He served in the Italian Army in World War II from 1940 to 1943. He married his wife of 70 years, Maria Maggio, on April 15, 1945.
“My greatest accomplishment was when I emigrated to the United States on August 26, 1967, with my wife and seven children,” Ciccione said. “They all have better lives as a result since there was not much opportunity in Sicily.”
They initially settled in Bushwick. After two years, they moved to Richmond Hill, and today Ciccione lives in Howard Beach, close to his children, 16 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. His youngest great-grandchild was born earlier this year, making them an entire century apart.
He still likes to garden and keep in touch with old friends at a local Italian social club.
While growing up in Italy, Ciccione says he would have never imagined reaching 100 years because the life expectancy was a lot lower than today.
“My mother lived to be 91 years old, but my father only lived to be 65,” he said.