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Ray Naimoli dies of cancer at 56

Rays' chief financial officer was brother of managing general partner Vince.

By MARC TOPKIN

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 16, 1999


ST. PETERSBURG -- Ray Naimoli, the Devil Rays' chief financial officer and younger brother of managing general partner Vince Naimoli, died Sunday night in Phoenix after a long battle with cancer. He was 56.

Known for his financial acumen, Ray Naimoli began working with his brother in 1991 as a consultant in the bid to secure a major-league baseball franchise for Tampa Bay. With the team, he was responsible for the organization's financial structure, information systems management and long-term strategic planning. He also was considered his brother's confidant on a number of issues.

Ray Naimoli was diagnosed with lung cancer about 41/2 years ago and had a variety of treatments. He was hospitalized in Phoenix after becoming ill on a cruise ship.

"Ray was a special guy," senior vice president and general manager Chuck LaMar said Monday. "He was and will always be an inspiration to the people in this organization. None of us know how we will handle the situation he was in until we're there, but I do know he handled his illness with as much strength as anyone I'll ever meet. As we continue to build this organization, he will forever be a part of it."

Ray Naimoli had a diverse business background, including a five-year stint as senior vice president and chief financial officer for U.S. News and World Report. Under his guidance, the magazine's shares reportedly increased in value from $90 to $2,900.

Survivors include his wife, Rita; four children and three grandchildren. Funeral arrangements were not complete. The family asked that donations be made in his name to the American Cancer Society, 121 Park Street SE, Vienna, VA 22180.

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