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Filippo Galluppi, founder of Venus Scientific, dies at 91

Filippo Galluppi

Filippo Galluppi Credit: Galluppi Family

Filippo Galluppi, author, engineer, baron and founder of Venus Scientific Inc., has died at his Blue Point home. He was 91.

His wife of 39 years, Mary Galluppi, was with him at his passing on Feb. 14.

Filippo Galluppi, whose full name was Filippo Bernardino Enrico Maria Galluppi di Cirella, inherited the title of baron from his father, Bernardino Galluppi, a native of Rome.

His father was introduced by a prince to his future wife, Elisa Porfilio, at a dance at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, where they settled.

Filippo Galluppi was born in September 1929. He attended Jesuit-affiliated Loyola School in Manhattan, and Columbia University, where he earned a bachelor's degree and, in 1956, a master's degree in electrical engineering.

After graduation, he worked as a contract engineer, but said he felt his diminutive stature (he was 5-7) and youthful look were holding him back. In response, he grew a beard and began wearing a lab coat.

He led a team of contract engineering draftsmen verifying designs and detecting system issues for Titan rockets in the late 1950s. Titans were used in the U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile fleet as well as the Gemini manned space program and the Mars Viking lander, the first to reach the red planet.

In 1962, he founded Venus Scientific Inc. in Pelham to manufacture high voltage power supplies for night vision devices and other applications.

The business took root and he moved the company to Farmingdale, where more than 300 employees worked at the plant on Smith Street.

Venus Scientific's high-voltage products powered products in the industrial, military and life science arenas.

They were used for the video screens of F-4, F-16, F-18 and B-52 warplanes as well as night vision television cameras used by police departments, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The company's power systems also were integrated into cameras used by the Apollo astronauts.

Behind the scenes, Galluppi pushed resistant managers to build standardized high-voltage products that users in diverse fields could harness instead of focusing on customized power sources that require a never-ending search for new customers.

In the 1980s, Venus Scientific was bought by Ferranti International.

In the 1990s, Galluppi cofounded a second company, UltraVolt Inc., based in Ronkonkoma. That company, which grew to more than 100 employees and revenue of over $10 million, made miniature high voltage power supplies. In 2007, UltraVolt was acquired by a private equity group.

Parallel to his business pursuits, Galluppi was "a passionate Catholic," Mary Galluppi, said. He was a member of a Bible study group and supported priests in their work in several countries.

At the same time, his curiosity extended to UFOs and even paranormal activity and how high-voltage devices could be used to investigate otherworldly phenomena.

After the sale of his companies, Galluppi wrote two books about running businesses and managing people.

The first, "The Missing Human Factor," was published in October 2012, while the second, "The Missing Spiritual Factor," was published in February 2015.

He is survived by his wife. Galluppi's siblings, twins Marcello and Benedetta, died previously.

A memorial Mass was held on Feb. 20 at Our Lady of the Snow Roman Cahtolic Church in Blue Point.

Donations can be made to Loyola School in Manhattan.

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