Charles Paterno was seven years old when he left Castelmezzano, a small town in the mountains of Lucania, to embark in one of the ships directed to the United States. Thirty years later, he becomes one of the biggest real estate developers of New York City, among the first to bring up the skyscrapers designed to draw the most famous skyline in the world. His intelligence, genius, insight and ability to anticipate the times render him a true protagonist of city life. He creates the garden city, focuses on new technologies, partners with the best architects. He wants to offer not only houses but new ways of life to tens of thousands of people. His first American dream features a white marble complex at Manhattan’s highest point, where he lives for years with his wife and son, surrounded by a small and authentic court. Being a friend of Joseph Prezzolini, he offers the Italian House of Columbia a library of twenty thousand volumes, the Paterno Library. Fiorello La Guardia, the Italian-American mayor of New York, calls him "a genius." Born poor, he dies rich, on the greens of the most exclusive Country Club of Westchester.