Rick Santorum

Birth Name: Richard John Santorum

Place of Birth: Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia, U.S.

Date of Birth: May 10, 1958

Ethnicity:
*75% Italian
*25% Irish

Rick Santorum is an American politician. A Republican, he was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, from January 3, 1991 to January 3, 1995, a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, from January 3, 1995 to January 3, 2007, and Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, from January 3, 2001 to January 3, 2007.

He was a candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 2012 and 2016.

Rick’s father, Aldo Santorum, was an Italian emigrant, from Riva del Garda, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. Rick’s mother, Catherine (Dughi), was born in Pennsylvania, of half Italian and half Irish ancestry. Rick is married to nurse Karen (Garver), with whom he has eight children.

Rick is the third person of significant Italian heritage to win a caucus, primary, and/or nominating ballot for a major American party’s Presidential nomination (he won 11 contests in 2012). The other winners of significant Italian heritage are:
*Al Smith (who was the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States in 1928, and was also a candidate for the 1920, 1924, and 1932 Democratic nominations for President; Smith’s paternal grandfather was Italian)
*Michael DiSalle (1960; Democratic; won 1 state, Ohio)
*Ted Cruz (2016; Republican; won 11 contests; Cruz’s maternal great-grandfather was Italian)

Other people of significant Italian heritage who have mounted or are mounting plausible or semi-plausible campaigns for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States are:
*John A. Volpe (who sought the 1968 Republican nomination)
*James Traficant (who sought the 1988 Democratic nomination; Traficant’s father was of Italian descent)
*Rudy Giuliani (who sought the 2008 Republican nomination)
*Tom Tancredo (who sought the 2008 Republican nomination)
*Chris Christie (who sought the 2016 Republican nomination; Christie’s mother was of Italian descent)
*George Pataki (who sought the 2016 Republican nomination; Pataki’s maternal grandfather was Italian)
*Richard Ojeda (who is seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination; Ojeda’s mother is of Italian descent)

Geraldine Ferraro, who was of Italian descent, was the Democratic nominee for Vice President of the United States in 1984.

Rick’s paternal grandfather was Pietro Giuseppe Antonio “Toni” Santorum (the son of Giuseppe Virginio Santorum and Luigia Giovanna Torboli). Pietro was born in Riva del Garda, Province of Trento, Trentino Alto-Adige, Italy.

Rick’s paternal grandmother was Maria Teresa Dominica Rigatti (the daughter of Giovanni Giuseppe Rigatti and Virginia Cattarina Zampiccoli). Maria Teresa was born in Riva del Garda. Giovanni was born in Riva del Garda. Virginia was born in Arco, which is also in Province of Trento, Trentino Alto-Adige, Italy.

Rick’s maternal grandfather was Adam John Dughi (the son of Domenico/Dominic Dughi and Maria Luisa Lusardi). Adam was born in either Italy, or in New Jersey, to Italian parents from Montarsiccio, Province of Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Dominic was the son of Lazzaro/Lazarus Dughi and Alma Maria Dughi. Maria Lusardi was the daughter of Daniel Lusardi and Clementine Ferrari.

Rick’s maternal grandmother was Mayme/Mary R. Keane (the daughter of Roger J. Keane and Katherine/Kate Gilder/Gilday). Mayme was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Roger was born in Pennsylvania, to Irish parents. Katherine was also born in Pennsylvania, also to Irish parents.

Sources: Information about Rick’s Italian ancestry – http://www.gazzettadiparma.it
http://www.esvaso.it

Genealogy of Rick Santorum – http://www.geni.com

Genealogy of Rick Santorum (focusing on his mother’s side) – http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Rick’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Rick’s maternal grandmother, Mayme/Mary R. Keane, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

photo by Gage Skidmore

ethnic

Curious about ethnicity

28 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    * Pietro Giuseppe Antonio “Toni” Santorum (the son of Giuseppe Virginio Santorum and Luigia Giovanna Torboli) and Maria Teresa Dominica Rigatti (the daughter of Giovanni Giuseppe Rigatti e Virginia Cattarina Zampiccoli). Pietro Santorum was born in Riva del Garda. Giovanni Rigatti was also born in Riva del Garda. Virginia Zampiccoli was born in Arco. Both locations in Province of Trento, Trentino Alto-Adige, Italy.

  2. bearboy says:

    I think he is by far the most conservative presidential candidate that ran in 2012 and/or 2016. If I was to stare at him randomly on the streets for the first time I would ask, “Are you of Italian descent?” I believe he would either respond by saying 75% Italian or look creeped out and call security.

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