PASSINGS: Angelina Genaro Alioto, Ernie Johnson

Angelina Genaro AliotoFormer wife of San Francisco mayor

Angelina Genaro Alioto, 94, the colorful ex-wife of former San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto, died Thursday of heart failure at her home in Blackhawk, Calif.

During her husband’s failed campaign for governor, she made headlines in 1974 when she disappeared for 17 days. She said she wanted to “punish” him for neglecting her while running for office and had used the time to tour California’s missions.

She had never concealed her disdain for politics, and less than a year later filed for divorce. Joseph Alioto, who was mayor of San Francisco from 1968 to 1976, died in 1998.


The daughter of a real estate investor and beer distributor, she was born Angelina Genaro in 1915 in Dallas and grew up there. She graduated from the city’s Aunspaugh School of Art.

Through a friend, she met her future husband and married in 1941. They had six children.

In 1969, she opened an antique shop on Union Street in San Francisco. She also held a real estate license and invested in property.

In a 1974 Times story that described her as “chic” and “elegant,” Alioto said she was not happy with the fishbowl life of a politician’s wife. Once divorced, she never remarried.


Ernie Johnson

1940s UCLA football star

Ernie Johnson, 84, a UCLA football star in the 1940s who also played basketball and rugby for the Bruins, died at his home in Sacramento on Sunday, his family announced. The cause was not given.

Johnson was a four-year letterman in football. His freshman season, 1946, he played halfback and led the team in scoring with 42 points. The Bruins went 10-0 in the regular season, finishing first in the Pacific Coast Conference, then lost to Illinois in the Rose Bowl, 45-14.

He went on to lead the team in rushing in 1948 and then in 1949, Red Sanders’ first season as coach, Johnson switched to tailback in the single-wing formation and led the Bruins in total offense and in passing. He was a first-team all-PCC selection in his senior season.

Johnson also earned a letter in basketball in 1949-50, John Wooden’s second season at UCLA.

He was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999.

Born Jan. 29, 1926, in Berkeley, Johnson grew up in Sacramento and served in the Navy’s V-12 college training program during World War II.


After college, he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles but did not play in the NFL. He became a football coach and history teacher in Northern California.

Times staff and wire reports

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