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MARIANELLI, EMILIO C. (ca. 1887-1972)

Socialist leader and lawyer Emilio Marianelli, born in Iron Mountain, Michigan, on either November 4, 1887, or September 29, 1888 (as documentary evidence is contradictory), spent his early childhood in his parents' native country, Italy. He attended the Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, Pennsylvania, while working in the mines. He later graduated from the Dickinson School of Law. In 1912 he and a classmate, Albert Exendine, opened a law practice in Anadarko, eventually relocating to McAlester to cater to the surrounding Italian community. Exendine, a Delaware Indian who had played football at Carlisle, had failed to attract sufficient clients at Anadarko, but the partners prospered in McAlester

At McAlester Marianelli emerged as a leader of the Socialist Party. Oscar Ameringer credited him with early consultation regarding the advent of his newspaper, the Oklahoma Daily Leader. In 1918 the party announced Marianelli as their candidate for Oklahoma attorney general, but he was drafted into the U.S. Army. As a soldier in World War I he defied the stereotype of the ideal leftist by thriving in the military, rising to the rank of sergeant. After the war he unsuccessfully vied for statewide offices on the Socialist Party ticket, including justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. In the 1920s he served as chief counsel of the United Mine Workers of Oklahoma. In 1927 he moved his practice to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Emilio Marianelli died in Oswago, New York, on July 31, 1972.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Oscar Ameringer, If You Don't Weaken: The Autobiography of Oscar Ameringer (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1983). Kenny L. Brown, The Italians in Oklahoma (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1980). Kenny L. Brown, "Peaceful Progress: An Account of the Italians of Krebs, Oklahoma," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 53 (Fall 1975). Wilkes-Barre (Pennsylvania) Times Leader, 31 July 1972.

Larry O'Dell

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