Enzo Ferrari (1898-1988)
Enzo Ferrari – born Enzo Anselmo Giuseppe Maria Ferrari – was born in Modena on February 20, 1898.
Son of Alfredo, owner of a workshop that dealt in railroad materials, and Adalgisa Bisbini, of noble Forlì ancestry.
It was thanks to his father, who already owned several automobiles in the early 1900s, that Enzo became passionate about the industry as a child, leaving his studies early to work in the family garage. However, the untimely deaths-just a few months apart-of his parent and older brother, along with his enlistment in World War I, forced him to revise his plans.
When the war ended and he recovered from severe pleurisy, he found work first as a test driver and then as a racing car driver, between Turin and Milan: from 1919 to 1931, in fact, he participated in numerous races, often achieving excellent positions and victories. After a long association with Alfa Romeo, both as a driver and as a business consultant, Enzo Ferrari founded, in 1929, the team that bore his name.
In 1931, he decided to hang up his helmet and end his racing career, as the impending birth of his son Alfredo, nicknamed “Dino” (1932-1956), born of his marriage to Laura Garello, required him to take on a new role in the professional sphere as well.
In 1947, the first Ferrari racing car made its debut, ushering in a new historical chapter in automotive production: not surprisingly, in the following years, the Ferrari company was able to produce a series of prestigious racing and gran turismo models, capable of achieving-until the present day-exceptional results at the most prestigious world championships. Merit for this success was also the skill with which “the Commendatore” knew how to surround himself and avail himself of drivers and technicians of the highest level, enabling his name to maintain an internationally recognized competitiveness.
In 1969, Enzo retired from his role at the head of the company, but continued to influence it until his death: his dedication to technical perfection in racing cars had, in fact, become legendary. His legacy was collected by his son Piero, born in 1945, from his longtime relationship with Lina Lardi.
Enzo Ferrari died in Modena on August 14, 1988.
You can consult the birth certificate on the Ancestors Portal: Archivio di Stato di Modena > Stato civile italiano > Modena > 1898
The original is preserved at theState Archives of Modena.
For more on the figure of Enzo Ferrari, see the entry of the Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani edited by Franco Amatori.