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Past Newsmakers

Fall 2003

FELICE SCADUTO BRYANT, who co-wrote more than 800 recorded songs with her husband, Boudleaux, died of cancer April 22 at age 77 in Tennessee. Among her hits were the rock 'n' roll classics "Wake Up, Little Susie," and "Bye Bye Love," which helped make the Everly Brothers famous. The songwriters' tunes sold an estimated half a billion records worldwide. She was born Matilda Scaduto in Milwaukee.

PETER COCCI, a graphic designer at the United States Bureau of Printing and Engraving, has redesigned the U.S. dollar bill to make counterfeiting more difficult. He has also designed several U.S. postage stamps.

RICHARD DEVENUTI is vice president of computer giant Microsoft, where he is responsible for the company's internal technological infrastructure and external communications. The University of Washington graduate is the son of former NASA engineer Riccardo Devenuti.

FRED MARCIANO, M.D., an Arizona-based neurosurgeon, led the surgical team that operated on former POW Pfc. Jessica Lynch. The internationally known neurotrauma specialist was called up for duty in March and sent to Germany's Ramstein Air Base. He joined an army reserve unit in 1990 to finance his medical training.

LUIS MARDEN, an explorer, photographer and writer for the National Geographic Society, died of complications from Parkinson's disease on March 3. He was 90. Marden, whose extraordinary career with the magazine spanned 64 years, was pioneer in the field of 35 mm color and underwater photography. He was born Annibale Luigi Paragallo in Massachusetts.

REV. AL MASCHERINO, 59, renovated a hundred-year-old chapel near Shanksville, Pa., adding a 40-foot bell tower to commemorate the sacrifice of the 40 passengers and crew of Flight 93 that crashed near the chapel on September 11, 2001. Father Mascherino got help from local contractors after buying and initiating work on the building himself. Now a non-denominational memorial chapel, it is called appropriately, "Thunder on the Mountain."

JANA NAPOLI, a New Orleans-based artist of Sicilian heritage, founded and runs Young Aspirations/Young Artists, Inc. (YA/YA), which helps artistically talented inner-city youth create and sell their work. The kids keep half the proceeds and the rest goes into their college funds. YA/YA clients include Fortune 500 companies, MTV and Swatch. See www.yayainc.com, e-mail yaya_art@earthlink.net or call 504-529-3306.

DONALD J. PALMISANO, M.D., J.D. is president of the American Medical Association. The multi-talented Palmisano is an attorney, vascular surgeon and Air Force general. He holds clinical professorships in both surgery and medical jurisprudence at Tulane University in New Orleans where he was named one of the city's "top doctors" in 2001.

Stanford University professor GILBERT SORRENTINO was a finalist for this year's PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for his novel Little Casino. He has published over eight books of poetry and a dozen novels, including the highly successful "Mulligan Stew" (1979). Sorrentino's Italian roots lie in the Sicilian town of Sciacca.

Basketball phenomenon DIANA TAURASI led her University of Connecticut Huskies team to a second consecutive Division I National Championship this year in Atlanta. At only age 21, she is already considered one of the top female players of all time.

BARRY ZITO pitches for the Oakland Athletics Major League Baseball franchise. He earned a spot on the 2002 All-Star team, and his eccentric but endearing demeanor has garnered him several minor television roles.