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Obituary: Robert “Bob” D’Attilio, Sacco & Vanzetti Case Scholar

Robert “Bob” D’Attilio, international scholar of the Sacco and Vanzetti case, died November 19, 2020 at his home at the age of 85.

The son of Dominic and Josephine (Giuseppina Gianiorio), Italian immigrants from the town of Navelli in the Abruzzo region of Southern Italy, Bob attended Medford High School and was a graduate in Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1956). Devoted to the arts, he enjoyed listening to opera and jazz, and worked for many years as a stage manager at a local theatre company in Cambridge.

An international scholar of the Sacco and Vanzetti case, Bob devoted his life to their memory, authoring many articles about the historical context of Italian American anarchism. He also narrated the short film, La Marcia del Dolore / The March of Sorrow: The Funeral of Sacco and Vanzetti. Bob spoke at numerous commemorative events over the years such as the rededication of the historical marker to Sacco and Vanzetti in the North End of Boston in 2007.

Bob was also an active member in many local organizations, including the Community Church of Boston, the Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts, and the Sacco and Vanzetti Commemoration Society. He was preceded in death by his wife, Carole, and his brother Albert; he leaves behind a cousin, Paul D’Attilio.

Bob was cremated at the Della Russo Funeral Parlor in Medford. A virtual Memorial Service will be held on March 7, 2021. Please contact Dean Stevens, Acting Administrator and Musical Director at the Community Church of Boston, at or 617-266-6710.