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The Italian American Podcast

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IAP 246: You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Sculpts You! Steubenville, Ohio's Quest to Honor Dean Martin

• 45 min

He was the “King of Cool,” an Italian American star whose casual magnetism and incomparable voice defined the Rat Pack style that influenced generations of American popular culture.  Now, Dean Martin’s hometown is seeking to honor him for all time with a larger-than-life statue at the heart of this once-bustling community. In this week’s episode, we are exploring the life and legacy of Steubenville, Ohio’s favorite son through the eyes of Gerald Ravasio, the chairman of the committee that is seeking to construct this well-deserved monument to a unique Italian American legend. Gerald helps us uncover Dino Paul Crocetti’s humble beginnings, from his Italian-speaking childhood to the bullying that drove him away from school and into the underground nightclubs and casinos that earned Steubenville the sobriquet “Little Chicago." We’ll also gain insight into Dean Martin, the dedicated Italian American who never forgot his hometown, and kept himself involved in philanthropic activities to help sustain the Steubenville community even while one of the biggest stars on the planet. And we’ll discover some of Steubenville’s iconic Italian American fare, like pizza on the square and the meat sauce heel, while reminiscing over life in this distinctly Italian Enclave. And, if YOU want to help the Dean Martin Committee bring this dream to fruition, consider making a donation by sending checks to: Historic Fort Steuben 120 S.3rd Street Steubenville, Ohio 43952. Checks should be made payable to “Old Fort Steuben Inc.” and be sure to write “Dean Martin Statue Fund” in the memo line. You can also visit www.oldfortsteuben.com and select “donate,” then scroll down to select “Dean Martin Statue Fund.”

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