The following obituary was written by Order ISDA President Basil M Russo.
Our beloved Editor, Paul Angelo Sciria, peacefully passed away on Thursday, June 22, 2017, at the age of 88.
Paul was a truly exceptional man who left a great legacy as a husband, father, grandfather, journalist, investigative reporter, public relations executive, and as the Editor of our newspaper, La Nostra Voce.
Paul was born in 1928, in Cleveland, Ohio. He was raised in a traditional Italian-American family, in an Italian-American neighborhood on Kinsman Rd. at East 154th St. Paul’s stories in La Nostra Voce often recounted many of the wonderful memories he had as a child growing up in the neighborhood.
Paul had told me how his uncle, who taught at Ohio State University, had said to him, “You’re going to go to college. You’re going to go to Ohio State. End of discussion.”
And so Paul followed his uncle’s advice and graduated from The Ohio State University in 1950, with a B.A. in Political Science. Paul now had a formal education to add to the streetwise education he received in his neighborhood.
Paul began working in the recreation department of Cleveland City Hall. Shortly thereafter, his boss told him that a radio station manager was looking for a sports writer. Paul raced over to the station, WTAM, and landed the job. Paul’s new beat included covering the Cleveland Browns and the Cleveland Indians.
A few years later a reporter’s job opened up at a local TV station, WKYC, and Paul moved from radio to television. The station put him in a new car with the station’s call letters, and Paul’s name on the door. Paul was ready to roll.
Paul’s aggressive style of reporting soon attracted a good deal of attention around town. Because of his diverse education, namely a college education, coupled with a streetwise education, the executives at TV 3 believed that he would make a good investigative reporter. And they were absolutely right.
Paul Sciria soon became Cleveland’s premiere investigative reporter. He broke all the hot stories before anyone else, and he interviewed some of the biggest names of his era, including Bobby Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Hoffa, Bob Hope and the Beatles.
After 18 years of investigative reporting, Paul decided to open his own public relations firm. Paul’s biggest client was boxing promotor Don King. Paul handled the promotions for several heavyweight fights, including those of Mike Tyson and Larry Holmes.
In 1992, Paul decided to create an Italian-American newspaper, which he named La Gazetta Italiana. It soon became one of the most respected Italian-American publications in the country.
When I decided to create an Italian-American newspaper for ISDA in 2015, I knew I could find no better editor than Paul Sciria. I invited Paul to breakfast, and over bacon and eggs, Paul and I struck a deal which made him the editor of La Nostra Voce.
Paul and I have worked together on the newspaper since then, and I have had the benefit of receiving a great education about the Italian-American newspaper business from him. Paul was honest, smart, creative, a straight shooter and knew more about the history and accomplishments of Italian Americans than anybody I had ever met.
Paul was married to Francesca, who predeceased him, and they had six children and nine grandchildren.
Paul was an extraordinary man who will be greatly missed by everyone who new him. But La Nostra Voce must live on as a testament to his love for his Italian-American heritage. Paul Angelo Sciria, may you rest in peace.