Philip Carlo was a journalist and best-selling biographer of Thomas Pitera, Richard Kuklinski, Anthony Casso, and Richard Ramirez. Carlo suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”. He was bound to a wheelchair and respirator, but retained his ability to speak normally during his lifetime. He died of the disease on November 8, 2010 at age 61.
Philip Carlo was born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York. From an early age, he was involved in gang activity. Raised on the streets of Brooklyn, New York. In 1964 when Carlo was 15 years old, he witnessed a close friend shot to death by hit men from the Colombo crime family in broad daylight. Moving toward induction into an organized crime mob family, Carlo found himself in trouble with the law. At the of age 17, he was involved in a gang fight and shot in the forehead by a .22 caliber gun. It was after this life-threatening moment that Carlo decided to turn his life around. Carlo’s passion for books ultimately steered him from the criminal path. The works of Steinbeck, Hemingway and Dickens, among others, helped Carlo out of Brooklyn. At 19, he moved to Manhattan and secured a job as a real estate agent on the Upper West Side, Manhattan. Although successful, Carlo walked away from the business after nine years with the goal of ultimately becoming a professional writer. Despite his illness, in early November 2009, Carlo was able to appear on Shovio’s Talk Back TV, to take questions about his research. His last book, The Killer Within: In the Company of Monsters (which deals with his battle against ALS), was released posthumously in January 2011.