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He was born in Enna. A graduate in philosophy and (honoris causa) in psychology, Salerno founded the Kore University of Enna, and is the president of the university and the president of the university's foundation.
Salerno was elected to the province of Enna in 2003 with the 60% of the votes; he was a candidate of the main Italian centre-left party, Democrats of the Left.
- "Kore Enna punto di riferimento per le “Università Meridionali”". VivaEnna (in Italian). 15 January 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.