Encyclopedia Titanica

John Bonfiglio

RMS Carpathia Passenger

John Bonfiglio was born in Manhattan, New York, USA on 23 June 1899. He was the son of Italian migrants Pellegrino Bonfiglio, a soap and olive oil merchant, and the former Rosina Pizzitola who had come to the USA in 1896 from their native Palermo. He had a younger sister, Yolanda.

By 1910 John lived with his family at West 83rd Street, Manhattan. In April 1912 he, along with his mother and sister, boarded the Carpathia as second cabin passengers and were headed to a vacation in Italy. Whilst aboard they witnessed the rescue of the survivors of the Titanic disaster.

John Bonfiglio 1916
John Bonfiglio in 1916

In the following years the Bonfiglio family returned to Italy but John, a very bright young man, returned to the USA and gained his degree in Pharmacy from Lanier University at age 19; he later studied medicine at the Boston Medical School, becoming a physician. 

John’s parents and siblings, which included his younger brother Severino “Sam”, who had been born in Italy, later returned to the USA in 1921. He moved to Los Angeles, bringing his family with him and from where he would practice medicine for close to sixty years and during the 1930s was the private physician of prominent vaudeville actor Maurice Costello. 

John Bonfiglio 1919
John Bonfiglio in 1916

Dr John Bonfiglio, an active mason who never married, died in Los Angeles on 2 November 1981 and was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park. 

Carpathia Passenger Summary

Name: Master John Bonfiglio
Age: 12 years 9 months and 22 days (Male)
Nationality: American
Ship: Carpathia

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Research Articles

Günter Bäbler Titanica! (2019) Carpathia Passenger List

Letters and Diaries

(1912) Diary of Carpathia Passenger Marija Aliuš-Bartowski
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