ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary Ann Sorrentino is a native Rhode Islander who was raised in a traditional Italian-American family in the Catholic faith. Her father, Catello, was more connected to the church and had actually thought he might become a priest in his early years. Instead he married Lily Scola Sorrentino and they were married for 25 years before he died at age 50 when Mary Ann was 9. She had only one brother, Luigi, 17 years her senior as her mother had lost 3 pregnancies after having him and was told that with only a quarter of an ovary left she might never have another child. Instead, 17 years later she had Mary Ann and Catello was ecstatic to have a daughter on whom he doted until his death when she was still a young girl.
At his insistence Mary Ann was sent to private school at Elmhurst, a girls’ school from 1st to 12th grade run by the nuns in the order of the Sacred Heart, which at that time required a sort of “dowery” from novices wishing to join the order. Mary Ann was a good student and succeeded academically but could never really fit in to this rigid and elitist atmosphere and after he father died when she was in the 4th grade she began petitioning her mother to let he go to public school. Finally, in the 9th grade, she was allowed to go to the public Classical High School in Providence, a move which she still claims “saved my life.”
She thrived there, became a class leader and a good student and eventually went on to Elmira College in New York where she also participated in the Junior Year Abroad Program by going for a year to the University of Florence Italy studying Demography and Economics and graduating in 1965.
Since then she has written for assorted newspapers in the Opinion sections and her column was syndicated at one point. Those papers included the Providence Journal, The Boston Globe, and the Hartford Courant to name a few.
Her opinion piece success brought her to a position as a radio talk host on WPRO AM radio, the region’s top talk station where she stayed for another decade as a top-rated host
Mary Ann has also been a volunteer and/or Board of Directors member for several non-profit agencies including RI Project AIDS, the RI Rape Crisis Center, and Travelers Aid Society, for examples.
Married for 57 years to Judge Albert Richard Ciullo, Mary Ann now lives in the FT. Lauderdale area of Florida while maintaining a second home in Cranston, RI. She and her husband have a daughter Luisa and 2 beloved grandchildren both students at the University of RI.
Finally Mary Ann and her husband love to travel and visit many American, Canadian, and European destinations and now Asia as their time allows.