Harry-Bartolomei-150x150Harry Bartolomei (August 4, 1926 – August 7, 2006)

Born in Alameda, California, of Italian immigrant parents, Harry spoke Italian before he learned English. Upon graduating from high school in 1944, Harry volunteered for the Army but ended up in the Navy, where he became an electronics instructor.

He went on to become chief engineer at various Bay Area radio and TV stations from 1946 till 1967 and once worked with and palled around with the legendary Don Sherwood (if you did not live in the Bay Area during Don's glory days, imagine a very funny Errol Flynn), for whom he served as chief engineer. Also, the first time Phyllis Diller ever performed in public, Harry introduced her.

A superior athlete his whole life, Harry set sixteen power boat world records, won seven National Championships, was elected a member of the Marine Racing Hall of Fame in 1962, and was a member of Yachting Magazine's All American Racing Team for 1961-1962. He was the Unione International Motonautique's sportsman of the year for 1990, earned a Jiu Jitsu black belt and taught judo at the YMCA, and was the Amateur Bowling Tour Champion for 2006.

And, of course, he was a member of the Society of American Magicians, serving once as vice president of Assembly #112.

Those of us in the assembly who knew him each knew only one or two small aspects of his life. It was as though Harry was ten fascinating people, of whom each of us knew only one.

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