DEGRANDIS, PAUL J., JR. (12 Nov. 1929-3 June 1993), politician, businessman, and labor leader, helped develop UNIVERSITY CIRCLE as the representative of the former Ward 19 on CLEVELAND CITY COUNCIL (1958-61). He also presided over Local 100 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) (1966-67) and the board of trustees of the CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY (president, 1992-93, vice-president 1991, board member 1981-93), and served as district director for AFSCME (1967-68). He was widely recognized as a strong force in state and local POLITICS and in the CUYAHOGA COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY. DeGrandis was born to Ruth and Paul J. DeGrandis, Sr. (d. 1994), both deputy clerks in the Cleveland Municipal Court. A graduate of CATHEDRAL LATIN SCHOOL, he attended JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY before working for such officials as the Cuyahoga County engineer and the county recorder. DeGrandis served the U. S. Army in Europe during the early 1950s. In 1967 he became the deputy director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. Four years later, over political differences, he left that position and joined the Ohio Department of Transportation as personnel director.
DeGrandis was also a successful businessman. In the 1960s he presided over DeGrandis Associates bonding agency and in 1975 he created a coal brokerage which sold fuel to industries. In 1981 the Cleveland Public Library appointed him to its board. DeGrandis met Rita C. Feller at a meeting of the Democratic Party and married her on 22 June 1957. The couple lived in Cleveland with their 7 children, Mary Anne Baucco, Mary Ruth Andrews, Mary Catherine, Mary Jane Garris, Mary Rita, Paul II, and David. DeGrandis belonged to Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church.