Who is Tony DUrso?

  • Tony DUrso started podcasting back in 2015. His first few shows had under 10 listeners. Like you he struggled to crack the code to become a top podcaster. Today he is one of the top podcasters in the US.
  • He’s the #1 talk show on VoiceAmerica with 40 Million Listens & 500 interviews of some of the most successful people in their category: Elite Entrepreneurs.
  • He is a nationally syndicated U.S. radio show host, on Roku as well as all major podcast platforms.
  • He is a multiple Amazon bestseller.
  • When it comes to growing a following of loyal listeners and subscribers, this guy knows his stuff!
  • (Proper spelling is D’Urso but as search engines get confused, the [‘] is dropped to make it simpler.)

Early years

Born in Sicily, Italy, I eventually became one of six boys living the rough and tumble life, unless my father was home. He lived by an unwritten rule of intolerance. When he got fed up with the noise threshold, that was it; no army could stand in the way of his wrath. I didn’t know it until many years later, that his seemingly impetuous anger stemmed from his being in World War II and serving a 1 1/2 year stint in a POW camp.

We moved to the United States when I was three, as some of my uncles and relatives emigrated before us, eventually making Chicago our home. I took a “two-year vacation” before I began helping my brothers with their paper route at age five. I would get up as early as 4:30 A.M. to help them. When the weather was more decent, I would get up as late as 5:30 A.M. 7 days a week. Neither snow, rain, nor storm would delay us. The papers had to be delivered.

Money was tight. My mother took care of six boys and my father worked in a factory. He took the bus to work every day, and to save the five cents the bus transfer would have cost he walked the additional miles to work regardless of the weather. One time I heard him reluctantly confess to my mother that it was so cold that he anted up the five cents for the transfer. As a teenager looking for a better job, I once walked the same route that my father walked every day, and it was a very long tedious walk to the main avenue.

DUrso Family

I did my part to help my parents, always giving them every penny I made. In the beginning it was a few dollars every few weeks, working a few hours a day. I delivered the papers in time to go home, have breakfast, and then walk a few miles to school regardless of the weather, never taking a bus.

At eight I earned responsibility for my own route and cart of papers, except on some Sundays as the Chicago Tribune was so thick and heavy that I literally could not budge the giant cart. I delivered the papers regardless of the weather. The brutal wind would at times cause me to hang onto my cart tightly and avoid being blown away, and at times it made it hard to breathe.

When the Chicago winters were even worse than normal, the wind-chill would take us to another level of freezing. Then, I wore two pairs of socks, two pants, three different undershirts and sweaters, a winter jacket, a hat and two pairs of gloves. After a few hours of delivering papers, I was usually frozen stiff. I would lie on our radiator to defrost myself upon arriving home.

When I wasn’t delivering one hundred or so heavy Sunday papers, I delivered the regular weekday papers in a bag thrown over my shoulder. On heavier paper days, my shoulders would ache badly, causing me to switch shoulders constantly from the intense pain that would set in. The faster I delivered them, the less weight, the less the ache. You can imagine my excitement when in my teens we had enough money to get a bicycle to deliver the newspapers. That was a gift from God.

One day I overheard my dad talking with my mom about the fact that he made $75 a week. That motivated me to always deliver the papers no matter how I felt or how much I wanted to stop and sleep in. I never gave up.

Early Career

At fourteen, after ten years of paper delivery, I went into fast food. To get hired I needed a physical. I found a doctor, looked up the route, and took a train to and from. I got the physical and got hired. I always took care of things myself. I don’t even think my parents ever knew that I did that. You took care of things on your own, that was my mentality on everything.

Once I got the fast-food job, I made a proclamation to my parents. Henceforth, I would pay everything myself in terms of school, books, clothes and so forth. I kept my money and learned as best I could how to manage the five to ten dollars a week that I made. It was fun.

That was the foundation which set my course in life.

At nineteen, I started working in corporate America. One of my first jobs was as a professional typist. However, I had never typed anything before, except for using a public typewriter at the local post office a few times when addressing envelopes.

This did not deter me. I went to the library and got a book on how to type. I practiced until I became the best and fastest typist at the company, being able to type faster than the machines would let me. Eventually I worked out the pace just perfectly so that no two keys would ever get jammed. My typing skills entertained my co-workers.

Later, I put myself through college, while continuing to work and help support my family. I graduated Summa Cum Laude. That was my mentality—to do it right.

Giving Back

Throughout my adult life, I’ve helped take care of others in need. At first, it was participating in toy drives for the children in hospitals during the holidays.

Then one year my wife and I noticed a growing number of people without homes in our neighborhood and thought, “Why not help them out?” They needed food and basic supplies. In fact, some had children and pets with them. I called them “our neighbors” instead of calling them “homeless people.” Thus “Breakfast With Our Neighbors” began one Christmas Eve.

I put out social media posts asking people for help and my goodness, did we get help! On the day of the event, people showed up with tents, clothing, sleeping bags, food galore, supplies like crazy… You name it, we had it. The press showed up and we made front page of the Opinion section of the OC Register.

Eventually we established The Southgate Foundation to focus on helping the elderly, invalid, orphans, widows and widowers. With other volunteers we passed out over 126,000 meals to date, plus clothing, everyday-living items and so forth. With God’s help, we do what we can to help others. After all, I know what it’s like to be one paycheck away from having no home. Our neighbors are just like us, one step removed.