From Tollbooths to Towers
Joseph Amatuccio was hired by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as a toll collector right out of high school. For some people, that might be a dead-end job. For him it was only a beginning. Over the years, Mr. Amatuccio, 41, moved from toll collecting to carpentry and from there to management. He used the agency's education plan to get an undergraduate degree in business management, taking classes at night, and was 18 months from a master's degree at Baruch College.
As a manager of operations and maintenance at the World Trade Center, he was on the phone every weekend from his home in Ozone Park, Queens, making sure that things were being done right, that subordinates were treating his beloved towers just so. "I'd argue with him, `What do you think, you're going to own those buildings?' " said his wife, Debra.
Mr. Amatuccio was seen on the street outside the twin towers at one point on the morning of Sept. 11. Someone yelled, "Let's run!" Ms. Amatuccio was later told. He ran back in.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 18, 2001.