Attention for 'Little Johnny'
John Fiorito loved the sun and fishing and wide open spaces. He also loved working as a broker at Cantor Fitzgerald. But he loved nothing more than being a husband and a father. At home, his wife, Karen, says, he was meticulous. Each night, he carefully pressed his clothes. Each morning, he used special clippers to groom his mustache.
At 40, he gave the same kind of attention to his 6-year-old son, "little Johnny," who three years ago was found to have leukemia.
He loved trains and boats because that is what little Johnny loved. And when his son needed special care, the family moved closer to a good hospital, where little Johnny would eventually receive a successful bone marrow transplant. Mr. Fiorito -- or "Johnny Fever" as some of his friends jokingly botched his name -- also loved surprises. He proposed to his future wife in 1987, at a dinner atop the World Trade Center. A waiter brought her ring on a silver platter. "John was fidgeting that night," she said. "After he gave the waiter the ring, I think he was worried he'd never come back with it."
And after 11 years of marriage, one of the biggest surprises was that he never forgot how to be tender. "Till the end, he always held my hand," his wife said. "And he always complimented me on how beautiful he thought I looked. I don't know if every husband does that; but he did."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 28, 2001.