Student Work – Anthony Capo and Joe Paterno

Anthony Capo by Elizabeth Oyola

Elizabeth Oyola

Anthony Capo - click on image for source (Mafia Today.com)

Anthony Capo notorious hitman for the De Cavalante Crime Family died on January 25, 2012 at the age of 52 of a heart attack while hiding in the witness protection program.

Capo as he was known in the mafia world turned informant to avoid a life sentence for racketeering,extortion and two counts of murder. Anthony Capo became famous for his statement made in court about the reason why they committed one of the murders. Capo stated” Nobody’s going to respect us if we have a gay homosexual boss sitting down discussing La Cosa Nostra business”.

His statement was the reason he gave for shooting John “Johnny Boy” D’Amato former acting boss of the Essex County based crime syndicate four times in the face after D’Amato’s girlfriend told him about  the frequent visit to New York City clubs where he would have sex with men. The murder of D’Amato has been used in the story line in the Sopranos.

There is no information of any of Capo’s surviving family members or locations since they were all in the witness protection program. Whether a wife or any children survive him has not been disclosed.

Joe Paterno by Karen Babb

Karen Babb

Joe Paterno - click for source

Joe Paterno is a true iconic figure in the world of sports.  Joe Paterno’s notoriety arises from the fact that he is the winningest NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) football coach in major college football history.  Joe Paterno was the head coach for the Penn State Nittany Lions from 1966 until 2011.  He is distinguished for being the only coach to reach 400 victories with 409 victories.  Paterno led Penn State to two national championships in 1982 and 1986 and had five undefeated seasons in 1968, 1969, 1973, 1986, and 1994.  Recognized as coaching five undefeated teams winning major bowl games and as the only coach to have won at least once each of the four bowls; Rose, Orange, Fiesta, and Sugar as well as the Cotton Bowl Classic, Joe was inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame as coach in 2007. (Joe Paterno’s Bio, goPSUsports.com, 2012, http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/paterno_joe00.html). A 7-foot bronze statue of him running onto the field stands outside Beaver Stadium on the Penn State Campus.

Joe’s dedication to his players extended off the football field as well.  He had what he called a “Grand Experiment” geared towards the academic success as well as maintaining success on the field for his players.  He talked of his “Grand Experiment,” his belief that you could obey the rules and still play top-flight winning football. (McCallum, Jack,  Joe Paterno Wasn’t Perfect, But Legacy More Than Final Chapter, Sports Illustrated, Jan. 22, 2012, http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/jack_mccallum/01/21/joe.paterno/index.html). Joe’s teams consistently ranked among the best in the Big Ten for graduating players.  More than 250 of the players he coached went on to the NFL.  Paterno was the first college football coach named “Sportsman of the Year” by Sports Illustrated magazine.  Joe was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame on May 16, 2006 after the National Football Foundation decision to change its rules and allow any coach over the age of 75 to be eligible for the Hall of Fame instead of having to wait until retirement. (McCallum, 2012).

Joe Paterno was indeed the public face of Penn State. (Armis, Genaro, Tributes to Paterno Highlight Influence of Wife, Associated Press, Jan. 28, 2012,

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/tributes-paterno-highlight-influence-wife-15464189). He has made generous charitable contributions to the academics at Penn State University.  He and his wife have contributed over $4 million dollars to various departments and colleges.  After helping to raise $13.5 million in 1997 for the expansion of the Patte Library, the expansion was named the Paterno Library in honor of the Paterno’s dedication to the project. (Armis, 2012).

In November 2011, it was reported by Joe’s son Scott, that he had a treatable form of lung cancer. On January 13, 2012, Paterno was hospitalized in State College for complications relating to his cancer treatment.  He remained there until his death nine days later on January 22, 2012 as a result of complications from lung cancer, specifically metastatic small cell carcinoma of the lung. (ESPN:Updated: January 23, 2012, 9:59 AM ET, http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7489238/joe-paterno-ex-penn-state-nittany-lions-coach-dies-85-2-month-cancer-fight).

Joe is survived by his wife, Suzanne. Together they have five children; three boys and two girls, and sixteen grandchildren.   Diana, the oldest, is married, residing in New York.   Joseph Vincent “Jay” Paterno II is the quarterback coach for Penn State.   Mary Kay is married to Chris Hort.  David Paterno is a financial planner in State College. The youngest, Scott Paterno, is a lawyer and won the republican nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives in Pennsylvania in 2004.

Few details are known about Joe Paterno’s estate.  However, it is known that in July 2011, Joe transferred full ownership of his home valued at $600,000.00 for a $1.00 to a trust for the benefit of his wife, Suzanne. (Viera, Mark, Paterno Passes on Home to His Wife for $1, NY Times, Nov. 15, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/16/sports/ncaafootball/in-july-paterno-transferred-ownership-of-home-to-his-wife-for-1.html).

In conclusion, setting aside the final three tragic months of his life which were very critical and highly publicized involving the Sandusky scandal and his failure to act, Joe will be remembered for building a dynasty at Penn State; for doing many wonderful things; doing more good than bad; known for his constancy and loyalty, and fondly remembered as man who made a real difference.

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