Edoardo Agnelli

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This article is about Gianni Agnelli's son. For Gianni Agnelli's father, see Edoardo Agnelli (industrialist).

Edoardo Agnelli (9 June 1954 – 15 November 2000) was the eldest son of Marella Agnelli (born Donna Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto) and Gianni Agnelli, the industrialist patriarch of Fiat.

Life[edit]

Agnelli was born in New York to Italian parents (his maternal grandmother was American). After studying at Atlantic College, he read modern literature and oriental philosophy at Princeton University,[1] where he was given the nickname Crazy Eddie for his wild behaviour.[2]

After leaving Princeton he travelled in India, pursuing his interest in oriental religion and mysticism,[1] and Iran, where he met Ayatollah Khamenei and was reported to have converted to Islam.[3] According to La Repubblica Agnelli's preoccupations became increasingly erratic, "Mysticism, Franciscanism, drugs, Buddhism, lectures against Capital, praise of the poor, criticism of the behaviour of Fiat.[4]

As an adult Agnelli claimed to be the heir apparent to the Fiat empire, but his father, who had already been unhappy with Edoardo's timidity when he was a child, ensured that he would not inherit it.[2] The only official position which the younger Agnelli held in the family businesses was as a director of Juventus football club,[5] in which capacity he was present at the Heysel disaster.[6]

In 1990 Agnelli was charged in Kenya with possession of 7 ounces of heroin, to which he pleaded innocent.[7] The charges were later dropped.[8]

Death[edit]

In November 2000, 46 year old Agnelli's body was found, near Turin, on a river bed beneath a motorway viaduct, on which his car was found abandoned.[1] The viaduct is known as the bridge of suicides.[9] The death was considered by Italian investigators to have been suicide.

A 2001 Iranian documentary film claimed[10] that Agnelli was the victim of a Zionist plot to prevent a Muslim becoming head of Fiat, in spite of the fact that he was not an heir to Fiat.[2] In the Italian press the documentary was commentated as "building up an Urban Legend by Iranian authorities".[10] In 2003 it was circulated by FARS, a press agency linked to Iran's revolutionary guard.[10] According to Corriere della Sera, the story is also enshrined at the Museum of Martyrs of Islam at Imam Sadiq University, Iran, which contains a portrait-shrine dedicated to Agnelli.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Johnston, Bruce (19 June 2001). "Fiat chief's son dies in viaduct plunge". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  2. ^ a b c Farnham, Alan (10 September 1990). "THE CHILDREN OF THE RICH & FAMOUS". CNN. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  3. ^ "The curse of inheritance: Do wealthy dynasties always make for happy heirs?". Belfast Telegraph. 19 July 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  4. ^ Aspesi, Natalia (16 November 2000). "Edoardo Agnelli, una vita fragile". La Repubblica (Rome). Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  5. ^ "Fiat family's search for an heir.". Sunday Business. 26 November 2000. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  6. ^ Darby, Paul; Johnes, Martin; Mello, Gavin (2005). Soccer and Disaster. Routledge. p. 82. ISBN 978-0-7146-5352-5. 
  7. ^ "TYCOON'S SON PLEADS". Post-Gazette. 23 September 1990. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  8. ^ "Death of a family firm?". The Sunday Business Post. 3 December 2000. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  9. ^ August, Melissa; Bower, Amanda; Cooper, Matthew; Frank, Steven; Keliher, MacAbe; Minhua, Ling; Martens, Ellin; Orecklin, Michele; Rawe, Julie; Song, Sora; Tyrangiel, Josh (27 November 2000). "Milestones". Time. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  10. ^ a b c "Edoardo Agnelli was a Shiite Martyr". Corriere della Sera. 11 November 2005. Retrieved 2009-03-01.