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Old 11-12-2014, 09:55 PM   #209
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Lightbulb Bank of Littlefellow

Amadeo Pietro Giannini, also known as Amadeo Peter Giannini or A.P. Giannini (May 6, 1870 – June 3, 1949), born in San Jose, California, was an American banker who founded the Bank of America..A.P. Giannini was the first son of Luigi and Virginia Giannini.. Luigi Giannini immigrated to the United States, to prospect in response to the California Gold Rush of 1849, from Favale di Malvaro near Genoa, Liguria in the Kingdom of Sardinia (later part of Italy).. Luigi continued in gold during the 1860s and returned to Italy in 1869 to marry Virginia, bringing her back to the US and settling in San Jose. Luigi Giannini purchased a 40 acre farm at Alviso in 1872 and grew fruits and vegetables for sale..4 years later Luigi Giannini was fatally shot by an employee over a pay dispute..Favale di Malvaro (Ligurian: Favâ) is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Genoa in the Italian region Liguria, located about 25 kilometres (16 mi) east of Genoa. As of 31 December 2004, it had a population of 505 and an area of 16.7 square kilometres (6.4 sq mi)...

He founded the Bank of Italy in San Francisco on October 17, 1904.. The bank was housed in a converted saloon as an institution for the "little fellow".. It was a new bank for the hardworking immigrants other banks would not serve.. He offered those ignored customers savings accounts and loans, judging them not by their wealth, but by their character..Deposits on that first day totaled $8,780.. Within a year, deposits soared above $700,000 ($13.5 million in 2002 dollars). The 1906 San Francisco EQ and fires leveled much of the city.. In the face of widespread devastation, Giannini set up a temporary bank, collecting deposits, making loans, and proclaiming that San Francisco would rise from the ashes..Immediately after the earthquake, he moved the vault's money to his home outside the fire zone in then-rural San Mateo, 18-miles by horse and wagon.. The money was moved in a garbage wagon, owned by Hayward resident Giobatta Cepollina, also a native of Italy (Loano).. The cargo was disguised beneath garbage to protect against theft.. The fires severely heated the vaults of other big banks.. Opening them immediately would ruin the money, so they were kept closed for weeks.. Because of this, Giannini was one of the few who was able to provide loans. Giannini ran his bank from a plank across 2 barrels in the street..Giannini made loans on a handshake to those interested in rebuilding.. Years later, he would recount that every loan was repaid.. As further testament to the trust Giannini garnered in the local community, as a reward to the local garbage man for helping to transport the bank's reserves, Giannini agreed to give the man's son his first job with the bank when he came of age... Giannini kept his promise, hiring young Frank Joseph Cepollina at age 14.. Cepollina later retired from the bank at age 41..By 1916, Giannini had expanded and opened several other branches.. Giannini believed in branch banking as a way to stabilize banks during difficult times as well as expand the capital base.. He bought banks throughout California and eventually had more than 5 hundred branches throughout the state..

Giannini helped nurture the motion picture and wine industries in California.. He loaned Walt Disney the funds to produce Snow White, the first full-length, animated motion picture to be made in the US. During the Great Depression, he bought the bonds that financed the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.. During World War II, he bankrolled industrialist Henry Kaiser and his enterprises supporting the war effort.. After the war, he visited Italy and arranged for loans to help rebuild the war-torn Fiat factories.. Giannini also provided capital to William Hewlett and David Packard to help form Hewlett-Packard..

Giannini founded another company, Transamerica Corporation, as a holding company for his various interests, including Occidental Life Insurance Company.. At one time, Transamerica was the controlling shareholder in Bank of America. They were separated by legislation enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1956, when Congress passed the Bank Holding Company Act, which prohibited bank holding companies' involvement in industrial activities..Upon Giannini's death in 1949, his son Mario Giannini assumed leadership of the bank.. Giannini's daughter, Claire Giannini Hoffman (1905–1997), took her father's seat on the bank's board of directors, where she remained until the 1980s.. Giannini is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery, in Colma, California..The large plaza of the Bank of America Building, at California Street and Kearny, in downtown San Francisco, is named for Giannini. A.P. Giannini Middle School, which opened in the Sunset District of San Francisco, in 1954, is named after him, also.. Other places and groups named after Giannini include The Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics and the building that houses the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, at the University of California, Berkeley..The U.S. Postal Service honored Giannini's contributions to American banking by issuing a 21¢ postage stamp bearing his portrait, in 1973.. A ceremony to mark the occasion was held near his former home, in San Mateo... Life is stranger than shit, that's all.. It's a pisser.. No big story.. I got this insurance agent, this Jew kid named David..He conned me into every policy in the world...
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