The oldest of three sons of Italian immigrants, John Cavi—the pen name of John Cavaiuolo—was born in 1930, and raised in the East New York section of Brooklyn, New York. Growing up during the 1930’s he experienced first hand the misery and despair caused by the depression. That experience molded his work ethic and the determination to succeed in life.

He attended Our Lady of Loreto parochial school. He didn’t speak English until he was five years old (his friends say he still can’t) and was probably the only one ever to fail kindergarten. He began working when he was 8 years old through age 14 at odd jobs selling gum, delivering flowers, delivering papers, stacking, packing and selling produce.  

He graduated grammar school in 1942, and attended Bushwick High School. At fourteen he began working at the Shanty Shop restaurant chain first as dishwasher and bus boy and after six months as a soda jerk and subsequently as a short order cook, He worked full time during the summer, and Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights during the school year. He graduated from Bushwick High in 1947, and worked at Shanty Shops as a cook where he honed his skills for what would be a lifetime of delighting friends with his wonderful dinners.

In 1951 John served in the Marine Corp and was discharge as a Staff Sergeant in 1953.   He enrolled as a full time student at St. John’s University in 1954, under the GI bill. At St. Johns, he opted for the morning schedule and worked in the afternoons and evenings in the Citibank Rack Department sorting checks. He earned a BBA in management and law from St. Johns University in 1956, and an MBA in finance and marketing from NYU in 1957.

In 1956 he began his professional career at Citibank in the nascent systems and technology department where he honed his analytical and business writing skills. John’s management skills were soon recognized and his career path soon was on an upward trajectory. Sponsored by Citibank, he was selected for the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School. He went on to a manage a variety of business and operations units and retired at age 65.

Retirement in the first five years was centered on consulting, learning to play golf, skiing, catching up on reading all those books he was too busy to read over his work life, and designing and building the home he shared with his wife, Ellen. In 2002 he was diagnosed with a rare form of stage four Lymphoma by the doctors at Yale New Haven Hospital. Given two to ten months to live, he jumped at the opportunity to enter the experimental stem cell transplant program.

The idea for the novel germinated from his extensive reading about the subject matter while spending months in the hospital undergoing chemo and transplant therapy. He read two books which piqued his interest—“The History Of The Israeli and Palestinian Conflict,” a doctorial thesis written by Mark Kessler, an unbiased account of the conflict from its inception to the recent past, and “Gideon’s Spies” written by Gordon Thomas, which described the inner workings of the Mossad, the Israeli counterpart to the CIA.

He also read a compendium of books about the CIA, NSA, KBG, MI5 and other books and articles to support the subject matter. It was during that period that the broad plot of the book was conceived. At age 72, he became the first successful stem cell transplant recipient at Yale Hew Haven Hospital for that rare form of lymphoma. A miracle the doctors say.

A side effect of the transplant left him visually impaired, and he spent many hours each day mentally developing the complex plot and sub plots. In 2005, after cornea and cataract surgery, he wrote a first draft of the novel. Over the next four years, notwithstanding a series of major medical problems and deteriorating vision, he further refined the manuscript. In 2009 he was referred to the Boston Foundation for Sight, and after being fitted with the Celera lens prosthetic, his vision was miraculously restored. As his sight improved, he turned his dreams into his first novel—“The Presidents Ultimatum.” The novel was awarded the Editors Choice and the Rising Star designations by iUniverse.

A business writing and English literature course were the extent of his literary education, although he wrote several poems in his undergrad days. His favorite authors, in his early years were Hemmingway, Tolstoy, Uris, Green, and in later years, DeMille, Ludlum, Casey, Flynn, Grisham, Richard North Patterson, and Baldacci.

He lives in Southport, Ct. with his wife Ellen and they enjoy spending time with their two daughters —Tricia and Kristin, and their three grandchildren—Kate and Matt, and Ben.