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Umberto Agnelli
Born (1934-11-01)1 November 1934
Switzerland Lausanne, Switzerland
Died 27 May 2004(2004-05-27) (aged 69)
Piedmont, Italy
Nationality Italy Italian
Occupation Head of Fiat and Juventus
Spouse(s) donna Antonella Bechi Piaggio (divorced)
donna Allegra Caracciolo di Castagneto
Children Giovanni Alberto Agnelli
Andrea Agnelli
Anna Agnelli

Umberto Agnelli (1 November 1934 – 27 May 2004) was an Italian industrialist and politician. He was the third son of Virginia Agnelli (born Donna Virginia Bourbon del Monte) and of Edoardo Agnelli, and whence he was the youngest brother of Gianni Agnelli.

He served as a CEO of Italian carmaker Fiat from 1970 to 1976[1] and, on the death of his brother Gianni, was briefly chairman of the FIAT Group, 2003-2004, until his own death, aged 69, the following year. He was also chairman and later honorary chairman of Juventus, the football team long-associated with FIAT and the Agnelli family, and was for a time the president of the Italian Football Association. He was a senator of the Italian Republic, from 1976 to 1979.


Agnelli was chairman of FIAT-controlled Juventus football club 1956–61 and was honorary chairman 1970–2004.

Agnelli was chairman of Fiat France 1965–80, chief executive officer of Fiat SpA 1970–76 and vice-president 1976–93. He was chairman of Fiat Auto 1980–90 and a member of International Advisory Board 1993–2004.

Though he was a senior executive in the family company, Fiat, he was sidelined from taking a leadership role by his brother Gianni until the latter's death in 2003. Only then did he take over as chairman of the whole Fiat Group, 2003-2004. The Group controlled several Italian newspapers and publishers in addition to the FIAT car-firms and Juventus football club.

Umberto was in the process of restoring Fiat's fortunes, following a period in which the company's balance sheet, market share and share value had all been in decline, when he suddenly died of lung cancer after barely 18 months in control. Despite this, Forbes magazine estimated he was the world's 68th richest man with an approximate net worth of US$5.5 billion. He was a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.[2]


Agnelli was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, the youngest of seven children. His life was beset by an unusual amount of tragedy and bereavement.

His father was Edoardo Agnelli, who died in an air crash when he was just a year old, and he was orphaned when his mother Virginia also died early, in a car-accident when he was still only 11.

In 1959 Agnelli married the heiress Donna Antonella Bechi Piaggio, from the well-known business-family of Piaggio. They had three sons but their first, twin boys, died shortly after birth.

The third son, Giovanni Alberto Agnelli, grew up to be the head of the maternal family-firm Piaggio, and was being groomed to succeed at Fiat, but died of cancer at the age of 33 in 1997. The son was survived by a wife, Avery Agnelli, née Howe, and a daughter, Virginia Asia Agnelli.

Umberto and Antonella Agnelli later divorced, and in 1974 Umberto married Donna Allegra Caracciolo di Castagneto. Allegra is the first cousin of Umberto's sister in law Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto, the wife of his brother Giovanni (Gianni). The ladies come from the old Neapolitan noble family that has, among other, the titles of nobility of Prince of Castagneto and Duke of Melito.

Umberto and Allegra had two children, a son named Andrea born in 1975, and a daughter Anna born in 1977. Andrea later followed in his father's footsteps by becoming chairman of Juventus, in 2010.


  1. ^ "Umberto Agnelli". news.independent.co.uk (London). 29 May 2004. Retrieved 2007-12-31. 
  2. ^ "Former Steering Committee Members". bilderbergmeetings.org. Bilderberg Group. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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127 news items


Tue, 09 Sep 2014 07:55:48 -0700

After getting over this family tragedy, Gianni began training his nephew Umberto Agnelli to eventually run Fiat. However, Umberto died of a rare cancer aged just 33. Another owner, the multi-billionaire Paul Getty, had his grandson kidnapped just after ...
First to Know
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 14:56:15 -0700

Agnelli was devastated and decided to train his nephew Umberto Agnelli to take over his role at Fiat. Unfortunately, Umberto contracted a rare form of cancer and died. Paul Getty assumed his fortune would be different as owner, so he bought La Gaiola.
The Offside
Sun, 07 Sep 2014 04:06:23 -0700

Umberto Agnelli, so they say, once issued you a blank check asking you to join Juventus for any sum you´d like to have. You refused the offer. Where is your connection with AC Milan rooted in? I was born in Milano, my father played at Milan, my family ...


Sat, 23 Aug 2014 01:15:54 -0700

Juventus face AS Milan and Sassuolo in the annual Trofeo TIM this afternoon. The annual competition was won by Sassuolo last year and is still considered to be a 'unlucky' considering that in 12 editions only twice have the winners gone on to win Serie ...
La Repubblica
Sun, 14 Sep 2014 22:48:45 -0700

Ma soprattutto è l'uomo che, con una Fiat in piena crisi, nel 2004 garantì la continuità dopo l'improvvisa morte di Umberto Agnelli, quando la famiglia temeva che l'amministratore delegato Giuseppe Morchio volesse approfittare del vuoto di potere. Ma ...


Thu, 11 Sep 2014 16:40:07 -0700

LA FAMIGLIA Ha avuto momenti di tensione con Marchionne solo quando ebbe a dichiarare che «la Fiat è fatta a immagine di Umberto Agnelli». Gli eredi di Umberto, esaminato il listino, chiesero e ottennero da Marchionne una rettifica e le scuse in pubblico.

Alto Adige

Alto Adige
Thu, 11 Sep 2014 01:03:45 -0700

Non si sono mai amati, Luca di Montezemolo e Sergio Marchionne. La loro è stata una convivenza difficile fin dall'inizio, quando dieci anni furono chiamati al capezzale della Fiat rimasta orfana di Umberto Agnelli: il primo come presidente, il secondo ...


Thu, 04 Sep 2014 11:22:30 -0700

Conoscevo Umberto Agnelli e gli chiesi di farmi incontrare l'Avvocato. Gianni Agnelli mi ricevette. Non avevo nulla di sicuro in mano. Risposta: ok facciamo la Coppa America. Chiamò Luca di Montezemolo e lo mise al lavoro». Gianni Agnelli in privato?

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