Quite a number of years ago, I found myself confused by references to “Vito Frank Mauro” that I couldn’t square with what I knew about Babe. As I continue to prance through the documents I’ve collected over the years, I found more papers that make it clear: Somewhere along the line, Babe was known as Vito.
Why? I cannot tell you.
But I have four documents that are obviously, definitely about Babe—but that do not refer to him by his birth name of Frank David Mauro. Well, let me modify that statement: One of them refers to him as Frank David Mauro, which is crossed out and replaced by Vito Frank Mauro.
I have a parental consent form for military service signed by Babe’s father allowing him to enlist in the naval reserve as an aviation cadet. This itself is interesting enough because we know that he did not enlist in the navy, but the army. This is the document that refers to Babe by both names.
I have two letters of reference from The Bullard Company, the machine works in Connecticut where Babe worked briefly after high school. One refers to Babe as “V.F. Mauro,” the other as Vito Frank Mauro.
Babe’s high school transcript from Mount Kisco High School also mysteriously refers to him as Vito Frank Mauro.
Alas, I have no great insights to share about this. With no relatives left to consult about it, it’s just a curiosity.