Ralph Vianello was born in Yarmouth, Maine. His father, George, had been a merchant seaman, and died off the coast of Africa of Yellow Fever, just about the time Ralph was born.
Ralph came to Fresno, California in 1913 with his mother.
He had a number of occupations over the years. He had worked as a local newspaper man during his early years, but later became involved with financial recordkeeping. He had been a Trust Officer for Fidelity Trust & Savings Bank, and was also involved with insurance transactions (1920). There were a number of times he had been considered as an appointee to various City of Fresno financial positions, but was passed up in favor of political cronies.
He eventually became involved with sports promotion and was the business manager of the Fresno Speedway & Motorcycle Association (1933), and later Twentieth Century Sports Promotions. Ralph was also a baseball fanatic, which led him to become a bookkeeper for the Fresno Cardinals, and eventually the Fresno Giants after the single-A farm team was acquired by the San Francisco ball club (1958). He finally retired in 1964 at age 81.
Vianello was the sixteenth Master of Las Palmas Masonic Lodge No. 366 in 1920 at the age of 38. But Vianello's heart belonged to the Fresno Sciots. He was the Scribe of the Sciots for nearly a decade, and often the group's spokesman. He participated in their lavish affairs, and being an amateur magician, often entertained many people with his slight-of-hand.
He was also an active recruiter for the YMCA in his younger days, and a member of High Twelve. He was also the Director of Surplus Commodities Corporation, a group who provided food and clothing to local indigents.
He had also owned Swift's Cafeteria on Van Ness Avenue during his early days in Fresno. According to family oral history, Vianello had to sell the restaurant due to lack of business during the Great Depression.
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