Frank Cannova

Jump to navigation Jump to search
Frank Cannova
Born(1911-01-14)January 14, 1911
DiedNovember 29, 2005(2005-11-29) (aged 94)
OccupationHotelier, business entrepreneur
ChildrenMichael (son)
Parent(s)Francesco Cannova, Catherina Cannova (nee Triolo)

Frank Santo Cannova Jr. (January 14, 1911 – November 29, 2005) was an American hotelier, businessman and entrepreneur.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Lodi, New Jersey[1][2] to Sicilian parents Francesco and Catherina Cannova. His mothers maiden name was Triolo.[3]

His father who came to the United States from Sicily at the age of 9, was a millionaire by the time he was 35 years old. Frank Jr. with his family on ten acres of land in New Jersey.

Cannova's father quit his job as a road contractor at his mothers request and moved to Miami. His father having lost several fortunes including one during the depression was a lesson for Frank Jr., that wealth can be here one day and the next day there's nothing.


He dropped out of school to work and help the family. He graduated from Hackensack High School, the University of Miami in 1943 and the University of Miami School of Law.[4]

When he was 35 he went back to college. He then went to law school and at some stage was assistant attorney general of Florida.[5]


He served in the United States Army during the World War II era. In October 1944, he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the transportation corps while at New Orleans Army Air Base and advanced to the rank of first lieutenant.[4][6][7][8] In 1968, he moved to St. Petersburg from Hollywood, Florida.

Business ventures[edit]


In 1968, he purchased The Aquatarium for 2 million.[9] Some nine or ten years later, Cannova had a 10 million dollar lawsuit against the city for losses incurred at The Aquatarium after commissioners issued a permit for a water slide then reneged on it.[10][11]

First America Development Corp.[edit]

By 1963, Cannova was president of First America Development Corp.[12]

The Hawaiian Inn[edit]

In 1974, the corporation he headed took over The Desert Resort. Changing the theme and name, they turned it into a Polynesian one called The Hawaiian Inn. He was the director and major shareholder of Hawaiian Inns of Florida Inc.. His vice-president was Michael R. Triolo.[13] In January 1975, Cannova had his birthday party held at the Inn with his father, relatives and friends present.[14]

Cannova's picture and notes appear on the back of Samoan Elvis impersonator, Fatu Lauoletolo aka Mr. Fatu's album Mr. Fatu Sings Elvis with the caption, "Mr. Frank Cannova, The who makes the action happen." The album was recorded at The Hawaiian Inn's Aloha Lounge.[15][16] In February 1979 as a result of a fire, Cannova sold the inn for around 2 million to Resort Inns of America which already owned a number of inns in the area.[17]

Bank of St. Petersburg[edit]

In 1988, he bought into the Bank of St. Petersburg and had controlling interest of the bank. Prior to the purchase, the bank was under the control of Anchor Savings Bank. About two years later he was filing a lawsuit against Anchor with claims that he had been misled about the financial status of the Bank of St. Petersburg.[18]


He died on November 29, 2005 at Bayway Isle home at age 94. He was survived by a son Michael and two grandchildren. Also his two sisters Rose and Sally.[19]


  1. ^ MY Heritage Frank S Cannova
  2. ^ Tampa Bay Times December 1, 2005 Frank S. Cannova, former board chairman of local bank, dies at 94
  3. ^ My Heritage Francesco "Frank" Santo CANNOVA, 1911 - 2005
  4. ^ a b "Cannova Given Florida Post: Ex-Lodi Man Assistant Attorney General, The Herald News, Passaic-Clifton, New Jersey, January 18, 1950, page 13.
  5. ^ St. Petersburg Independent Monday May 6, 1974 Section B Never Satisfied Marks This Man - Bethia Caffery
  6. ^ "Cannova Given High State Post", Miami Daily News, volume 54, number 333, December 28, 1929, page 2-D.
  7. ^ "Frank S. Cannova gets rank of 2nd Lieutenant", Evening Herald, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, volume 74, number 254, October 27, 1944, page 1.
  8. ^ "Miss Mary Frances Haynes Marries Army Lieutenant at New Orleans", Fort Worth Star-Telegram, number 66, April 7, 1946, page 6.
  9. ^ Lost Parks The Aquatarium AKA Shark World
  10. ^ St. Petersburg Independent September 6, 1978 22-A Townhouses May Replace Fish Tanks - Robin Mitchell
  11. ^ Gulf Independent Page 3 Cannova One Step Closer To Building - Peggy Rogers
  12. ^ Lee Moore And Mary Bailey (April 11, 1963). "Hoffa Linked To $1 Million Loan In Volusia Deal". Daytona Beach Morning Journal.
  13. ^ St. Petersburg Times Wednesday September 11, 1974 13-A Business & Finance, Desert Ranch motel getting new look, name By Ron Yogman
  14. ^ St. Petersburg Independent Saturday, January 18, 1975 House Party A Symphony Of Food And Sounds - Bethia Caffery
  15. ^ Discogs Mr. Fatu* – Mr. Fatu Sings Elvis
  16. ^ Gigsland >Elvis Impersonators >St Petersburg Elvis Impersonators >Elvis Show
  17. ^ St. Petersburg Independent February 26, 1979 Hawaiian Inn Reported Sold
  18. ^ Biz Journals Mar 9, 1998 Bank of St. Petersburg set to double office count
  19. ^ Tampa Bay Times December 1, 2005 Frank S. Cannova, former board chairman of local bank, dies at 94