Italian American trailblazer Sal Paolantonio will receive the first-ever UNICO National Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism & Broadcasting Excellence

UNICO National, the largest Italian American Service Organization in America, is proud to announce that ESPN National Correspondent Sal Paolantonio will receive the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism & Broadcasting Excellence at the UNICO National Italian American Awards Gala.

"UNICO National is ecstatic to recognize the successful career of television journalist Sal Paolantonio. He is a well-respected, award-winning reporter who has succeeded at the highest level in his industry. He is very proud of his heritage and represents the very best of our Italian American community,” said UNICO National President Cav. Ralph Contini. 

Paolantonio is the longest-serving National Football League sideline reporter at ESPN. He is also the longest-serving host of NFL Matchup Show, which is the top-rated X’s and O’s football show in America and the longest-running NFL show in network television history. Paolantonio, a trailblazing Italian American in the communications field, has covered 30 Super Bowls, written four books, and appeared on numerous television and radio shows for three decades. Before ESPN, Paolantonio was The Philadelphia Inquirer’s National Political Correspondent, covering two presidential campaigns and politics. Earlier, Paolantonio was a surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy, where he was awarded the United Nations Meritorious Service Medal for his role in rescuing Vietnamese refugees in the South China Sea. 

Paolantonio is a champion of the Italian American community. In 2023, Paolantonio was named Honorary National Spokesperson for UNICO, where he generously supports the organization’s nonprofit mission. Every year, UNICO provides over one million dollars for scholarships and charitable assistance to worthy causes like mental health wellness, cancer research and prevention, food banks, shelters, and other local community needs.

The Awards Gala on July 31, 2024, promises to be a magical event, assembling hundreds of prominent Italian Americans from across the nation at the Westin Princeton in New Jersey. Paolantonio will be joined by Ralph LaRossa, chair, president, and CEO of Public Service Enterprise Group, who will receive the business award. The gala celebrates the important contributions of Italian Americans and raises funds for UNICO. Paolantonio served as Master of Ceremonies of last year's Awards Gala in Fort Myers, Florida, and presented the leadership award to ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro at the 2022 Gala in New Orleans. 

UNICO is based on the principle of Service Above Self, which aligns with Paolantonio's desire to help and give back to others. Sal is an active supporter and generous giver of his time to several nonprofits. He serves on the Cooper Hospital Foundation and Jaws Youth Partnership boards, which raises funds for at-risk youth in the Philadelphia area. Every NFL season, Sal hosts the Annual SalPal Football Breakfast for The Urban Promise School, raising funds for school tuition for at-risk youth in Camden and Pennsauken.

Contact Information:
UNICO National
[email protected]

Original Source: ESPN National Correspondent Sal Paolantonio to Be Honored at the UNICO National 101st Annual Convention & Italian American Awards Gala