The Colourful Life of Melbourne Icon, Franco Cozzo
Melbourne’s iconic Italian-Australian businessman Franco Cozzo has died, aged 88.
His family shared the news via social media on Wednesday evening,
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Franco Cozzo”.
“He was surrounded by his loving wife and family,” it said.
Mr Cozzo moved to Melbourne from Sicily in the 50s during the postwar wave of Mediterranean migrants.
At the time, he was in his early 20s and “penniless”. He became one of the city’s most iconic immigrant success stories with his successful business career.
He began selling appliances door-to-door before he was able to open his stores. He went on to open stores in North Melbourne and Northcote – later opening his iconic Brunswick and Footscray stores selling opulent baroque furniture.
He was famous for his tri-lingual TV ads, in his native Italian, Greek and English, proclaiming “Megalo, Megalo!” and his catchphrase “Grand Sale”.
He also presented Australia’s first t non-English musical variety show, Carosello, in the late ’60s.
He is survived by his wife, Assunta Cozzo and 10 children.
In 2018, his Footscray building was sold for $ 8 million; earlier this year, Moon Dog Craft Brewery gained approval from the local council to turn it into a multi-storied brewery.
In 2021 a documentary about his life, Palazzo di Cozzo was released, immortalising his life.
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