(1897-1985) – Born in Hungary, his father was Italo Santelli, the great Italian master. A member of the Italian sabre team that won the 1920 Olympic championship, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1925, and taught at the University FC, New York Athletic Club, Fencers Club , eventually opening his own club, Salle Santelli, the most successful personal salle in American fencing history. His pupils included Norman Armitage, John R. Huffman, Tibor Nyilas, George Worth, Albert Axelrod, Ed Ballinger, and Marty Lang. He opened his club – and the sport – to the masses and minorities. One of the foremost public figures in the sport for 60 years.
From the 1948 Santelli Catalog:
Celebrated as “the strongest sabre fencer in Europe,” Professor Santelli, after having won the difficult Austrian, Hungarian, and Italian sabre championships, as well as the Austrian and Hungarian foil championships, was invited to this country in 1924 by the New York Athletic Club. As head Olympic coach he has accompanied the American fencing team to Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Berlin, and has been appointed fencing coach for the 1948 Olympic games in London, England.
Having set up his own salle, Professor Santelli found a great need for good and honest fencing equipment and therefore in 1934 he established the United States Fencing Equipment Company which has since been incorporated. With the same thoroughness and enthusiasm that has created champions, Professor Santelli has raised the standard of fencing equipment to its highest level while keeping prices within the reach of all. In this highly specialized field, Professor Santelli has found it advisable to thoroughly acquaint his workers with the sport in order to adhere to his reputation for champion equipment by a maker of champions.
Giorgio Santelli, Photo by Ed Vebell