Joseph Magnani

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Joseph Magnani
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Born(1911-07-15)July 15, 1911
Mark, Illinois, U.S.
DiedNovember 30, 1975(1975-11-30) (aged 64)
Oak Park, Illinois
Resting placeBenld Cemetery
CitizenshipUnited States of America
Spouse(s)Erminia (Mimi) Soria
ChildrenRudy (son)
  • John (father)
  • Gonda Magnani (mother)
RelativesAngeline (sister)

Joseph Magnani (July 15, 1911–November 30, 1975) was an American bicycle road racer.

Magnani was born near Mark, Illinois[1], a son of Italian immigrants John and Gonda Magnani. His father was a coal miner. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Mount Clare, Illinois, where the father continued working as a miner. In 1928, he and his sister Angeline were sent to France to live with relatives, and he became interested in bicycle racing. He joined a local amateur team and ultimately became a professional racer, riding for French and Italian professional cycling teams from 1935-1948. His career was interrupted by World War II and his imprisonment in a concentration camp. After his liberation and recovery of his health, he resumed racing and represented the United States in the 1947 world champion professional road race in Reims, France, finishing seventh. In 1948, he returned to the U.S. for a family reunion and ended up staying, residing in the Chicago area until his death.[2] [3] He married Erminia (Mimi) Soria and they had one son, Rudy. Joseph died in Oak Park, Illinois on November 30, 1975 [4] and is buried in the Benld Cemetery in Benld, Illinois.[5] He was inducted into the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame in 1998.[6]


  1. U.S. World War II Draft Registration Card, Macoupin County, Illinois.
  2. Pioneers in the Peloton: The Unknown American, by Peter Joffre Nye, published in VeloNews, February 15, 2005,, accessed May 16, 2020.
  3. Joseph Magnani: Illinois Rider Challenged Coppi and Bartali in Giro, by Peter Joffre Nye,, accessed May 16, 2020.
  4. Chicago Tribune obituary, December 1, 1975, section 3, page 12.
  5. Joseph Magnani - Find-a-Grave,, accessed May 16, 2020.
  6. United States Bicycling Hall of Fame listing for Joseph Magnani,, accessed May 16, 2020.

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