December 24, 1921 (Norwalk, CT) – March 2, 1992; 70 years old
Married Katherine Lombardo (1922-2004) on April 19, 1947, in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Three sons, Joseph (1948-), Angelo (1954-2013), and Frank (1957-). One daughter, Deborah R. (1949-1995).
Local address: 15 Tierney Street, Norwalk
Enlisted on October 17, 1942.
Service number: 31193034
Discharged on October 20, 1944.
Unit: 977th Field Artillery Battalion
Born to Joseph (1898-1977) and Rose Annase Radano (1903-1992). Three sisters, Marie Radano Machinello (1926-2010), Bettina Radano Brigante (1925-1970), and Judith E. (1931-2022).
Norwalk High School Class of ’39
Wounded in action at Sesta Campana, Italy on October 10, 1943. Received the Purple Heart Medal.
From The Norwalk Hour October 14, 1968
In December of 1940, Angelo Radano, a native son of Norwalk (who was born, raised, and still lives in the Strawberry Hill section of the city), was the newest boxing sensation in Fairfield County. Since turning pro at 17 in November of the year before (he was 18 that December 24, 1939), in just 13 months he had won 20 fights (10 by KO), had two draws, and lost one. Mr. Radano, who was considered an excellent basketball and baseball player at Norwalk High School (Graduating at 17), engaged in a total of 37 bouts for pay – won 30 (15 by KO), lost four, with three draws – being TKO’d once. His tactics were those of the wily pro. He would move in and out with a fast left hand, never letting his opponent get set, and always presented an evasive target with rapid moves from left or right. He would flurry frequently and his devasting punches, with either hand, as evidenced by his long list of knockouts, had authority and accuracy. “Angelo Radano was one of the most talented fighters I ever saw,” said the late Billy Prince of Bridgeport, former Connecticut boxing commissioner and a highly respected fight figure at the county sports dinner in 1953. “The Norwalk lightweight fighter showed outstanding ability from the start. He had the making of a world champion – as a welterweight or middleweight.” Angelo’s father who was one of his biggest fans, envisioned his rapidly rising youngster being a world contender, possibly by 1944 (“Angelo was moving right along,” Mr. Radano recalled). Instead, the brilliant young fistic star went off to fight for Uncle Sam, in October 1942 – at the age of 20 – with the 977th U.S. Field Artillery. Serving overseas for 12 months in France, North Africa, and Italy, he was severely wounded in action (at the age of 21), and never put the gloves on again. Young Radano’s first exposure to pugilism came through the Norwalk city playgrounds. He first began boxing in the “Heavyweight” class of the youngsters’ tournament at the age of 15 – in 1937. At this time, he won his first bout – and the city 100 lb. championship, at State Street Arena. Entering the amateurs at 16 – in Stack Arena – as a featherweight, he had 43 bouts – won 39 (24 by KO), had three draws, and lost one. And, his most sensational victory in the amateurs (next to the one in the playground, that is): A decision-win over a highly-skilled, promising young Hartford ringmaster (who was destined to become one of the greatest boxers of all time) – Willy Pep! Said bout being held in the local Armory in 1948.
Angelo lives at 15 Tierney Street with his charming wife, the former Catherine Lombardo, a native of the Bronx, New York, (whom he met in 1946 while he was recuperating from war wounds in Kingsbridge, New York Veterans Hospital, and married in 1947), and four handsome children – three boys and a girl: Joseph, 20, who attends Sacred Heart University in Bridgeport, where he is a second year (Sophomore) member of the varsity soccer team, performing as a lineman (Joe, besides starring for three years as an offensive fullback on Central Catholic High School’s football team, was also co-captain of the school’s track team); Deborah (Debby), 19, a sophomore at the University of Connecticut – who is greatly interested in working with and teaching retarded children; Angelo, 14, in his first year at Central Catholic High School, where he is a member of the freshman football squad; and Frank, 10 who attends St. Thomas Grammar School, where he is a member of the basketball team. Angelo, now 46, who is a member of the DAV and VFW, has for 20 years owned and operated his own business – Radano’s Liquor Store, at 15 Tierney Street, adjoining his home. Being painfully wounded in action on October 10, 1943, at Sesta Campana in central Italy, on the road to Cassino, resulted in what undoubtedly was the epochal event of his life. The reference to his being severely wounded in combat – when he collected a Purple Heart Medal for valor – brings us to Angelo’s toughest fight. The one he fought so stubbornly – and courageously – to win. The one he had to win to be up-and-around at all. For, how he returned to take up a full life again is a story of courage and determination that is almost beyond comprehension – surpassing even the raw courage he had so often displayed in his great fights of the years before. But successful leg and back surgery saved the young soldier from being physically incapacitated for life. Though much of the pain remained to plague his body for some time, and one leg was partially numb too. But he was alive – and today, is very much so. He speaks fondly of Willie Purdue of Bridgeport, who seconded him throughout his pro career, as well as Jack Vigilio of Norwalk, who managed him during his amateur days; and Pete Leone, trainer and friend, who conditioned him for his bouts. Mr. Leone was a local boxing promoter during the post-WWII era). As a result of his brief but amazingly active years as a professional fisticuffer, Angelo reflectively says: “I have yet to meet a top-rated pro fighter who is not a decent guy. Moreover, nowhere is good sportsmanship – or sound physical conditioning – more essential than in the ring!” Extremely reluctant to talk about himself, especially about his war service – he, in frank admission, readily admits he was defeated in a service middleweight bout while stationed in Italy (“Be sure and put that down, Jim!”). Mainly he wished to discuss the hopes and desires he and his wife have for their children’s future. And the intensity in his voice speaks for itself – for, in this respect, his gifts have been bountiful.
Buried in Resurrection Cemetery, 208 South Main Street, Newtown, Connecticut; Section and Plot number are unknown. Photo from findagrave.com.