Stanley Rygor (button accordion) was born on Manhattan's Lower East Side, April 9, 1926, to immigrant parents- a father from England and a mother from Sicily. After graduating from William Cullen Bryant High School in Queens, he joined the Navy at age 17. During World War II, he served in Europe and in the Pacific. After his military career ended in 1946, he worked briefly at factory jobs in Long Island City and attended Hunter College Evening Session before joining Doremus & Company, a Wall Street financial advertising agency as a $25 a week messenger in the mailroom. After 8 months, a vacancy developed in production, where he worked for 19 years, until being promoted to Senior Vice President, a title he held until retiring at 80.
Married for 58 years to his wife Kathleen, they have 5 children and 9 grandchildren. His passions besides Irish music include athletics, where as a youth he enjoyed boxing, and many years later, long distance running, doing the New York City Marathon in 1978, '79, and '84, and his best time, 4 hours 1 minute and 54 seconds in 1980.