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Mario J. Gabelli, Chairman and CEO of GAMCO Investors, Inc., to Receive 2022 Horatio Alger Award

Horatio Alger Association names 16 outstanding individuals, each of whom has overcome adversity to achieve professional and personal success, to its Member Class of 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that Mario J. GabelliChairman and CEO, GAMCO Investors, Inc. (NYSE: GBL), has been selected for membership in this prestigious organization. Mr. Gabelli joins 15 other exceptional business, civic and cultural leaders from across North America in receiving 2022 honors. For more than 70 years, the Horatio Alger Award has been annually bestowed upon esteemed individuals who have succeeded despite facing adversities, and who have remained committed to higher education and charitable efforts in their communities. 

The son of Italian immigrants, Mr. Gabelli was raised in the Bronx. From an early age, he learned the value of hard work, watching his father earn a modest living as a cook while his mother was a homemaker. Mr. Gabelli’s first job was at the age of five, shining shoes at a local train station. However, it was his second job, working as golf course caddy, where he found his true passion: the stock market. He would overhear the conversations of financial executives and analysts and was intrigued by the way in which the system of buyers and sellers worked. He would go home and purchase small shares with the little money he had. 

After high school, Mr. Gabelli received a scholarship to attend Fordham University. In 1965, he graduated summa cum laude and then pursued a master’s degree at Columbia Business School. Mr. Gabelli took his first job at Loeb Rhoades, a brokerage firm on Wall Street, where he spent seven years before leaving for William D. Witter, an investment advisory firm. In 1977, following a change in ownership, Mr. Gabelli decided to start his own firm, Gabelli Asset Management, later called GAMCO Investors. For the next ten years, GAMCO’s assets appreciated at an annual compounded rate of 28 percent, a rate exceeded by very few money managers. Mr. Gabelli took the company public in 1999 and today, GAMCO is one of the most profitable and recognizable advisory institutions in the world.  

“From a young age, Mario Gabelli harnessed his entrepreneurial spirit and was able to transform his small brokerage into an international powerhouse,” said Terrence J. Giroux, executive director, Horatio Alger Association. “At the same time, he is one of the nation’s most recognizable philanthropists and he believes firmly that education can transform lives. Mario displays passion, integrity and humility in all that he does, and we are fortunate that he is joining the Association as a lifetime Member.” 

Mr. Gabelli’s upbringing instilled in him a belief that education is the great equalizer. His gifts to Fordham University School of Business, Columbia Business School, Boston College and other higher education institutions approach $100 million, including $30 million in donations to his alma mater, Fordham University. The Grant to Fordham helped to increase scholarships and create the Center of Global Investment Analysis, which brings together students, faculty and professionals in the finance community to enhance scholarship in the study and understanding of capital markets. Mr. Gabelli is a Trustee Associate of Boston College, a member of the Board of Trustees at Roger Williams University and a member of the Board of Overseers at the Columbia University School of Business. He also is a Director of the American-Italian Cancer Foundation, the Foundation for Italian Arts & Culture, and the Winston Churchill Foundation. 

“I have long admired the Horatio Alger Association because of the large yet quiet impact it makes on hundreds of young people each year,” said Mr. Gabelli. “My philanthropy has always focused on higher education and continued learning, so to join an organization that supports deserving students who want and deserve to go to college means the world to me. I am anxious to become involved and leverage my network to continue to further its reach.”    

Thanks to the generosity of its Members, the Association awards need-based scholarships to outstanding high school students who are committed to pursuing higher education and giving back to their communities. The Association also educates young people about the limitless opportunities afforded to them by the free-enterprise system through hard work, honesty and determination. Like Association Members, Horatio Alger Scholars have faced significant adversities, but have also displayed unmatched resilience in overcoming their challenges. Since the scholarship program was established in 1984, the Horatio Alger Association has provided more than $235 million to 35,000 students in need, all of which has been funded solely through the generosity of Association Members and friends. 

Mr. Gabelli and the Member Class of 2022 will be formally inducted into the Association on April 7-9, 2022, during the Association’s 75th Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. The annual three-day event honors the achievements of both Members and National Scholars, affording both groups the opportunity to meet and interact as well as exchange stories of hardships and triumphs. 

For more information about Horatio Alger Association and its Member Class of 2022, please visit and follow the organization on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:  

Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honors the achievements of outstanding leaders who have accomplished remarkable successes in spite of adversity by bestowing upon them the Horatio Alger Award and inducting them as lifetime Members. Horatio Alger Members support promising young people with the resources and confidence needed to overcome adversity in pursuit of their dreams through higher education. Through the generosity of its Members and friends, in 2020, the Association awarded more than $21 million in undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships to 2,500 students across the United States and Canada and provided college support and mentoring services to its Scholars. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $235 million in undergraduate, graduate, military veteran and career and technical education scholarships to more than 35,000 deserving students. For more information, please visit