In Memoriam : Philip Riggio

Philip Riggio Philip Vincent Riggio - age: 79
(May 20, 1938 to June 29, 2017)
Resident of Aventura, Florida

Visitation Information:
Visitation will be Wednesday, July 5, 2017, 6:00pm - 8:00pm with a Prayer Service Wednesday evening at Landmark Funeral Home. Funeral Mass will be Thursday, July 6th at 10:00am at Nativity Catholic Church, 5220 Johnson Street, Hollywood, FL 33021


Born one of identical twins (brother Louis Vincent Riggio) in Manhattan, Phil Riggio was raised there and in Westchester County, New York. Parents were Louis J. Riggio (1911-1983) and Marcella M. Riggio, née Modra (1911-2003). Paternal Grandfather was Vincent Riggio, President of The American Tobacco Company, 1946-1951. Maternal Grandfather was businessman and entrepreneur Roman Modra.

Phil and his brother graduated in 1955 from The Choate School, Wallingford, Connecticut and entered Yale that year. At Choate, Phil would excel in languages. With a strong earlier background in Latin, he learned Spanish rapidly, became a noted linguist and developed a strong and critical interest in Latin American Music. In later years, he would write articles in Descarga magazine on the topic.

While at Yale, Phil would become a Ranking Scholar in Spanish and member of the Spanish National Honor Society. He expanded his interests to Portuguese in which he became proficient as well.

After several years as a Radarman in the US Navy, Phil would go on to earn a Master’s Degree in Spanish and Portuguese at Columbia University. His Master’s Thesis, JoséVasconcellos and the Novel of the Mexican Revolution stands today as the authority on the subject.

Working in advertising, media and investment banking in New York, Los Angeles, San Juan and Miami, it was natural for Phil to involve himself in international affairs. A strong proponent of liberty for Cuba and oppressed peoples everywhere, Phil was published frequently in organs such as The Miami Herald, the El Nuevo Herald and the Diario Las Americas.

A stroke victim in early 2004, Phil became about 90% paralyzed on his left side. Residing in assisted living in Aventura, Florida, he increased his writing activity in the publications cited above. He became a member of the Unión de Colaboradores de Presna, a Miami-based group of patriotic citizens writing in Spanish on key issues. He suffered a fractured hip in 2016 from which he never recovered completely. Admitted to Aventura Hospital June 24, 2017 suffering from a perforated colon, he passed away there on the morning of June 29.

Never married, Phil had no family of his own. He is survived by his brother Louis, sister-in-law Patricia, nieces Gigi and Allegra and several cousins.



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