James V. DeBlase

James V. DeBlase
World Trade Center

Dallas Cowboys Fan

No one knows how it happened, but Jimmy DeBlase, born in Lower Manhattan and taught how to play football in Little Italy, became one of the Dallas Cowboys' biggest fans in the New York area. His wife, Marion, remembered meeting Jimmy in 1978, when his team, Carmine's Animals, had just won a neighborhood championship in Little Italy. "He loved the Dallas Cowboys," his wife said. "He would take the kids to Dallas to see them play. How it happened is something I don't know."

James V. DeBlase, who was 45 at the time of the attack, was an athlete at St. Joseph's Elementary School and Bishop Dubois High School in Manhattan and then attended Baruch College, known not for sports teams but rather for its business courses.

"He had decided that football couldn't be a profession for him, so he went into business," Mrs. DeBlase said from the family's home in Manalapan, N.J., where she is raising their three sons, Nicholas, Joseph and James, and where Mr. DeBlase had coached them in football, baseball and basketball.

Mr. DeBlase worked on Wall Street after college, including 14 years as a dealer at Oppenheimer. He joined Cantor Fitzgerald in October 1999 as a broker.

He had two brothers, Anthony and Richie. "Anthony was in Tower 2, but he made it out," Marion said. "Anthony was out there looking for my husband. We looked for days." Jimmy DeBlase's body has not been found.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on Sunday, April 7, 2002.

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