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Ronzone, Richard James, 1917-1989


Richard “Dick” J. Ronzone (1917-1989) was active in the local politics and civic affairs of Las Vegas, Nevada, serving as a Clark County Commissioner, a Nevada State Assemblyman, and a member of the University Board of Regents. He inherited and managed his family's retail store which dated back to the early 1900s. Ronzone also helped develop the Municipal Golf Course and was active in the Elks Lodge, Rotary Club, Veterans Of Foreign Wars, Reserve Officers Association, and the Boulder Dam Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Richard Ronzone was born on October 7, 1917 in Manhattan, Nevada. He was the child of Bertha and Attilio "Ben" Ronzone, Las Vegas pioneers who moved from one mining camp to another during the time of the gold rush. The Ronzone family decided to start a business in providing clothing and basic supplies to miners, their retail stores opening in locations such as Tonopah, Manhattan, Silver Peak, and Beatty, Nevada. Due to the decrease of mining activity, the Ronzones seeked financial welfare by opening a ladies ready-to-wear store in Las Vegas, Nevada as one of the first stores in the city in 1929. The business flourished as a result of the construction of the Hoover Dam, so the Ronzones opened a store on Fremont Street in 1939. Richard Ronzone graduated from Las Vegas High School and matriculated at the University of Nevada for three years until his father’s death in 1938, which forced him to return to Las Vegas and help manage the store.

In 1941, Ronzone joined the Nevada National Guard and served in an anti-aircraft battalion in World War II. After serving in Europe, he returned in 1946 and became the general manager of the store. He married Ann Roeth in January 1947 and grew an interest in local politics in the early 1950s. Ronzone was elected to the Clark County School District, served as a member of the Nevada Southern Campus fund, and acted as founding chairman of the Las Vegas Downtown Improvement Committee (now the Las Vegas Downtown Progress Association).

After relocating his family store in 1969 to Las Vegas' first mall, the Boulevard on Maryland Parkway, Ronzone sold the business the following year. Ronzone then involved himself more in state politics, serving as a Clark County Commissioner from 1972 to 1984, a Nevada State Assemblyman from 1971 to 1972, and as a part of the first University Board of Regents during the 1950s and 1960s. He displayed great leadership as the president of the Las Vegas Valley Water District, a member of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, and as a member of the Regional Transportation Commission. Ronzone passed away on January 21, 1989.


Hyman, Harold. "Las Vegas Leader Ronzone Dies." Las Vegas Sun. January 22, 1989.

"Ronzone, Richard J., 1917-1989." Ronzone, Richard J., 1917-1989. Social Networks and Archival Context. Accessed July 14, 2020.

Thompson, Sandy. "What they did for love: Ronzones helped dusty town grow into flowering community." Las Vegas Weekend, January 25, 1985.