Media CenterLarry Pezzullo, Former CRS Executive Director, Passes Away.
Larry Pezzullo, who led CRS as executive director from 1982 to 1992, has died at the age of 91. Coming to CRS after a career in the foreign service, Pezzullo is credited with taking the agency to a new level of professionalism and impact. CRS’ fifth head, Pezzullo was the first non-cleric to hold the position and the first to carry the executive director title.
Under Pezzullo, CRS initiated everything from full computerization to a merit-driven personnel system to strategic planning initiatives. He gave CRS critical leadership to ensure funding for a major response to the famine in Ethiopia in 1983. And he oversaw the move of CRS’ headquarters from New York to Baltimore in 1989.
A New York native who went to Columbia University, Pezzullo was ambassador to Uruguay from 1977 to 1979. In 1979 he was called upon to take up the same post in Nicaragua where he helped usher the dictator Anastasio Somoza from power. He left that job to come to CRS. And when he left CRS, he returned to foreign service work as special envoy to Haiti.
Larry Pezzullo lived a life of exemplary service, to his country, to the Church, and to the poor and oppressed around the world. Please join us in praying for him and his family.