Ambassador and Mayor Joe R. Paolino Jr.

Inducted: 2017
The Honorable Joseph R. Paolino, Jr. assumes a unique place in the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. He is now the only inductee whose father, developer Joseph R. Paolino, Sr. and grandfather, Judge Luigi DePasquale, for whom the noted Federal Hill Plaza is named, are also members of the Hall of Fame. His mother, Beatrice, is the daughter of the famed jurist. Given his family’s promi- nence in Providence, it was fit- ting that Joe Jr. rose to the pin- nacle of the capital city’s political and economic life. After earning a degree from Roger Williams University, he began his career in 1978 as a youthful councilman from the 13 th Ward (Federal Hill) and soon achieved the posi- tion of council president. In that capacity he succeeded to the position of mayor in 1984 when his friend and fellow inductee Buddy Cianci was forced to resign. In 1985, Joe was easily elected in his own right and con- tinued the growth and develop- ment of Providence begun by his predecessor. As mayor, Joe oversaw Downtown and neighborhood development and the creation of Capital Center which entailed the relocation of the Northeast Rail Corridor, the construction of a new Amtrak station, and the relocation of two rivers. While mayor, Joe attended Harvard University Extension School and also became a member of the board of trustees of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He has emerged as a leader of the Democratic Party, both in Rhode Island and nationally ” a dis- tinction he still maintains. After an unsuccessful run for governor in 1990, Joe became director of the Rhode Island Department of Economic Development and Tourism where he continued to hone his business skills. One of the prod- ucts of his tenure was the Third- Rail Plan creating an exclusive freight line from Quonset with- out interfering with Amtrak’s high speed rail service. Joe’s increasing national stat- ure prompted President Bill Clinton to appoint him U.S. Ambassador to the Mediter- ranean island-nation of Malta. In that post, Joe was instrumental in attracting large American cor- porations such as General Electric and Boeing to conduct business there. He also success- fully returned U.S. Navy ships to Malta after the recission of a ban against them imposed in 1971 by Malta’s socialist government. After his service at all levels of government, Joe joined with his father to dramatically expand their now 116-year-old family- owned and operated real estate investment, development, and management company. With roots in Downtown Providence, the firm’s holdings include office and industrial buildings, shop- ping centers, and ^agship resi- dential properties throughout Rhode Island and beyond. Father and son made their company a preferred regional developer for CVS and Cumberland Farms ” two Rhode Island home-grown businesses. When Joe Paolino, Sr. died in 2012 (and was subse- quently inducted into the Hall of Fame), Joe Jr. assumed the role of owner and managing partner of Paolino Properties. However Joe, Jr. has chosen to be not merely a businessman. He is also a civic leader who speaks out frequently via lectures and newspaper commentaries about the socio-economic issues facing Rhode Islanders. In view of his vast experience, who is better to offer us advice? Joe married the former Lianne Andreoni in 1984 and the couple raised four children: Jennifer, Christina, Jacqueline, and Joseph, III.
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