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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.




OTTAVI, Carl "Cuz"

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OTTAVI, Carl "Cuz" (Dubuque, IA, Dec. 28, 1919--Dubuque, IA, Mar. 2, 2005). A lifetime spent collecting anecdotes led Ottavi to published fame. His column of anecdotes was enjoyed by readers of three weekly newspapers.

Ottavi attended LORAS COLLEGE and the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE. For a brief time in his early years, he was a member of a Brooklyn Dodgers farm club. He received his nickname in 1933 from a TELEGRAPH HERALD sports writer. Hearing Ottavi's teammates call him "Cussy" because he often said, "Oh my God", the journalist nicknamed him "Cuzzo" for the paper. The name was shortened over the years.

Ottavi taught and coached girl's athletics in thirteen different schools between 1953 and 1977. In 1966 his Benton Community high school team won the state girls' softball championship. Four of his other teams also reached the state tournament. His success playing shortstop and center field led to Ottavi's induction into the DUBUQUE FAST PITCH HALL OF FAME and the Dubuque County Baseball Hall of Fame

A prolific writer, Ottavi was published in the Telegraph Herald and several other Iowa newspapers under the title of "Cuzo's Clippings."

He was a longtime member of the Dubuque Tennis Association which named a tennis tournament in his honor.