Frank A. Cappiello Jr., a retired Baltimore investment adviser who was a regular panelist on Maryland Public Television's "Wall $treet Week" for more than three decades, died Saturday at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson of cardiovascular disease.
He was 90.
"Frank was such a wonderful gentleman. Too bad Wall Street doesn't have people like him anymore," said John E. Montgomery, former CEO of Montgomery Brothers Inc. in Washington. "He was always a pleasure to be around. He was outgoing and always fun to be around."
The son of Frank A. Cappiello Sr., a dry cleaner, and Rose Clapis, a homemaker, Frank Anthony Cappiello Jr. was born and raised in Trenton, N.J., where he graduated from Trenton Central High School.
He began his college studies at the University of Notre Dame. After several semesters there, he was drafted into the Navy and served until being discharged in 1946. He returned to South Bend, Ind., where he received his bachelor's degree in 1948. He was a 1954 graduate of the Harvard Business School.
Mr. Cappiello attended Cornell University Law School and, because he was a Marine Corps reservist, was recalled to active duty in 1950 during the Korean War. He was discharged in 1952. His decorations included the Navy Combat Action Ribbon.
He began his business career in 1954 at Virginia Electric and Power Co. in Richmond, Va., where he worked until joining Alex. Brown & Sons in 1961 as an analyst. He later was promoted to research director.
In 1967, he joined Monumental Life Insurance Co. as chief investment officer and was named vice president in 1972. When the insurance company established Monumental Capital Management in 1974, Mr. Cappiello was its first president.
He later became president of New Jersey-based Summit Advisors and, in 1983, joined the San Francisco firm of McCullough & Andrews as a full partner in its investment advisory activities.
The company, which had combined assets of more than $360 million at the time, changed its name to McCullough, Andrews & Cappiello Inc., with Mr. Cappiello being responsible for overseeing the firm's Baltimore office and East Coast business. From 2003 to 2010, Mr. Cappiello was a principal at Montgomery Brothers, Cappiello LLC.
"We had a partnership with Frank and managed several of his clients. He was a fundamentalist who believed in investing in American-based companies that were growing," Mr. Montgomery said.
"He was a big believer in U.S. growth companies, entrepreneurship and the spirit of America. He believed they were the best in the world, and that's what made him a fundamentalist," he said.
Mr. Montgomery described him as "unflappable, always positive, upbeat and a believer in the American system."
Mr. Cappiello's fame went far beyond Baltimore when he was selected to be an original panelist on MPT's "Wall $treet Week" created by Anne Truax Darlington. The show went on the air in 1970. Two years later, it debuted over the entire public television network.
"I selected all the panelists, designed the set and even wrote the theme music," Ms. Darlington said. "I wanted Frank because he was extremely bright and one of the first people I contacted. He was also in the Bond Club, and I thought that would give the show some legitimacy."
While having lunch at Baltimore's Danny's restaurant, Ms. Darlington explained the kind of show she was trying to create.
"He listened fairly patiently but was slightly condescending. Men were that way in those days. He then told me that it would fail and could not possibly work. He then proceeded to tell me the first show should be a history of the New York Stock Exchange and then he had two other suggestions and when he reached the fourth, I said, 'Stop. If we go this way, there will be no show,'" she said.
"I then asked him if he would consent to at least try out for the panel and he did. He was a fair-minded person and said he'd give it a try," said Ms. Darlington, who auditioned 50 possible panelists, then selected Mr. Cappiello.
He stayed with the show, which aired Friday evenings, for the next 32 years.
"He added so much to the program and we stayed great friends," she said.
Mr. Cappiello would often fill in as the guest host of the show when its regular moderator, Louis R. Rukeyser, was away.
He was the author of four books on investing, one called "The $2 Window on Wall Street." His most popular was "Finding the Next Superstock."
"History tells us that businessmen in a period of uncertainty tend to do nothing, while investors will attempt to assess quickly the most likely beneficiaries of the program," Mr. Cappiello told The Baltimore Sun in a 1977 article.
He was a former faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University and a visiting professor of finance at what is now Loyola University Maryland. At Loyola, he was also the founder of Downbeaters Inc., a business breakfast forum sponsored by the university's school of business management.
He retired in 2012.
The former resident of Guilford and the Woodbrook neighborhood of Baltimore County, Mr. Cappiello and his wife of 61 years, Marie Therese Rhodes, lived at the Blakehurst Retirement Community in Towson in recent years.
The Morning Sun
He enjoyed reading military history, collecting military memorabilia and following Notre Dame football. He also liked to cook, and in a 1976 Evening Sun article he recalled his days growing up in Trenton, when every Sunday dinner was a great Italian feast.
"My avocation is eating," Mr. Cappiello told the newspaper abut his devotion to Italian cooking. "Italian cooking was lifted by the French."
He was so proficient in the kitchen that one of his dishes, Eggplant Cappiello, made it to the menu at Chiapparelli's restaurant in Little Italy.
He was a longtime communicant of St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church.
A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5200 N. Charles St.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Frank R. Cappiello of Baltimore; two daughters, Elaine Cappiello Sutton of Richmond, Va., and Annmarie Cappiello Graham of Greenwich, Conn.; a sister, Theresa C. Castellano of Orlando, Fla.; and four grandchildren.