An avid golfer, fisherman, and hiker, John Cortale grew up in Port Jefferson, New York. He took up golf seriously as a teenager as a two-year member of the team at Rocky Point High School, where he also excelled in academics. John Cortale went on to make the Dean's list at the University of Maryland while earning a Bachelor's degree in Finance and Accounting. He continues to support the Terrapin Club and married a Terrapin alumna in the campus chapel. For John Cortale, family comes first. The Bethesda, Maryland, resident still calls his nearly 90-year-old grandmother weekly and attends her annual birthday party in Long Island. Other special events include visiting the family lake house in Massachusetts, an annual Easter trip to Florida, and memorable fishing trips with his father, uncle, and cousins to Montauk, Long Island, in pursuit of bluefish. John Cortale also remains close to his young nephews. A diehard New York Yankees fan since the 1980s, John Cortale has suffered with the team through the dismal years and triumphed with the Yankees in the good years. He still remembers the 1996 World Series win over the Atlanta Braves to end an 18-year dry spell and can recall Charlie Hayes catching the last out to clinch the title. John Cortale witnessed it all on a 13-inch television as a college freshman. He continues to cheer for the team in the good years and the not-so-good ones. John Cortale supports a number of nonprofit organizations, including several groups aiding individuals with physical, mental, or developmental challenges, such as KEEN Greater DC; Special Olympics; and the Arc of the District of Columbia, Inc. He also assists the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, which has raised more than $380 million since 2003. In other service, John Cortale aids the Wounded Warrior Project. The program provides assistance to members of the military facing a long road to recovery.