Born: October 4, 1924
Ohio connection: Birth
Author of The Coming of Fabrizze and A Lost King, Cleveland native Raymond DeCapite was born on October 4, 1924. After serving in the United States Coast Guard between 1942-1945, DeCapite received his A.B. from Western Reserve University in 1951, and his M.A. the following year. Prior to becoming a free-lance writer in 1962, he found employment in a myriad of positions: sales correspondent; crane oiler; cashier; restaurant worker; editorial assistant; and a business news editor and writer for the Ohio News Bureau. A classical music enthusiast, de Capite was a passionate reader and sports enthusiast who maintained close ties with Cleveland’s Italian American community. Published by McKay in 1960, DeCapite’s The Coming of Fabrizze relates the story of a young Italian boy who involves neighborhood friends in numerous stock market speculations before Black Monday. Proving ridiculously profitable, the stocks are ultimately eviscerated by the crash, leaving Fabrizze and his friends destitute. Chastising himself for a perceived betrayal of his friends, Fabrizze leaves in shame. Hailed by numerous critics, DeCapite was recognized as a new author with the ability to weave an engrossing page-turner with lyrical, lithe prose. Following its success was the equally hailed A Lost King (1962). Living in an industrial section of Cleveland, Paul Christopher supports himself and his elderly father by selling watermelons. Not driven by any other ambition, he is content with the comfort of an uncomplicated routine, spiced with harmonica playing at the end of the day. Regarded as a lyrical ballad by the Saturday Review, A Lost King presented a style of writing that touched the emotions without swimming in sentimentality. A Lost King was the basis for the 1984, Paul Newman film, Harry & Son. Raymond DeCapite died July 8, 2009.