Gesualdo (Al) Costanzo, 94, Vero Beach

Gesualdo (Al) Costanzo,94, died April 10, 2011 at his home in Vero Beach.

He was born in the Edgewater section of Birmingham, Ala., and was the eldest son of Italian immigrants.

Dr. Costanzo had resided in Vero Beach for more than 30 years, after relocating from New Canaan, Connecticut.

He retired as vice chairman of Citicorp of N.Y. and its principal subsidiary of Citibank of New York in 1980.

A 1937 graduate of Birmingham Southern College with a degree in economics, Dr. Costanzo earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Virginia and later served as a research fellow at the Brookings Institute.

During World War II, he was a lieutenant in the Navy and served as a Japanese language specialist.

After the war, he returned to his passion, economics, and worked for the U.S. State Department, served as a U. S. Treasury representative in Italy and served as the American member of the Greek Currency Board in Athens, Greece under the Marshall Plan.

Dr. Costanzo engineered the 1951 devaluation and economic reform in Greece ushering in the “golden age of the drachma”, ten years of rapid economic growth that brought prosperity to Greece.

Prior to his arrival at Citibank in 1961, Dr. Costanzo served as deputy director of the Western Hemisphere Department for the International Monetary Fund.

During his 19 year tenure at Citibank, Dr. Costanzo led the growth of the banks international businesses around the world interfacing with economic and political leaders at times in unstable and even volatile political environments.

Dr. Costanzo attracted and nurtured many young bankers and worked with economic and political leaders.

During his career, Dr. Costanzo also served as the chairman of the Mercantile Bank of Canada, and on the Board of Directors for Owens-Illinois, Beatrice Foods, National Cash Register Corporation, Gindlays Bank in the United Kingdom and S.K.F. in Sweden.

He was predeceased by his wife of 44 years Lillie Costanzo.

Survivors include his brothers Armand and John Costanzo, of Birmingham, Ala., Sam Costanzo, of Macon, Ga., and Henry Constanzo, of Ithaca, N.Y.; daughter, Mary Balliet and grandson Brian Balliet, Jr., of Vero Beach.

Private family services will be at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Lillie Costanzo scholarship fund of Birmingham Southern College, 900 Arkadelpahia Road, Birmingham, AL 35254-0002.

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