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Joey Vento, owner of world-famous Geno's Steaks, dead at 71.

<br></br><br /><br /><br /><br />The bombastic, brash proprietor and philanthropist was a South Philadelphia icon.

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA. Joey Vento, proprietor of arguably the world's most famous cheesesteak shop Geno's Steaks, has died of a massive heart attack. He was 71.

Vento, whose controversial sign posted on the South Ninth Street eatery's window that read in part "Speak English" overshadowed his philanthropy in recent years, was boisterous beyond his slight frame.

Workers at his famous spot across from Pat's King of Steaks last night confirmed at 9 p.m. that their boss died of a massive heart attack. His family could not immediately be reached.

"We're keeping it quiet for the time being until the family releases a statement," a worker who answered the phone at Geno's said last night.

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