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Past Newsmakers

Fall 2006

UMBERTO ABRONZINO, who helped popularize soccer in the U.S., died July 1 in California at age 85. An accomplished soccer player in his native Italy, he came to the U.S. in 1937 where he settled in California and organized a number of soccer teams and the Peninsula Soccer League. His dedication to the game earned him election to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1971.

PAUL FERRARA spearheaded the establishment of the nation's first DNA data bank in 1989 as director of the Virginia Department of Forensic Science. Today his crime lab holds DNA profiles of nearly 250,000 criminals, including convicted sex offenders. Ferrara, 63, will retire at the end of the year, but will continue teaching and consulting in forensic science.

JOHN MARIANI, president and CEO of Banfi Vintners, a leading wine importer, and owner of its Italian subsidiary, Castello Banfi of Montalcino, Italy, runs the first winery in the world ever recognized for its ethical treatment of workers and the environment.

Castello Banfi is one of only 763 companies worldwide that have been certified "Social Accountability 8000," a designation conferred by Det Norske Veritas, an international agency that evaluates companies' protection of human rights and improved working conditions.

JOE PATERNO will be inducted into the National Football Foundation's College Hall of Fame along with Bobby Bowden next December as the two "winningest" coaches in history. Since 1966, Paterno, 79, has been head coach at Penn State where he has won 354 games and two national championships. No one has ever coached as long or won more games at one Division I school.

FRANK SCIAME, the noted New York builder, has been selected by Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg to work on the projected $500 million World Trade Center memorial, scheduled to open September 11, 2009.

Sciame has restored such historic landmarks as the Central Synagogue on Lexington Avenue; the New Victory Theater, the city's oldest theater, and Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. The F. J. Sciame Construction Company he established in 1975 is one of the area's leading construction management firms.

JOSEPH STEFANO, a veteran Hollywood and TV scriptwriter, died Aug. 25 in California of a heart attack at age 84. His suggestion to develop more deeply the characters played by Tony Perkins and Janet Leigh in the Hitchcock thriller, Psycho influenced the film's revolutionary plot twist in which the leading lady was killed in the first 20 minutes.