Gaetano Gagliano, St. Joseph Communications founder, laid to rest at age 98
Gaetano Gagliano, honorary chairman of St. Joseph Communications, who founded the company in the basement of his home and built it into a multi-channel media empire, was laid to rest today at Woodbridge’s St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church after dying on April 14 at the age of 98. He leaves behind a large family—including current St. Joseph executive chairman and CEO Tony Gagliano—and a legacy of investment in Canadian magazines, including Toronto Life, which St. Joseph acquired when it purchased this magazine’s former publisher, Key Media, in 2002.
Gaetano Gagliano was born in Cattolica Eraclea, a town in southern Italy. There, he worked on his parents’ farm. After serving in World War II, Gagliano married his wife, Giuseppina, who survives him. The pair moved to Canada with four children and a fifth on the way (there would eventually be ten). Once in Toronto, Gagliano laid track for CP Rail until he could afford a small home with a basement large enough for his first printing press. He continued working for CP Rail throughout the early days of what was then known as St. Joseph Printing.
Over the years, as Gagliano’s children grew and began helping to expand the business, St. Joseph evolved into a large print operation, big enough to take on significant commercial contracts. The company now produces print and online marketing materials for many large Canadian retailers, including Walmart Canada and Sears Canada. St. Joseph also produces and prints its own lineup of magazines, including Toronto Life, Fashion, Canadian Family and Quill and Quire. A growing content marketing division has expanded the company’s reach to new kinds of clients, like the National Music Centre in Calgary. Gagliano’s life’s work also encompasses Salt + Light Television, the Catholic TV station he founded at age 86.