Fruit King a personal and historical audio narrative of a Sicilian immigrant turned American success completed in conjunction with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University. This project was completed with the guidance and support of thesis director, Dr. Dawn Gilpin and thesis second-chair, Dr. John Craft. This thesis project has been executed in the form of a podcast, website and research report that recounts and relishes in the legacy and life of Joseph DiGiorgio, the once 14-year-old who immigrated from Cefalu, Sicily to Ellis Island, New York in 1888. He went from selling fruit in a cart and borrowing money from the bank to establishing the Baltimore Fruit exchange and becoming the director of the Maryland National Bank by 21 years old. His billion-dollar business, the DiGiorgio Fruit Corporation, became the world’s largest fruit grower of grapes, plums and pears in the 1940s, and he landed a feature story in Fortune Magazine in 1946. To me, he is my great-great-great-uncle Joe, but to the world, he is what the New York Times crowned him: the Fruit King.
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