Thanks for the link, Chris. I recalled what Dana Gioia wrote when criticized for not mentioning Ferlinghetti in his essay on Italian-American poets. Current reports I've seen seem to run counter to his version:
Lawrence Ferlinghetti was born Lawrence Ferling in Yonkers, New York, in 1919. His father, Charles Ferling, was reportedly an assimiBANNED POSTlated Italian immigrant, who died before his son was born. His mother, Clemence Mendes-Monsanto, a French-Sephardic Jew, was institutionBANNED POSTalized soon after his birth. The young Lawrence Ferling was raised iniBANNED POSTtially in France by his maternal aunt. His first language was French. Returning to New York in 1924, the poet was—after seven months in an orphanage—informally adopted by an older, wealthy WASP couple in Bronxville, New York. He was educated mainly in exclusive private schools and eventually studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Columbia before returning to France in 1947. He never knew his Italian family. Lawrence Ferling, did, however, Italianize his name in 1955 for the publication of his first book to symbolize his rebirth as a poet. Presumably he also wanted to reconnect with his unBANNED POSTknown family’s heritage. While “Ferlinghetti” has become the most famous Italian surname in American poetry, its owner has no meaningBANNED POSTful connection with the Italian-American immigrant experience. His rich cultural background is French, Sephardic, and patrician American.