Tony was born to Sicilian immigrant parents, Giuseppe and Angelina Ferrigno Arangio, in Passaic, New Jersey. The youngest of four, he graduated from Louisiana State University with a B.S. degree in Secondary Education followed by a Master of Science in Social Work degree. After serving as an Army 1st Lt. from 1964-1966, he began work towards a Ph.D. in Human Services Administration and Planning in the Graduate School of Social Work at Tulane University. He received his Ph.D. in 1970 having begun teaching as a Professor of Social Work at the University of Texas in Arlington, the year before. He became a national spokesperson for a national health advocacy organization, after publishing extensively and doing research focused on the crucial need for the medical community to encourage parental involvement in the treatment of their children.
He left his university position to embark on what was to become twelve years of consultancy, involving organizational behavior and efficiency, and establishing a private counseling practice, mostly with families and young children. During this time, his fun hobbies turned into an additional professional career. He worked in radio, television commercials, theatre, and movies. He has earned, and still maintains, professional credentials in SAG-AFTRA and AEA. He hosted award nominated and award winning cable television shows for nearly 20 years. His wife has told him that he is a "renaissance man." He says, "Sounds a lot better than someone describing me as one who hasn't grown up yet, I guess."
Eventually, all roads led to his working in various positions in a very large school district . These are amply described in the text which follows. He will attest to the obvious fact that it does appears that almost all he has done in his "growing up" has led to a passionate involvement with helping kids and their parents. The synergy is unmistakable. He has been retired for over a year and has been busy with this book.
While his wry sense of humor keeps him relatively sane, Tony attributes his real joy and happiness to his wonderful relationships with his beautiful wife, Terri Wichita, daughter Elizabeth, and sons Christopher and Peter. Of course, what really keeps him from not "growing up" too much are grandchildren, Daniel, Zoe, Landon and Ryder.