Antonio Granados - Tony

On August 20, 1922, Antonio Granados (aka as "Tony") was born in Riverdale, Maryland.  He was the eleventh child and final child, tenth living, and the fourth son born to Ramon and Maria Concepcion Granados. 

When Tony was just shy of his eighth birthday, his mother died.  Seven years later his father died, and thereafter Tony went to live with his older brother Ramon.

He became a U.S. Marine fighter pilot and flew missions in World War II and Korea.  He is the father of six children and currently lives in Levittown, PA. 


The eleventh child in the First Generation


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Antonio "Tony" Granados
written by Luis Granados II (aka "Sonny")

Submitted October 1, 2003

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 bank.

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."


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