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Joseph A. (Joe) Giuliotti, a dogged newspaper reporter and coach who built a national reputation for his work covering the Boston Red Sox yet never forgot his East Boston roots, died peacefully at his Revere home Friday, Jan, 12, surrounded by his family. He was 89.
Born and raised amid modest surroundings in blue-collar East Boston, Joe graduated Boston College High School and attended both Boston College and Boston University before landing a job at the Boston Evening American (which later became the Boston Herald after a series of mergers). He worked his way up from answering phones and fetching coffee to covering the city crime beat, which carried obvious weight during the 1960s Boston Irish Gang War.
But Joe always was drawn to sports, and in 1970 transferred to what is often referred to in the industry as “the toy department.” Too bad Joe never got that memo. He treated his new assignments as seriously as he would a police investigation, with the same fierce determination to report the story accurately and fairly, The same qualities he carried into his work in sports. He started in local colleges, then switched briefly to the Boston Bruins, where he covered both Bobby Orr and Don Cherry before settling in as longtime Boston Red Sox beat writer.
Dealing with pro athletes has its challenges, but Joe treated them as he would a kid from the neighborhood. He might have covered numerous World Series games and iconic Red Sox moments, but there would be no hero worshipping. Players performed, and Joe reported it. That was it. This earned him enormous respect with both players, team officials and colleagues.
As charismatic as Joe could be when you put a microphone in his hand, he preferred to shun the spotlight. Nothing made him more angry then when he was recognized by the emcee at an event such as a youth hockey banquet. “I’m just a regular parent, the same as everyone else here,” he’d growl.
Fittingly, it was youth hockey coaching that emerged as Joe’s true passion. In 1990, while still working for the Herald, he began a side hustle coaching youth and high school hockey, something he focused more on once he retired from the Herald in 1999. He wound up coaching at East Boston High School and Shawsheen Valley Regional Tech until 2016.
That experience, along with his earlier college hockey reporting, earned Joe a 2018 induction into the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame.
Joe’s youth coaching actually started much earlier, when he coached tag football starting in 1973. In 1978 he became East Boston’s first Pop Warner football coach.
Helping kids be their best on and off the field was something Joe often called the best times of his life.
Born May 2, 1934, Joe was the loving son of the late Adolph Giuliotti and Mary (Kane) Giuliotti, of East Boston; devoted husband of Anne (Nee) Giuliotti, of Revere, formerly of Ireland, to whom he was married 64 wonderful years; father of Ed Giuliotti, of Nashville, Tenn.; J.P. Giuliotti, husband of Jade Lin, of Winthrop; and John Giuliotti, husband of Virginia (Sullivan) Giuliotti, of Reading; grandfather of Jack Giuliotti, Charlie Giuliotti and Sam Giuliotti, all of Reading; brother of the predeceased Mary Giuliotti, Dan Giuliotti, Andy Giuliotti and Ann Giuliotti; and uncle of several nieces and nephews.
Family and friends will honor Joe’s life at Ruggiero Family Memorial Home, 971 Saratoga St., East Boston, from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Lazarus Church, 59 Ashley Street, East Boston. Burial will be immediately after at Holy Cross Cemetery in Malden.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Joe’s name to the Salesians Boys and Girls Club, 150 Byron Street, East Boston, or online here
Salesian Boys & Girls Club of East Boston
150 Byron St., East Boston MA 02128