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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CELEBREZZE, FRANK D. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CELEBREZZE, FRANK D. (May 12, 1899-August 21, 1953), assistant county prosecutor, parks director, safety director, and municipal court judge, was born in Cleveland, son of Rocco V. and Dorothy (Marcogiuseppe) Celebrezze (Cilibrizzi). The family returned to Italy in 1908 to find employment and Frank attended Italian schools. After they returned to Cleveland in 1912, Frank enrolled in Brownell School. Encouraged by a teacher to continue his schooling, he graduated from EAST TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL, enrolled in St. Ignatius College (now JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY) for a year, and attended Notre Dame University for three years, receiving an Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B.) in 1925. He was admitted to the bar in 1926 and went into private practice. He married Mary Delsander on November 24, 1927, and had six children, Frank D., Jr., Gerald, Dorothy, Joanne, Monica, and James P.

Democratic party politics attracted Celebrezze, and he was appointed assistant county prosecutor in 1929. While in the prosecutor's office, he spearheaded a successful drive to break up racket operations in Cleveland, assisting Judge FRANK LAUSCHE† in closing the large gambling clubs. He went to Italy to try Angelo Amato in connection with the Sly-Fanner murder case. Amato was sentenced to prison for thirty years. Celebrezze served as parks director before being appointed safety director in 1942, replacing ELIOT NESS†. He remained there until 1947, with a brief stint in the Army during WORLD WAR II. He was elected judge of the municipal court in 1947 and was reelected in 1951. Celebrezze was buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery of Cleveland.

Frank D. Celebrezze Papers, WRHS.

Last Modified: 13 Jan 2006 04:05:14 PM

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