Gayda came to prominence as editor of Il Giornale d'Italia during the 1930s and 40's. Contemporary reportage in the press of Allied countries characterised him as a propagandist who was willing to write anything to support the regime of Benito Mussolini. Dr. Seuss lampooned Gayda, saying that "If you were to ask me, which you haven't, whom I consider the world's most outstanding writer of fantasy, I would, of course, answer: "I am." My second choice, however, is Virginio Gayda.".
Despite this, Gayda twice came into conflict with Mussolini. In the first incident, in a 1939 article titled "Che farà l'Italia?" ("What Will Italy Do?") written at the time of the Germany invasion of Poland, Gayda cast doubt on the wisdom of Italy entering the world war on the side of Germany. Mussolini, who was at that time planning to enter the war, criticised this article strongly. In the second incident, in an article published in Il Giornale d'Italia on the 17th of February 1943, Gayda acknowledged that the Axis powers have had difficulties in the war, and wrote that the most important factor in war was resilience. Since the Allies were widely understood to have greater industrial power than the Axis, this was seen as a tacit admission that defeat was likely. As a result Gayda did not appear in Il Giornale d'Italia again until the 23rd of March. Gayda was replaced as editor of Il Giornale d'Italia by A. Bergamini after the fall of the fascist regime on the 25th of July, 1943.
He was killed by allied bombing at home on the 14th of March, 1944, reportedly whilst studying English - "the language of Churchill and Eisenhower" - in preparation for the arrival of the allies.
- GAYDA, Virginio, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 52 (1999), Para. 1, - accessed here: http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/virginio-gayda_(Dizionario_Biografico)/ on the 6th of February, 2013
- "Press Agent For Mussolini - A Tough Job: Italian editor Virginio Gayda is a cynic who must love or hate according to orders, but who has made an art of his work" The Milwaukee Journal, P.24, 19th of September, 1941
- "Dr. Seuss: cartoon from 30 January 1941" - retrieved from http://www.k-state.edu/english/nelp/childlit/seuss/10130.html on the 6th of February, 2013
- GAYDA, Virginio, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 52 (1999), Para. 22 - accessed here: http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/virginio-gayda_(Dizionario_Biografico)/ on the 6th of February, 2013
- Cesare De Simone, Venti angeli sopra Roma, p. 313. De Simone ipotizza, maliziosamente, che Gayda si preparasse all'imminente arrivo (4 giugno 1944) delle truppe alleate a Roma: «[...] probabilmente aveva capito che i tempi stavano rapidamente mutando e aveva deciso di imparare la lingua di Churchill e di Eisenhower». Sullo stesso episodio vedi anche Paolo Monelli,