Frank Cannova (January 14, 1911 – November 29, 2005) was an American hotelier, businessman and entrepreneur.
He was born in Lodi, New Jersey to Sicilian parents Francesco and Catherina Cannova. His mothers maiden name was Triolo. His father who came to the United States from Sicily at the age of 9, was a millionaire by the time he was 35 years old. Frank Jr. with his family on ten acres of land in New Jersey. His father quit his job as a road contractor at his mothers request and moved to Miami. His father having lost several fortunes including one during the depression was a lesson for Frank Jr., that wealth can be here one day and the next day there's nothing. Frank dropped out of school to work and help the family. When he was 35 he went back to college. He then went to law school and at some stage was assistant attorney general of Florida.
He also served in the military during the second world war. In 1968, he moved to St. Petersburg from Hollywood, Fla.
He died on November 29, 2005 at Bayway Isle home at age 94. He was survived by a son Michael and two grandchildren. Also his two sisters Rose and Sally.
In 1968, he purchased The Aquatarium for 2 million. Some nine or ten years later, Cannova had a 10 million dollar lawsuit against the city for losses incurred at The Aquatarium after commissioners issued a permit for a water slide then reneged on it.
First America Development Corp.
By 1963, Cannova was president of First America Development Corp.
The Hawaiian Inn
In 1974, the corporation he headed took over The Desert Resort. Changing the theme and name, they turned it into a Polynesian one called The Hawaiian Inn. He was the director and major shareholder of Hawaiian Inns of Florida Inc.. His vice-president was Michael R. Triolo. In January 1975, Cannova had his birthday party held at the Inn with his father, relatives and friends present.
Cannova's picture and notes appear on the back of Samoan Elvis impersonator, Fatu Lauoletolo aka Mr. Fatu's album Mr. Fatu Sings Elvis with the caption, "Mr. Frank Cannova, The who makes the action happen." The album was recorded at The Hawaiian Inn's Aloha Lounge. In February 1979 as a result of a fire, Cannova sold the inn for around 2 million to Resort Inns of America which already owned a number of inns in the area.
Bank of St. Petersburg
In 1988, he bought into the Bank of St. Petersburg and had controlling interest of the bank. Prior to the purchase, the bank was under the control of Anchor Savings Bank. About two years later he was filing a lawsuit against Anchor with claims that he had been misled about the financial status of the Bank of St. Petersburg.