Farewells: Vittorio Valletta (1883 - 1967)

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Vittorio Valletta

Vittorio Valletta
Vittorio Valletta
Honorary president of Fiat and its former managing president, Vittorio Valletta, died on 10 August 1967 in his villa at Focette di Pietrasanta near Viareggio. Vallletta was born on 28 July, 1883, in Sampierdarena near Genova, graduated in economy and became a professor of this subject, which is why he was commonly called "ll Professore".

He joined Fiat on 1 April, 1921, at the invitation of then owner, Giovanni Agnelli, and quickly went to the top, becoming, in 1928, general manager and director; after the war and the ensuing troubles during which he was thrown out by the workers' union on the grounds of having sympathized with the fascist regime, he was called back and nominated president in 1946.

He used to recall how he took literally his orders from the dying senator Agnelli, who told him to "make Fiat greater, giving more working opportunities to the people, and producing cheaper and better cars".

This he did, bringing Fiat up among the biggest vehicle makers in the world, and making it an important industry in every aspect of the mechanical field (Fiat not only makes cars, but also diesel engines, tractors, railroad equipment, marine engines and airrcraft).

Valletta's masterpiece, however, can be considered the contract with the Russian Government, made in 1966, and with which Fiat committed itself to build in Russia an automobile factory capable of producing 600,000 cars per year.

In December 1966, the President of Italy nominated Valletta as one of the few senators for life, a privilege reserved for former presidents of the republic and few selected personalities. Also in his message, the Italian president cited Valletta as "the first Fiat worker, and one of the great men who mostly conntributed to the Italian economic miracle and to the welfare of the country".
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