RIP Magistrate Judge Peter Palermo.

Very sad news as we mourn the passing of Magistrate Judge Peter Palermo.

Here is a wonderful article on him from a few years ago:
Born in 1918 in Pittsburgh, Pa., he was the fourth child – wedged between five sisters and a brother – of a businessman and a stay-at-home, no-nonsense mother. He tossed enough newspapers to be named the leading newsboy in Pittsburgh at age 11. He excelled in school and graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1941. His plans for law school at Dickinson University in Carlisle, Pa., were dashed when events interceded during World War II and he was drafted as a private into the United States Army Air Corps. He would rise in rank to Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, then Major Sergeant, eventually bringing him to Miami Beach for officer candidate school a few months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He went on to the invasion of North Africa and the liberation of Naples, Italy. For his service and valor, he was awarded the Bronze Star and six Battle Stars.

Recalling his first days in South Florida, Judge Palermo said he was amused by Miami society: "I'm Italian. In Pittsburgh, I was a Yankee. Now, I'm considered an Anglo in Miami. If you went back to Pittsburgh or New York and told them we were Anglos, they would have laughed."
Actually, Judge P had an infectious laugh and brought joy and good cheer everywhere he went.



  1. One of the great ones.

  2. As a former Federal agent in south Florida and as the spouse of a Tampa colleague of Judge Palermo, I am honored to have known him. A true gentleman of kindness, great wit, sparkling personality and a superb story teller. Our infrequent encounters of the last 35 years are all so pleasant to recall. May he rest in peace and let's hope he left the secret to remaining so very young for 97 years.

  3. The fighting in both North Africa and Italy was some of the most brutal and difficult fighting in all of WWII. The invasion of North Africa was done purely as a way of finding a conflict that was winnable and yet would finally battle test US soldiers and their generals. Several generals were dismissed because of their ineptitude in battle in North Africa, especially at the terribly bloody Kasserine Pass battles, and a few like Patton and Omar Bradley emerged as generals that could lead the fight in Europe. From North Africa to Italy the fighting was, if anything even more bloody with the German army refusing to give ground and the terrain allowing the Germans to put up a very deadly defense. If Magistrate Palermo saw action in North Africa and Italy, he saw some of the fiercest fighting in the European theater of the second world war. That alone makes him a great American and a true hero.

  4. Judge Palermo was a pleasure on the bench and a great person off the bench. He swore in my then-wife as an American citizen back in the 90s and I think he did the same for thousands of naturalized citizens. He was the perfect representative of our federal courts and the U.S.A. in general.

  5. I live across the street from his house. He rode his mower himself into his 90's. He invited me over to see the well he had dug many years ago and some fabulous photos of what the area looked like in the 50's.


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