John Mongillo Jr.
John Mongillo Jr. was an extraordinary newsman. Following his father, John Sr. who was also a news photographer, he shot photos of most major news events in Connecticut during a 40-year career. Hurricane Gloria, the collapse of the Mianus River Bridge, the Stratford Toll Plaza fire are a few examples. He seemed to be everywhere at once.
His contacts were legendary. He knew everyone from beat cops, to major public officials, to regular citizens. And they all called John with stories. He often was at crime scenes before any other reporter or photographer, and in 1980 was credited with negotiating a hostage situation at the East Street branch of the former First Bank in New Haven when a would-be robber wanted to relay his demands through the media. As a result, Mongillo received the police chief’s Citizen Meritorious Service Award.
Former New Haven Register Editor Jack Kramer, who worked with Mongillo for about 30 years, said, “Nobody was more plugged in, nobody knew more cops or firefighters, nobody was faster with information than John Mongillo. He made sure we had the most up-to-date and best information and photographs.”
He also shot thousands of images of less well-known stories and portraits of everyday people in the news.
Mongillo worked at the New Haven Register for 30 years and then became a free lancer. He provided still pictures and video to news outlets around the state and beyond for the rest of his life. He was only 64 when he died.
John Mongillo Jr. was the complete news photographer. We are proud to induct him into the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame.