September 30, 1928 - March 19, 2006
Ben Giuliano, a popular sportswriter for the Oakland Tribune in the 1950's, died March 19 (2006), a month after being diagnosed with leukemia. He was 77.
It was the latest diagnosis in a series of illnesses that had made the last decade difficult for Mr. Giuliano, daughter Gina Lind said. But despite his failing health, he remained active, Lind said. “We always said this man is going to live to 100 years old, he is that strong and willful,” Lind said. Giuliano, a Brooklyn native, spent most of his life in the East Bay and graduated from Hayward High School before joining the Tribune in 1946 as a copy boy. Six months later he joined the Army and was stationed in Tokyo, where he became a sportswriter for the Stars and Stripes.
In February, 1948, Giuliano returned to the Tribune and moved into the sports department in September. As a sportswriter, he covered St. Mary's, USF and Stanford football, bowling and high school sports. During his tenure as the prep sports editor, Giuliano wrote a weekly column, “Prep Paragraphs.” He also covered such stars as Frank Robinson, Curt Flood, Vada Pinson, Bill Russell, Paul Silas, John Henry Johnson, John Brodie and Dick Bass.
As the Tribune's bowling writer, he covered and helped run the paper's annual men's and women's tournaments. In 1952, Giuliano was named Oakland's young man of the year by the Junior Chamber of Commerce for his sponsorship of the civic club for boys.
One of the many sports figures Giuliano dealt with while at the Tribune was future National Football League Commissioner Pete Rozelle. In those days, Rozelle was just getting started as the sports information director at USF, and Giuliano recalled he sometimes treated him to lunch because Rozelle's expense account was so small.
Giuliano left the Tribune in 1963 to start his own public relations firm. Two of his clients were the Oakland Raiders and Heavenly ski resort. He also worked briefly on the sports desk of the San Francisco Examiner.
After leaving the public relations field in 1965, Giuliano went to Lake County, where he became the general manager of the county chamber of commerce. He spent 10 years in that capacity and in Lakeport in 1972 opened California's first tourist information office on a major freeway.
Later, Giuliano ran a tire business in Madera and was general manager of the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association. He had been in semi-retirement the last 20 years. During that time he did volunteer work for hospitals, the Salvation Army, the Make-a-Wish foundation and the Oakland A's. He also brightened many Christmas holiday functions by appearing as Santa Claus.