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John Giunta was born Giovanni Antonio Giunta on June 5, 1920 in New York City. His father, Francesco Antonio Giunta, was born on September 24, 1882 in the Italian city of Vittoria, Sicily. His mother, Giovanna "Jennie" Giunta, was born on June 17, 1884 in Sicily. His parents married in 1902 and had two children, Giuseppe Giunta, born August 6, 1903, and Antonio Giunta, born June 24, 1905.

On August 3, 1910 the family left Italy on the Steam Ship Hamburg and came to America, where they settled in New York City and lived at 309 East 9th Street in Manhattan. The father worked as a shirt presser.

On June 15, 1915 the father applied for U.S.A. naturalized citizenship.

On June 5, 1920 Mr. & Mrs. Giunta had a third child, Giovanni "John" Antonio Giunta. He was born in Manhattan.

In 1922 the family moved to a larger apartment at 1355 80th Street, between 13th and 14th Avenues in the Dyker Heights section of Brooklyn.

In 1924 the father died of a heart attack at the age of forty-two. After this tragic death the mother supported her family by working as a dress maker at a garment factory, where she was a "finisher of women's coats."

In 1929 the middle brother, Antonio Giunta, married Angelina Lo Monaco. She was born in 1906 in Italy and also worked as a dressmaker at the same factory as the mother. The newlyweds moved to 1527 Voorhees Avenue in Brooklyn. Antonia Giunta worked as a barber, along with the oldest brother, Giuseppe Giunta. After the two older brothers had moved out, John Giunta, age eight, lived at home with his widowed mother, age forty-four.

In 1931 Antonio Giunta and his wife moved to a larger apartment at 2232 West 7th Street in Brooklyn, where they raised two children, Francesco Aldo Giunta (1931-2017), who would grow up to become an author and playwright, and Janet Giunta (b.1937).

In June of 1936 John Giunta completed the tenth grade of high school in Brooklyn, after which he entered the work force as a freelance commercial artist. He used a room in his mother's apartment as his art studio.

He attended the free public art school at the Brooklyn Museum of Art on 200 Eastern Parkway.

His first published works appeared in the March 1938 issue of Cosmic Tales, and Fantascience Digest, which were science fiction fanzines.

He wrote, illustrated and self published Amazing Wonder Tales of August 1938

In 1939 John Giunta became the editor of a special section in Amazing Mystery Funnies, which reviewed current issues of science fiction fanzines. Amazing Mystery Funnies was produced by Ultem, a publishing company co-owned by Issac W. Ullman and Frank Z. Temerson.

John Giunta contributed illustrations to pulp magazines, such as Comet Stories, Amazing Stories, 10-Story Fantasy, 10-Story Mystery Magazine, Ten Detective Aces, Weird Tales and Out Of This World.

He worked for the comic shop of Harry A. Chesler, where he was a letterer and colorist. John Giunta contributed drawings to Captain Aero Comics, The Mad Hatter, Air Fighters, Buster Brown Comics, as well as Cisco Kid Comics and Spook Comics, produced by Baily Publishing Company.

In 1941 he was hired by Fawcett Publications to work as a staff artist for a weekly salary of forty-five dollars.

During WWII John Giunta registered with his local draft board, but at five feet tall and weighing 100 pounds, he was unfit for military service.

In 1944 Baily Comics hired a young high school student to be John Giunta's art assistant. This new apprentice was sixteen-year-old Frank Frazetta (1928-2010), who went on to a successful career in illustration.

In 1949 John Giunta served as the editor of True Crime Comics, and included a story by his nephew, Aldo Giunta, age eighteen.

He also served as Art Director of Saturn Science Fiction.

In 1950 John Giunta and his mother lived at 3355 80th Street in Brooklyn, where their telephone number was listed as 232-5277.

By the mid-1950s changing tastes in the American popular culture had shifted away from publishing pulp magazines and comic books, which forced most artists to find other sources of steady income. John Giunta provided illustrations for Quick Frozen Foods Magazine, where his friend Sam Moskowitz was employed as an editor.

John Giunta drew story illustrations for Avon Science Fiction and Fantasy Reader, Infinity Science Fiction, Satellite Science Fiction, Science Fiction Adventures, Venture Science Fiction, Best Seller Mystery Magazine, Galaxy Science Fiction, Worlds of Tomorrow, and IF.

John Giunta continued to contribute illustrations to Science-Fiction fanzines throughout his life.

On February 25, 1960 the older brother, Antonio Giunta, the father of Aldo Giunta, died of a heart attack at the age of fifty-four in Brooklyn.

On February 6, 1961 the artist's mother, Jennie Giunta, died at the age of seventy-six in Brooklyn.

After his mother's death, John Giunta left Brooklyn and moved back to Manhattan, where he lived at the Village Plaza Hotel, a cheap rooming house at 79 Washington Place, between Sixth Avenue and Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village.

John Giunta died of a heart attack at the age of fifty on November 6, 1970 in NYC.

According to Sam Moskowitz, "John Giunta's death was in the all-too-sad tradition of artists, which has become almost stereotyped in fiction and moving pictures. He died nearly penniless, receiving public assistance, plus an occasional art assignment, for which he was poorly paid. Though only fifty, he looked more nearly sixty-five, and probably did not weigh much over one hundred pounds at the time of his death. He was not known to be suffering from any malady, but did have high blood pressure. He lived with great dignity and with no recourse to alcohol or drugs, without ever having been involved in or charged with a crime, and with no enemies. He was a gentle, soft-spoken, kindly, generous individual, optimistically striving to better his fortunes throughout his entire life. He was always his own man, losing many important assignments rather than compromise his ideas. He never married. To those who knew him for the thirty-three years he was associated with the science fiction field, John Giunta was an especially fine human being of a sensitive and warm breed, rare at any time."

                           © David Saunders 2019

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