World's Largest Celebration of Italian-American Culture and Heritage to be Held on October 8, 2012
NEW YORK, May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mario J. Gabelli, the eminent philanthropist and investment innovator, will be Grand Marshal of the New York City's 2012 Columbus Day Parade, the world's largest celebration of Italian-American culture and heritage.
The 68th annual Columbus Day Parade be held on October 8, 2012, and will feature 35,000 marchers and over 100 contingents, including virtuoso performances of traditional Italian and Italian-American music and dance, street performers, historical and contemporary floats, over a dozen marching bands, and national and international dignitaries.
The Parade is held from 11:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. and runs north on Fifth Avenue, from 47th to 72nd Street. It is also broadcast live on WABC-TV from noon until 3:00 P.M. and is organized and produced by the Columbus Citizens Foundation.
Mr. Gabelli is the founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GAMCO Investors, Inc. (ticker symbol GBL) and a strong proponent of education. In 2010, he donated $25 million to Fordham University, the largest gift in the school's history, for its undergraduate business program, known now as the Fordham University Gabelli School of Business. Mr. Gabelli is also a major donor to Columbia Graduate School of Business, as well as Roger Williams University and the University of Miami.
In a 45-year career in the finance industry, Mr. Gabelli has created mutual funds that have consistently been recognized as among the industry's top performers, and he has been widely recognized for his visionary and innovative approach to investing that emphasizes buying into companies whose value is not recognized by the market.
"Mario Gabelli is a most deserving Grand Marshal for our 2012 Columbus Celebration," said Columbus Citizens Foundation President Frank G. Fusaro. "Mario excels at everything he does, whether managing and guiding an enormously successful company, identifying deserving charitable causes, or contributing to his community. As a matter of record, Mario was one of the initial and largest supporters of the Foundation's Adopt-A-Scholar Program, which provides scholarship funding for students who have the capacity to excel academically but not the means to pay for education at a competitive school. Mario is truly dedicated to giving back and to helping those who are less fortunate. We are extremely pleased that he has accepted our invitation to be Grand Marshal."
"I am delighted to serve as Grand Marshal of the 2012 Columbus Celebration, including the Columbus Day Parade," Mr. Gabelli said. "The Celebration presents the best of Italian-American culture and heritage while raising funds for scholarships. Education is the great leveler, the engine of America's meritocracy, and it must remain so for the country to compete in the global economy."
About Mario J. Gabelli
Mr. Gabelli grew up in the Bronx and lives in Greenwich, CT, with his wife, Regina Pitaro. His interest in the financial markets began at an early age. While in high school, he hitchhiked to a Westchester country club where he worked as a caddy. Instead of heading home as dusk fell, he remained to listen to the members talk about stocks.
Mr. Gabelli received his undergraduate degree from Fordham University and his masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, as did his wife.
Mr. Gabelli began his career as an automotive and farm equipment analyst at Loeb Rhodes & Co. and later covered the broadcast and entertainment industries. In 1977, he founded Gabelli Asset Management as an institutional research firm that has since grown into a diversified financial services corporation, GAMCO Investors.
As an analyst, Mr. Gabelli has introduced innovation in the field. His proprietary Private Market Value with a Catalyst™ methodology is now an analytical standard in the value investing community. In 2011, he was awarded Money Manager of the Year by Institutional Investor, having returned 28.6% for his institutional clients in 2010 and 16.3% annually since GAMCO Investor's founding in 1977. He was also inducted into the Barron's All-Century Team, a listing of the most influential fund industry portfolio managers, and was Morningstar, Inc.'s Domestic Equity Fund Manager of the Year in 1997.
In addition to being a member of the Columbus Citizens Foundation since 1976, Mr. Gabelli, the Gabelli Foundation or the Gabelli Family Foundation at the Jewish Communal Fund have been benefactors to Columbia Graduate School of Business, Boston College, Pace University, the University of Miami, Fordham Preparatory School (his high school alma mater), New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the National Italian-American Foundation, the American-Italian Cancer Foundation and the Foundation for Italian Art and Culture.
Mr. Gabelli is a member of the Board of Overseers of Columbia University Graduate School of Business, Trustee Associate of Boston College and the Board of Trustees of Roger Williams University, a Trustee of the E.L. Wiegand Foundation and Winston Churchill Foundation.
Mr. Gabelli has received numerous awards, including the Columbus Citizens Foundation Award for Business and Education, 1994; the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for Business Leaders, 1996; the South Bronx Educational Foundation's Distinguished Public Service Award, November 2000; the Sacred Heart University, Discovery Award, April 2005; and a Cavaliere, Ordine al Merito in 1996, bestowed by the Italian Government in 1996.
About the Columbus Citizens Foundation
The Columbus Citizens Foundation is a non-profit organization in New York City committed to fostering an appreciation of Italian-American heritage and achievement. The Foundation, through a broad range of philanthropic and cultural activities, provides opportunities for advancement to deserving Italian-American students through various scholarship and grant programs. During the 2011-2012 school year, the Foundation is providing just under $2 million in scholarship assistance to over 500 students. The Foundation organizes New York City's annual Columbus Celebration and Columbus Day Parade, which has been held under the auspices of the Foundation since 1944. For more information, visit www.columbuscitizensfd.org.
Press contact: Andrew Decker
SOURCE Columbus Citizens Foundation