Telegrapher for Dempsey/Carpentier Fight and His Ties to Salisbury


e receive emails and letters every so often at NSMA headquarters, and once in a while, the correspondence leads to an interesting story. Received this email today (Sept. 27th):

Hi FYI George Anthony Sartiano (1906-1998) was a high speed telegrapher. In 1921, he was working for Postal Telegraph owned by John Mackey. He was asked if he would like to earn an extra $25. He lived in Brooklyn Heights. He walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, downtown Manhattan, and I don't know if he took the ferry or a tube. When he got to the address, he was amazed to see so many people in one place. It was the Dempsey-Carpentier fight. He told me that he had sat next to the announcer and telegraphed what the ring announcer said to the radio station. However, I have read that the telegrapher was in a box away from the ring. Until recently, I had no proof except for my memory. I recently found his retirement bio from ITT. In it, he tells about his experience at the fight. He worked for ITT (and the companies they bought) for 50 years. I do have the article and I do have his signature 'key' that was used. If you would like a copy of the article, please let me know.

I responded that, of course, we would love to see the article. The following, from Sartiano's daughter-in-law (who also wrote the initial email), appears below, with the photos under that.

Here is a copy of the ITT news from about 1968. For George's 90th birthday, I tried to find a picture of the fight ringside. He, at the time, was in a nursing home on Julian Rd in Salisbury. I called your office which at the time was in Salisbury. I explained to the lady what I was looking for and why. Too bad that the woman I spoke to nor I knew the significance. It would have been a great interview with one of the last living people to not only be present, but also to have participated in such a momentous occasion.

If you ask my husband about this... he knows little... except that he always enjoyed listening to the fights on the radio with his dad. His father would tell him what happened before the announcer. George A. would hear the telegraph going in the background!

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