Remember back in the sixties and early seventies when the Vietnam War was raging and then the Watergate investigation got going? All of a sudden two labels started getting used by the media. If you conformed to the popular view or to conventional wisdom you were part of the “establishment.” If you did not, you were considered “anti-establishment.” Well back then, Richard Insogna was not just considered to be anti-establishment, he was actually the leader of that much-outnumbered group of citizenry within Amsterdam.
Insogna’s story began much the same way that so many Amsterdam stories from his generation began. He was born here on September 12 1926 to immigrant parents who had come to this country from Italy. He made it through high school and not long after he graduated, he put on the uniform of the US Army and fought for his country in the Pacific portion of WWII. When he returned from service, he joined the many returning Rug City veterans who took advantage of the GI Bill and got a college education. Insogna went one step further than most. After graduating from Union College, he went on to Cornell and got his law degree.
He then became a member of the Montgomery County Bar in 1953, hung out his shingle and became a practicing Amsterdam attorney. In 1955, he married the love of his life, Mary Galinski, another Amsterdam native who would become one of Amsterdam’s most skilled and successful downtown merchants (Gabays.)
At first, it looked as if Insogna would follow the normal trajectory of a young and ambitious Rug City attorney…