Eugene Antonio Marino

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The Most Reverend

Eugene Antonio Marino
Archbishop emeritus of Atlanta
InstalledMay 5, 1988
Term endedJuly 10, 1990
PredecessorThomas Andrew Donnellan
SuccessorJames Patterson Lyke
OrdinationJune 9, 1962
ConsecrationSeptember 12, 1974
Personal details
Born(1934-05-29)May 29, 1934
Biloxi, Mississippi
DiedNovember 12, 2000(2000-11-12) (aged 66)
New Rochelle, New York
Previous postAuxiliary Bishop of Washington (1974–88)
Alma materEpiphany Apostolic College
Coat of armsEugene Antonio Marino's coat of arms

Eugene Antonio Marino (May 29, 1934 – November 12, 2000) was an American Catholic prelate who served as Archbishop of Atlanta, Georgia from 1988 until 1990, becoming the first African American archbishop in United States of America. He was of both African American and Puerto Rican descent.

He was also the first African American to become auxiliary bishop for Washington, D.C. and the first to be secretary of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. As archbishop of Atlanta, he tackled the conduct of other priests until his resignation after his affair with a lay-minister became public knowledge.

Early life[edit]

Marino was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, the sixth of a total of eight children to baker and Puerto Rican Jesús María Marino and Lottie Irene Bradford Marino, a maid. From 1952 to 1956 he attended Epiphany Apostolic College in Newburgh, New York and went on to St. Joseph's Seminary in 1962 where he was ordained as a priest in the same year. He then went on to continue his education at Loyola University and Fordham University in The Bronx, New York City, graduating in 1967.

During his education at university, Marino also taught at Epiphany Apostolic College and following his graduation he was the spiritual director at St. Joseph's Seminary in Washington, D.C. from 1968 until 1971, when he became vicar general of the Josephites. From September 12, 1974 until 1988 he was an auxiliary bishop for the Washington archdiocese, the fourth African American ever to hold this position, as well as becoming the secretary of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1985, the first African American to hold that position. In 1987 he organised a trip for a number of African American Catholics to see Pope John Paul II, and during a talk with these men and women, he stated:

Archbishop of Atlanta[edit]

The Christ the King Cathedral in Atlanta where Marino was Archbishop

Marino went on to become the first African American archbishop in American history when he was installed as Archbishop of Atlanta on May 5, 1988, becoming involved in efforts to address the sexual misconduct of priests.

Marino, however, was himself engaged in an affair with a female lay minister during this period, which became public knowledge in 1990. The lay minister, Vicki Long, revealed that she had been secretly married to Marino in 1988.[2] Following these events, after just two years as archbishop of Atlanta, Marino, who had been in seclusion since June 1, 1990, resigned on 10 July 1990 and cited "spiritual renewal, psychological therapy and medical supervision" as the reason. He then took a six-week-long period of counseling. Retaining his title of archbishop, Marino quietly went to Michigan and took a post as chaplain at the Sisters of Mercy in Alma up until 1995. From this posting until his death in 2000 he worked in a counseling program at St. Vincent's Hospital in Harrison, New York, counseling on sexual behavior and substance abuse.


On the early morning of November 12, 2000, while at Salesian High School in New Rochelle, NY acting as a counselor and confidant for the personal problems of fellow priests and nuns, Marino died aged 66. He was discovered in bed by the housekeeper and it was established that he had died of a heart attack. He was buried in Biloxi, Mississippi. Of his eight siblings, one brother and four sisters survived him.[3]


  1. ^ Encyclopedia of African American Religions, Garland, 1993
  2. ^ Eugene Marino, 1st Black Catholic Archbishop, Dies Of Heart Attack In Atlanta - Woman Claims She Married Archbishop December 4, 2000. Retrieved on April 3 2007
  3. ^ Eugene Marino, 1st Black Catholic Archbishop, Dies Of Heart Attack In Atlanta - Obituary December 4, 2000. Retrieved on April 3, 2007
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Thomas Andrew Donnellan
Archbishop of Atlanta
Succeeded by
James Patterson Lyke