Sonny is the younger of the two Smaldone brothers. Yo won’t meet his older brother Johnny at the party but you will hear about him. As the youngest, Sonny is momma’s baby and the boy she watches over most closely. He returns the affection by visiting every day even though he only lives across the street.
A “big lug” in the slang of the day, Sonny was a tough kid who achieved some local fame in annual Golden Gloves boxing tournaments that took place in New York in the years when he was growing up. He trades on that fame in his current job as a customs inspector on Brooklyn’s tough waterfront. Despite his toughness, though, Sonny did not fight in World War II, a point of tension between him and his various brothers-in-law who did.
And while he wouldn’t want any of his waterfront buddies to know it, Sonny has been going to Brooklyn College at night to get a degree in accounting — something wife Stella has been urging him to do so they can buy a home of their own.
Sonny met Stella at Roseland, a famous dance club in New York City, and fell instantly in love with her despite her not being Italian. He knows his family will never accept Stella but tries to ignore their verbal jabs at her– all the while trying to prove how Italian he is by shunning other non-Italians.