From the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
John Monteleone was born in Manhattan in 1947 to a family of craftsmen that traces their roots to Palermo. His grandfather, a pastry chef, established the Monteleone bakery downtown and the family later established a branch in Brooklyn. Monteleone”™s father was a skilled sculptor who moved the family to Long Island and started a business as an industrial pattern maker, doing work for the aviation industry. Monteleone learned woodworking from his father as well as the ability to understand a variety of materials and read design drawings. He was also a musician, playing both the piano and guitar. A self-taught luthier who learned by examining high-quality instruments, Monteleone began experimenting with building and repairing stringed instruments at a young age. He first gained notoriety for the innovative design of his mandolins, which were admired and used by the best players in a variety of genres. Since the acoustic-guitar market has rebounded from its lull in the 1970s and 1980s, Monteleone has become increasingly respected as a guitar maker and has introduced a number of innovations, both acoustic and aesthetic. His work continues to evolve, expanding the boundaries of instrument making.
I came across this builder through a list of Monteleone guitars owned by Mark Knopfler. You can see the list here. Some beautiful instruments.
Premier Guitar did a profile on John a few years back. You can find it here.
This video provides some insight into the builder. He even provides some insights into the making of Italian Pizza.