John D’Emic Sr. (1896-1972) was a South Brooklyn native. He was born the youngest of seven boys to poor Italian immigrants, and began working at the age of 12; first as a clam-opener, then as a plumber, a trolley motorman, a pharmacist, and a truckdriver. After serving with distinction in France during World War I, D’Emic returned to Brooklyn to settle down with his wife Irene and their five children. In 1937, D’Emic opened a used automobile business on the corner of 32nd Street and 4th Avenue that became a borough institution.
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