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Rudolph J. Melone: 1925-1998.
Rudolph Melone, founder of the Gilroy [California] Garlic Festival, received his doctorate at University of California/Berkeley and helped start Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona. In 1975 he became president of Gavilan Community College in Gilroy, California. Melone got the idea for the festival after reading about a similar event in France. He won support from the Rotary Club and enlisted local garlic growers and other businesses in the celebration. Staffed by more than 5,000 volunteers who receive an hourly "stipend" paid to the charities of their choice, the festival has raised more than $5 million for Gilroy charities in the first 20 years.

Article copyright American Botanical Council.


By Barbara A. Johnston