The son of Italian immigrants, Ross D. Siragusa was a true entrepreneur. He began his electronics business with almost no capital in the depth of the Depression and built it over the years until it had become one of the largest consumer electronics and appliance businesses in the world. This multi-talented businessman did not even have the advantage of a college education. His intelligence and drive to succeed were sufficient assets.
One of Siragusa's key strengths was product development, according to his business colleagues. He had a keen ability to sense what the public would buy and then had Admiral's engineers design the product. He also was not afraid to take risks. For example, he directed a major effort to produce affordable television sets immediately after World War II, a move that allowed Admiral to join the big league of electronics manufacturers. By 1974, Admiral had grown into a worldwide enterprise. That year Rockwell International Corporation acquired Admiral and the family was no longer involved.
Siragusa had a history of civic responsibility and charitable giving long before the founding of the Siragusa Family Foundation. He served as Board member of Goodwill Industries and was an early supporter of WTTW, Chicago's public television station. His love of music led him to accept a position on the Board of Directors of the Lyric Opera of Chicago during its formative years and to make generous contributions in support of Lyric's operations and growth. He also made generous contributions of the Illinois Institute of Technology over a number of years.