed with
other fighter pilots to fly fighters from the east to the west coast
in preparation for the invasion of Japan. In July, 1945, they were
reassigned to fighter squadrons only to have everything come to a
halt when the atomic bombs ended the war.
Assuming he¹d soon be released from active duty, he applied at the
University of Pennsylvania¹s Wharton School of Finance and
Commerce, and was accepted for the 1946 spring semester. The date
made for a very tight schedule, since he and his finance, Rita
Flood, wanted to get married before he started school.
Their wedding took place on March 2, 1946, and after a one-night
honeymoon, the couple moved into an apartment in Philadelphia. Tony
then took a train to Washington and borrowed his brother Ramon¹s
car to drive to Quantico to get released from active duty. Then
it was back to Philadelphia to start college on March 4 in uniform,
since he had no civilian clothes.
He graduated from Wharton in May, 1948, completing the 4-year
program in 2 years and 3 months. He and Rita had one child with
another on the way by the time he graduated. He got a job with
his brother-in-law, Emil Klumpp, opening a Philadelphia branch for
the company Emil worked for in New York.
Immediately upon his release from active duty, Tony joined a Marine
Corps Reserve Fighter Squadron, which was called back to active duty
for the Korean War on March 1, 1951. He was stationed at El Torro,
California, where he was joined by Rita and their three children
until he got orders in September to go to Korea.
During his Korean tour, Tony flew 82 missions, some land-based and
some from carriers. He returned home in June, 1952, having been
awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, four Air Medals and an
assortment of campaign ribbons.
While in Korea during the winter of 1951, he visited several Korean
orphanages, and noting their need, wrote a letter to the New Hope
Gazette, where Rita and the children lived, asking for donations
of warm clothing. The town responded by sending more than a ton of
clothing to help keep the children warm.
As a civilian again, he joined a graphic design firm in
Philadelphia, and after 3 years, opened a branch office in New York
City. In 1959, he started his own business in New York with two
partners. After eight successful years, the partners agreed to
disagree and closed the business.
In December, 1979, Tony’s wife, Rita, an R.N., was killed when the
car she was driving slipped out of control on some ice and struck a
utility pole. She died instantly.
In August, 1983, Tony formed Granados Associates, Inc. and the
company was quite successful until changes in the industry such as
computers and other high-tech processes took it over. He and his son
Ramon still operate the business, but on a more limited scale.
The most important, exciting and rewarding part of his life, says
Tony, is the family he and Rita started. Their 6 children, 4 girls
and 2 boys comprise a Judge, a retired R.N. School Nurse, a dentist,
another dentist who decided to become a stay-at-home mom, Ramon who
works with Tony and his youngest, Lizz, an information Technology
Specialist at the University of Pennsylvania. His 12
grandchildren are heavily involved in little league baseball,
soccer, basketball and two are in college.
"If the rest of my life is as exciting and happy as the first
part," said Tony, "I¹ll consider myself lucky indeed, and
so far, it looks like it’s going to go that way."