(Jan. 13, 1939-Jan. 23, 1985). An Indianapolis native, Palamara graduated from Cathedral High School before earning his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan, in 1960. Following two years at General Motors (GM), where he worked on the Apollo space program, Palamara completed a master’s and a doctorate in engineering mechanics at Wayne State University in Detroit.

In 1964, Palamara returned to Indianapolis, working as an engineer at GM’s Allison Division until the following year when he became associate professor and coordinator of graduate programs at Purdue University’s Indianapolis campus, later Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). In 1968, he teamed with fellow Purdue professors Albert R. Sadaka and J. Melvin Ebbert to found Anacomp, a computer services firm. The name combines the words “analyze” and “compute.”  Two years later, Palamara became president and chairman of the company.

Under Palamara’s leadership, Anacomp grew from 1978 sales of $23.4 million to 1982 sales of $109.7 million. At that point, Palamara’s personal net worth was estimated at $10 million. Reversals came in 1983 and 1984 with combined losses of $120 million. Within two years, Palamara managed to turn the company around. It became profitable again shortly before his death in 1985.

Anacomp maintained its headquarters in Carmel after Palamara’s death but shifted its base of operations to Atlanta. The firm retained its profitable micrographics division but sold its unprofitable or unrelated subsidiaries including real estate, software development, and television station Wxin, Channel 59.

Active in numerous community organizations, Palamara was a director of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and a director-at-large of the Indianapolis Museum of Art (now Newfields). In the early 1980s, he attempted to bring a USFL professional football franchise to Indianapolis before withdrawing his backing due to lack of support.

Revised February 2021

Help improve this entry

Contribute information, offer corrections, suggest images.

You can also recommend new entries related to this topic.