Timothy Agoglia Carey was born in 1929. His father Joseph was second-generation Irish, a former fireman who lost his job after an accident and died of a stroke at work in a Wall Street elevator. His mother Ida was the daughter of Rocco Agoglia, founder of the Bank of Agoglia in Brooklyn, where Timothy grew up in the wake of the Great Depression. His role model elder brother, Joseph, died at sixteen, and then his elder sister Cecelia contracted meningitis and died at fifteen.
Carey never discussed such hard aspects of his early life, but these biographical details are significantly echoed in The World’s Greatest Sinner, in which two of his primary preoccupations, the fear of death and his aversion to money, are openly addressed. A characteristic plot point in The World’s Greatest Sinner is the death of the main character’s mother. While the hero is wailing over her open coffin, the actor was in reality grieving for his real mother who passed during the making of the film.
– Vassily Bourikas, “Cinema Justice,” from Dead Flowers (Participant Press/Vox Populi, 2011)
Timothy and his mother
The Agoglia family crypt at Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn