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DEPAOLO, LOUIS

DEPAOLO, LOUIS (1894-5 Dec. 1977), a businessman and leader who earned the title "mayor of LITTLE ITALY," was born in Italy, son of Alex and Lena (Truisonno) DePaolo. He left Campobasso to join 4 uncles in Cleveland in 1910. He studied 2 years at night school and was trained as a tailor by an uncle. He worked as a tailor, then a bank clerk, before opening his own business: first a bookstore, then a confectionery, then a paint store, and finally an insurance and real-estate agency. Italian immigrants found more than books or paint in DePaolo's stores and offices. He spoke 18 Italian dialects and was often a translator for the Dept. of Justice. He helped with visas, coached those preparing for citizenship examinations, offered advice about income taxes, sold Alitalia airline tickets, and, beginning in the 1950s, led an annual tour of Italy. From 1941 until ca. 1975, DePaolo produced, directed, and hosted the "Italian Radio Hour"; he also published the Italian weekly newspaper L'ARALDO (The Herald) from 1952-59. In addition, DePaolo was active in civic and Democratic political affairs. He was a trustee of ALTA HOUSE, and president of the Mayfield Merchants Assoc., the Mayfield-Murray Hill District Council, and the Democratic Italian League; and ran for state representative in 1952. After WORLD WAR II, he received the Star of Solidarity from the Italian government for his work in helping rebuild his native country. DePaolo married Theresa Arietta on 12 July 1917; they had two children, Madeline and Allessio. DePaolo was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.