Joseph R. Paolino Jr.

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Joseph R. Paolino Jr.
Joseph R. Paolino, Jr. 1985.jpeg
Paolino in 1985
33rd Mayor of Providence
In office
April 25, 1984 – January 1991
Preceded byVincent A. Cianci Jr.
Succeeded byVincent A. Cianci Jr.
United States Ambassador to Malta
In office
June 9, 1994 – June 2, 1996
PresidentBill Clinton
Preceded bySally J. Novetzke
Succeeded bypost abolished
Personal details
Born (1955-04-26) April 26, 1955 (age 63)
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Lianne Andreoni Paolino
ChildrenJennifer Paolino, Christina Paolino, Jacqueline Paolino, Joseph R. Paolino III
ResidenceProvidence, RI
Alma materRoger Williams University 1978

Joseph R. Paolino Jr. (born April 26, 1955) is an American politician and diplomat who is the former 33rd mayor of Providence, Rhode Island and US Ambassador to Malta. He was previously the former Director of the RI Department of Economic Development and currently serves as a managing partner for Paolino Properties.


As a student at the Harvard Extension School he was graduate student speaker at the commencement ceremonies in 1989.[1] He was elected to the Providence City Council in 1978 and was re-elected in 1982. He was serving as City Council Chairman when incumbent Mayor Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci Jr. was removed from office after pleading no contest to felony charges and given a five-year suspended sentence. With Cianci's removal from office, Paolino became acting mayor at the age of 29 and ran in the special election to succeed Cianci. He won the special election and was re-elected in 1986 and served until January 1991. In 1990, Paolino ran for Governor of Rhode Island, but lost to Bruce Sundlun in the Democratic Primary.[2]

In 1994 he was appointed by President Bill Clinton as Ambassador to Malta. He served as ambassador from July 6, 1994 to June 2, 1996. He ran for the United States House of Representatives in Rhode Island's 2nd congressional district in 1996, but lost the Democratic primary to then Lieutenant Governor Robert Weygand.

He ran for mayor again in 2002 but lost to David N. Cicilline in the Democratic primaries. In 2010, he suggested that he would run again for mayor as an independent.[3]

After withdrawing from politics, Paolino pursued interests in the real estate industry. Along with two other investors, he developed a plan to redevelop the Newport Grand slot parlor in Newport, Rhode Island as a full service casino with table games. Rhode Island state law, however requires that any expansion of gaming facilities be approved by referendum both statewide and in the community where the facility is located.

More recently, he has moved to Newport to run the Jobs For Newport campaign, which advocated for the passage of a referendum question that would have allowed table games at the Newport Grand slot parlor, in Newport. The referendum passed statewide but was rejected by 57 percent of Newport voters. A second ballot question contained a provision barring gaming facilities from changing locations without voter approval, which was approved both statewide and in Newport.

Personal life[edit]

His father, Joseph R. Paolino Sr., was a prominent Rhode Island real estate dealer and developer.[4]

He married Lianne Andreoni shortly after becoming Mayor of Providence in 1984. They have four children.


  1. ^ Shinagel, Michael (2010), The Gates Unbarred: A History of University Extension at Harvard, 1910 - 2009, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0674051351
  2. ^ "Joseph Paolino Jr".
  3. ^ "Joe Paolino weighs a different kind of mayoral run".
  4. ^ "R.I.P. Joseph R. Paolino Sr., Providence real estate legend".

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sally J. Novetzke
United States Ambassador to Malta
Succeeded by
post abolished