Macaroni Brothers

Gaetano Viviano (c. 1840 - 1914) was the son of Vito Viviano (1812 - ?) and Rosalia Maniaci (1818 - ?). In 1865, Gaetano married Rosalia Cusimano (1840 - 1913) in their hometown of Terrasini, Sicily.  They had six children who reached adulthood, all of whom immigrated to America. The four youngest brothers would become entrepreneurs in the macaroni industry, bringing their cultural heritage to tables throughout the country.

According to family lore, passed down over the years, the Viviano brothers joined four cousins in St. Louis, settling in the Italian section of the city. They opened a grocery store and each managed part of the business. Salvatore sold pasta, which excelled over other parts of the business. Eldest brothers, Salvatore and Pietro held their success over the heads of their younger brothers. Nonetheless, the brothers all saw the potential of pasta and went into the pasta business full time in Chicago.

A division resulted in eldest brothers, Vito and Salvatore, heading to Detroit. Salvatore would later branch off on his own in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. Giovanni and Giuseppe remained Chicago. The Chicago venture succeeded so much so that the mob wanted in. Giovanni retired and Giuseppe started over in Louisville[i].


Born: April 3, 1870 (Terrasini, Sicily)

Marriage: July 25, 1896 to Grazia Bommarito (Terrasini, Sicily)

Died: 1955, Detroit


1909 - Immigrated to America


Born: October 4, 1872 (Terrasini, Sicily)

Marriage: Antonia Gusmano (alternate spelling: Cusimano)

Died: April 28, 1936 by suicide (Oak Park, IL)

Buried: Mount Carmel Cemetery (Hillside, IL)


1899 - Immigrated to America from Palermo

1909 - Kidnapping of his son Gaetano (also known as Tomasso)

1936 - Kills himself and daughter in despair after losing wife


Born: December 12, 1876 (Terrasini, Sicily)

Marriage: November 15, 1903 to Giustina Palazzolo (St. Louis, MO)

Died: December 7, 1959 (Coral Gables, FL)

Buried: Woodlawn Mausoleum (Coral Gable, FL)


c. 1889 - Served in the Italian Navy

1901 (April 25) - Immigrated to America on the ship Liguria from the port of Tripoli, Italy ​

1910 - Opened Chicago Macaroni Factory

1913 - Opened S. Viviano Macaroni Company in Detriot

1917 - Founded Vimco in Carnegie, PA

c. 1918 - Naturalization as United State Citizen

1938 - Decorated as Cavalier by Italian Government

1948 - Decorated by the Order of the Legion of the Immaculate Mary

November 12, 1949 - received Honorary Doctorate of Commerce from Duquesne University

c. 1953 - Decorated as a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory by Pope Pius XII


Born: October 19, 1878 (Terrasini, Sicily)

Marriage: 1901 to Rosario de Lisi

Died: November 2, 1959 (Milan, Italy)


before 1910 - Immigrated to St. Louis


Born: October 16, 1881 (Terrasini, Sicily)

Marriage: November 28, 1909 to Eulalia "Laura" Cusimano 

Died: June 6, 1970 (River Forest, IL)


1909 - Immigrated to America


Born: November 12, 1883 (Terrasini, Sicily)

Marriage: July 26, 1908 to Stella Palazzolo (St. Louis, MO)

Died: November 29, 1970 (Clearwater, FL)


1901 (May 25) - Immigrated to America on the ship SS Bolivio from the port of Naples, Italy to the port of New York

1908 (July 26) - Married Stella Palazzolo, St. Louis, MO

c. 1926 - Naturalized as United States Citizen

1928 - Founded Kentucky Macaroni Company (later known as Delmonico Foods)

Further Reading

Doane, Ashley. “From the “Beginning”: Anglo-American Settler Colonialism in New England”

Weil, Fancois. “Family Trees: A History of Genealogy in America.” Harvard University Press, 2013.

Sources & Footnotes

[i] Interviews with Joe Viviano to Ali Kane, October 11, 2018 and Rose Viviano Schneider to Harry Schneider, November 19, 2001