James J. Allegro


James J. Allegro passed away peacefully at The Bailey Family Center in St. Augustine, FL on December 31, 2022, at the age of 88.

Allegro was a devoted husband and father, a highly successful businessman and a respected member of his community. A man of deep faith and great integrity, his high ethical standards were an example to all who knew him. He served as a valued and supportive role model to his large family, business associates and friends, touching many with his wise counsel, sage advice, and kindness.

Born in Chelsea, MA to first generation Italian immigrants, Allegro was awarded a full football scholarship to the College of the Holy Cross where he was designated a Holy Cross “Iron Man” by The Boston Globe. Upon graduating he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and attended Officer Candidate School in Quantico, VA where he played defensive tackle for the Marine Corps. Commissioned a Captain, he was assigned to a Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron as an Ordinance Officer.

At the time of his retirement Allegro held the position of EVP Operations and CFO of ESPN. Here he worked with some of the best television executives in the business and combined his financial and entrepreneurial spirit with theirs to build ESPN from a one channel novelty to the communications behemoth it is today. Prior to ESPN, Allegro spent 14 years with Capital Cities/ABC, Inc.

Allegro took special pride in several of his career accomplishments. In 1992 he was instrumental in the creation of the ESPY Awards Show, serving as Executive Producer of the first shows. That same year he started ESPN radio and in 1993 was involved in one of the first expansions of the brand when ESPN2 was launched. Allegro served on the ESPN Board of Directors and, upon retirement, he became a consultant to the company. His proudest accomplishment was his active involvement in the founding of the ESPN V Foundation dedicated to cancer research whose mantra is “Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up!” The V Foundation has raised over $310M for cutting-edge research grants. Allegro served as Emeritus Director of the Foundation until his death. Locally, he had been involved with the St. Gerard Campus, The Boselli Foundation, The St. Francis House and The Bailey Family Center for Caring.

Allegro shared 37 years of marriage with his cherished wife Lesley. He is the beloved father to eight children: Leslie, Christine, Jim Jr. (Jennifer), Pauline (Steve), Deborah, Julie (Mike) and Greg (Mary Jane) and predeceased by his much-loved daughter Eileen, special grandson Jamie, and his first wife Antrese. He leaves 14 grandchildren.

Visitation to be held at St. Anastasia Catholic Church in St. Augustine, FL (5205 A1A S.) on Thursday, January 12, 2023, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, January 13, 2023, at 11 a.m. Arrangements made by Ponte Vedra Valley Funeral Home. Memorial donations may be made to the V Foundation for Cancer Research, 14600 Weston Parkway, Cary, NC 27513 or https://www.v.org.