Luigi Einaudi (1874-1961)

Luigi Numa Lorenzo Einaudi was born in Carrù (CN) on 24th March 1874.

Soon orphaned by his father, he moved to Dogliani, his mother’s hometown, with her and his three brothers. He attended the Umberto I national boarding school in Turin and successfully graduated from the Cavour classical high school, before graduating with top marks in Law at the University of the same city. During those years, he also participated in the Political Economy Workshop, founded and directed by economist Salvatore Cognetti De Martiis, who was his first mentor.

It was precisely during his university period that he approached the socialist movement, thanks also to his collaboration with the magazine Critica sociale, directed by Filippo Turati.

After a short period of teaching at secondary schools – where he met his future wife, Ida Pellegrini, who was his pupil at the time – he won the chair of Finance Science at the University of Turin in 1902. In the following years, he devoted himself to teaching and written production, both academic and journalistic, signing thousands of articles for numerous magazines such as La Stampa, Il Corriere della sera and L’Unità.

On 6th October 1919, he was appointed senator of the Kingdom of Italy, at the proposal of Francesco Saverio Nitti.

Despite an initial sharing of the economic choices made by Benito Mussolini, in the following period Einaudi would show a progressive and increasingly deep-rooted distrust, which would lead him to distance himself from Fascism: he would in fact be one of the signatories of the Manifesto degli intellettuali antifascisti, drafted by Benedetto Croce in 1925.

Under external pressure, he formally swore his loyalty to the regime in order to keep his university teaching, yet he was one of the senators who voted against the electoral law that sanctioned the single list formed by the Grand Council of Fascism (1928), as he also declared his opposition to the Ethiopian War and the racial laws of 1938.

When the war ended and the fascist regime fell, Einaudi was appointed rector of Turin University. Having moved to Switzerland with his wife and three children, he devoted himself to writing, revealing himself to be an ‘ante litteram pro-European’, who advocated a federalist Europe, by virtue of the principle of international cooperation in which he firmly believed.

On 11th May 1948, the Piedmontese statesman was elected President of the Republic with 518 votes out of 872 (59.4%), remaining in office until 11 May 1955.

He died in Rome on 30th October 1961.

You can consult the birth certificate on the Ancestors Portal: Archivio di Stato di Cuneo > Stato civile italiano > Carrù > 1874

The original is kept at the State Archives in Cuneo.

For more on the figure of Luigi Einaudi, see the Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani entry edited by Riccardo Faucci.

His personal archive is kept at the Luigi Einaudi Onlus Foundation.

Archivio di Stato di Cuneo > Stato civile italiano > Carrù > 1874
Abruzzese Audiovisual Heritage Archive CSC – National Archives of Enterprise Cinema The Tragic life of Erminia Imbriano From the Spanish Flu to Covid-19 Life on Film, from the National Family Film Archive Superoptimists – Regional archive of family films Cinescatti – Laboratory 80 Humanitarian Society – Sardinian Film Library