June 4, 1921 – Sept. 8, 2012
Mario Armond Zamparelli, born June 4, 1921 in New York, passed away on Sept. 8. Zamparelli lived in La Cañada-Flintridge and San Marino, Caif.
Mr. Zamparelli had a distinguished and luminous career as both an artist and as a corporate marketing genius to many of America’s major corporations. He was most well known as holding the title of chief executive designer to billionaire Howard Hughes. Mr. Zamparelli is in the “Who’s Who in the American West” and “Who’s Who in American Art.”
Mr. Zamparelli was an American artist and designer, best known for his work creating the corporate image for every Hughes holding. For 18 years, Mr. Zamparelli was chief executive designer of Hughes’ empire and created the corporate identity of TWA, Hughes Airwest, Hughes Helicopters, Hughes Aircraft, Hughes Aviation, the Summa Corporation and Howard Hughes Medical Institute and was the artist for Hughes’ RKO Studios. He created each and every detail of Hughes’ vast holdings such as the legendary Frontier Hotel, the Desert Inn, the Sands, and the Tropicana, among other Hughes’ hotels, casinos and other property holdings. He was also responsible for the only portrait of Howard Hughes in existence commissioned by the billionaire himself.
Mr. Zamparelli was also responsible for many of the iconic corporate design identities such as TWA, Nissan, Midway Airlines, Capitol Records, Hunts Foods, Union Bank, Universal Pictures, Southern California Gas Company, Kimberly Clark, Mattel, Max Factor, Suzuki and The Norton Simon Corporation, among many others. He also designed the groundbreaking concept “Home of the Future” for Disney.
The BBC documentary featuring Mr. Zamparelli won numerous awards including a Golden Globe Award for best documentary for the four-hour documentary “Hollywood Golden Years.”
At a young age it was realized that Mr. Zamparelli was a genius. An extraordinary talent in art, he started his career working in illustration for such magazines as “Cosmopolitan,” “Vogue,” “Esquire” and “Harper’s Bazaar” until he was personally selected by Howard Hughes as his artist for his multi-billion dollar empire.
He was a fine artist, writer, avid photographer and musician. As a World War II Army veteran, he played in an Army band with the legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck. He was also a poet, an avid art collector and art teacher and was a truly respected artist among his peers in the art world.
He has left behind a massive collection of both his corporate works and paintings which will be donated to a museum and also sold at auction, per his wishes.
He also leaves behind a yet to be published book on his life and times with Howard Hughes, titled “Enigma,”a new account of the controversial lifestyle of Howard Hughes which his daughters will publish.
Mr. Zamparelli is survived by his wife Maureen Hingert -Zamparelli, his three daughters Gina, Marisa and Andrea Zamparelli and two brothers, Robert and Victor Zamparelli.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 9 a.m. at Holy Redeemer Church in Montrose. The public is invited.
Visit www.CrippenMortuary.com to view a tribute and sign the guestbook or light a memorial candle for Mario Zamparelli.