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Past Newsmakers

Winter 2013 Newsmakers

PAOLA ANTONELLI has been senior curator of architecture and design in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City since 1994. Italian-born, this trained architect is highly regarded by American design experts.

MICHAEL BOTTICELLI, is the new “deputy drug czar” since being appointed deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in Washington, D.C. in Nov. 2012.

LAWRENCE DePRIMO, 25, is the NYC police officer who made national news in Nov. 2012 when he bought boots for a barefoot homeless man in Times Square.  A tourist photographed the act and sent it to the NYC Police Department’s website where it was viewed more than 1.6 million times.  Officer DePrimo, who paid $75 for the boots and some socks, was shocked to learn the image had gone viral.

PAOLO MACCHIARINI, M.D., a surgeon at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, is trying to build vital organs using the body’s own cells and artificial materials. These “bioartificial organs” might someday provide organs, including hearts, built in laboratories.  Only a few simple organs like bladders and windpipes have been made and transplanted, but scientists like Macchiarini are working to perfect the procedure in many countries, including the U.S.

ROCCO MANELLA, a professor of math, physics and engineering at a Maryland community college, received the 2012 President’s Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers in Washington, D.C. last September.  Manella, 69, has taught since 1967, encouraging students, especially minorities to study science and technology.

LOU MILIONE, an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Washington, D.C., received a service award Sept. 2012 for leading a DEA team that brought down  a legendary Russian arms trafficker, who sold weapons used against Americans in Colombia.  He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

FRANCESCA ZAMBELLO, is the new artistic director of the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center. She also is artistic and general director of the Glimmerglass Festival in upstate New York and directs opera productions around the world.

And "Addio" to...

GAETANA (GAE) AULENTI, an Italian architect who turned old buildings into modern museums, including Paris’s Musée d’Orsay. She died October 31, 2012 in Milan at age 94.  In 1954, she was one of only two women in Milan’s Polytechnic School of Architecture.

CARMEN BASILIO, who beat Sugar Ray Robinson in 1957 to become the World Middleweight Boxing Champion, died Nov. 7, 2012 at age 85 of pneumonia in Rochester, NY.  One of 10 children of an Italian onion farmer in central New York State, the 5 foot 6 ½ inch.

JOSEPH RUMORE, was posthumously inducted into the University of Alabama’s Communication Hall of Fame in Oct. 2012.  He was on the air for more than 40 years, and refused sponsors of tobacco or alcohol.  He once had three live daily shows for women, farmers and teens plus a Sunday inspirational music program.  He died in 1993 at age 72.

JOSEPH VAGHI, the first and youngest naval officer to reach the sands of Omaha on the D-Day invasion of Normandy June 6, 1944, died Aug. 25, 2012 of kidney failure at age 92 in Maryland where he founded a successful architectural firm after the war.  The third of nine children of Italian immigrants in Connecticut, he never spoke of his wartime experiences until 1994, when the White House invited him to go with V.P. Al Gore to Europe on the 50th anniversary of the war’s end.  In 2007, Ken Burns featured him in his documentary, The War.