Ralph A. Puppo, 51, Former Child Tv Star, Son-in-law Of Bruno

Posted: September 29, 1991

Ralph A. Puppo, 51, a Radnor real estate man and son-in-law of Philadelphia's late organized crime boss, Angelo Bruno, died Wednesday at Pennsylvania Hospital of pneumonia, his son said yesterday.

Mr. Puppo was a child TV star whose adult life was overshadowed by his father-in-law's notoriety and his own occasional brushes with the law. FBI agents took pictures at Mr. Puppo's wedding in 1962; they probably will do so at his funeral.

As a boy, he starred on a local TV show, Horn & Hardart Children's Hour. When he attended South Philadelphia High School, he performed as a singer and an actor.

After graduating from Glassboro State College, he taught real estate law at Community College of Philadelphia.

"He was well liked by the students," his wife, Jeanne, recalled. "The way he taught, they could always come to the office. He used to go out of his way, really out of his way."

On Aug. 26, 1962, he married Jeanne Bruno, daughter of an organized-crime leader who was known for relatively nonviolent tactics but who was gunned down by rivals in 1980. All four of Mr. Puppo's children were named in honor of Bruno, with their names ending with "angela" or "angelo."

Mr. Puppo was under government scrutiny off and on for decades.

At his wedding, agents photographed guests arriving at the Church of the Epiphany of Our Lord at 11th and Jackson Streets.

In 1971, he was called before the Pennsylvania Crime Commission as part of its probe of alleged mob infiltration into state legislative business.

In 1977, he was acquitted of federal charges of mail fraud, conspiracy and racketeering in an alleged $100,000 payoff to state Insurance Department officials. His co-defendant and relative, Michael Grasso Jr., was convicted.

In July, Mr. Puppo and his son, Marcangelo, 28, were charged in New Orleans with helping to launder more than $850,000 for a federal undercover agent posing as an Arkansas marijuana trafficker.

Donald Marino, attorney for another defendant in the same case, said he met with Mr. Puppo at a July court hearing and he appeared physically emaciated.

"I knew he was very, very ill," Marino said.

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Puppo is survived by three daughters, Suangela, Marieangela and Jeanangela.

A viewing will be from 8 to 9:15 a.m. tomorrow at Pennsylvania Burial Co. Inc., 1327-29 S. Broad St. A Mass of Christian Burial will be said at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Monica's Church, 2422 S. 17th Street. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Conshohocken.

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