Politician and Publisher
Photo credit Ken Gabrielsen
If it weren’t for Angelo Martinelli, you wouldn’t be reading this piece. That’s because the 89-year-old is the founder and chairman of Today Media, which publishes Westchester Magazine and Hudson Valley magazine, among other publications.
His son Ralph, publisher of Westchester Magazine and the youngest of Angelo’s six sons, says his father is “sharp as a knife” and still serves on Today Media’s board of directors. “I tell them what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong,” Angelo says. “I keep my finger in the pie, and that’s what keeps me going.”
The longest-tenured mayor of Yonkers, having served six terms from 1974 to 1987, Angelo is a celebrity of sorts to many in the county. He was portrayed by Jim Belushi in the 2015 HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero, about the Yonkers desegregation battle. But Mr. Mayor, as many residents still know him, is a family man through and through.
He was devoted to his wife of 65 years, Carol, who passed away in 2014, and has financed much of the restoration of the Temple of Love at Untermyer Gardens in her memory. Angelo is equally devoted to his sons, three of whom still work in the family business. But the loving father could be tough, too. “He never gave us special treatment. If you wanted money, you had to earn it,” says Ralph, who clearly reveres his dad. “You’d see him on the front page of the paper, and that was very inspirational.”
These days, Angelo is especially close with his many grandchildren. “I think his legacy will be that he was a straight shooter who told you what he thought. He was a very generous man, and he did everything for the family,” Ralph says. And he still advocates for the city he loves. When he was mayor, he reactivated the Yonkers Police Athletic League (PAL) with the help of former Police Chief William F. Polsen and helped raise the funds to keep it from shutting down. Since 1991, he’s been president of PAL, which is near and dear to his heart. “I think Yonkers is the greatest place in the world,” Angelo says. “Everything that has been good to me and my family and my business happened in Yonkers.”