Eugenio Scalfari

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The Honourable
Eugenio Scalfari
Eugenio Scalfari by Francesca Marchi - International Journalism Festival 2011 - cropped.jpg
Member of Italian Chamber of Deputies
In office
5 June 1968 – 24 May 1972
Personal details
Born (1924-04-06) 6 April 1924 (age 91)
Civitavecchia, Lazio, Italy
Nationality Italian
Political party National Fascist Party
Italian Liberal Party
Radical Party
Italian Socialist Party
Spouse(s) Simonetta De Benedetti (1950-2006)
Giuliana Rossetti (2008-present)
Children Two daughters
Residence Velletri, Lazio, Italy
Alma mater University of Genoa
Profession Journalist

Eugenio Scalfari (Italian: [euˈdʒɛnjo ˈskalfari]; born 6 April 1924 in Civitavecchia) is an Italian journalist, editor of the news magazine L'espresso (1963–1968), former member of parliament in the Italian Chamber of Deputies (1968–1972), co-founder of the newspaper La Repubblica and its editor from 1976 to 1996.

Early life[edit]


A law graduate with an interest in journalism and politics, Scalfari worked for on the influential postwar magazines Il Mondo and L'Europeo. In 1955 he was among the founders of the Radical Party.[1]

In October 1955, jointly with Arrigo Benedetti he co-founded one of Italy's foremost newsmagazines L'Espresso with capital from the progressive industrialist Adriano Olivetti, manufacturer of Olivetti typewriters.[2][3] The experienced Benedetti, who had directed the newsmagazine L'Europeo (1945–54), was the first editor-in-chief until 1963, when he handed over to Scalfari.[4]

In January 1976 the Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso also launched the centre-left daily newspaper La Repubblica in a joint venture with Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. Scalfari became the editor-in-chief and remained so until 1996.[4] Few believed such a venture could succeed in the already crowded Italian newspaper market, but under Scalfari’s skilful editorship La Repubblica prospered to the point of rivaling the prestigious Corriere della Sera in both sales and status as a national daily.[1]

He remains active in both La Repubblica and L'Espresso. He has also published a number of books including l’Autunno della Repubblica (Autumn of the Republic) (1969) and the novel Il Labirinto (The Labyrinth) (1998).[1]

Notable reporting[edit]

As a journalist, he was especially active in investigative reporting, uncovering illegal right-wing activities and major government cover-ups.[1] With Lino Jannuzzi he uncovered the attempted 1964 coup d'état by General Giovanni Di Lorenzo in May 1967.[5]

In July 2014, he reported, in an interview, Pope Francis's controversial statement that approximately 2% of the Catholic Church's total number of priests, including bishops and cardinals, were pedophiles.[6]


In 1968, Scalfari was elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies (1968–1972) as an independent aligned to the Italian Socialist Party (Partito Socialista Italiano, PSI) and handed over his post as editor to Gianni Corbi.[7]


He is an atheist.[8] In 2013, he received a personal and detailed explanation from Pope Francis about atheism and forgiveness.[9][10]


  1. ^ a b c d Encyclopedia of contemporary Italian culture, CRC Press, 2000, p. 747
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of contemporary Italian culture, CRC Press, 2000, p. 290
  3. ^ Encyclopedia of Italian literary studies, CRC Press, 2007, p. 980
  4. ^ a b History, Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso (Retrieved January 30, 2010)
  5. ^ Cento Bull, Italian Neofascism, p. 4
  6. ^ David Barrett; Nick Squires (13 July 2014). "Pope Francis says about 8,000 pedophiles are members of Catholic clergy, including bishops and cardinals". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Personal information and assignments in the V Legislature". Italian Chamber of Deputies. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  8. ^ La Repubblica, 8 May 2005
  9. ^ Papa Francesco scrive a Repubblica: "Dialogo aperto con i non credenti", La Repubblica, 11 September 2013. Retrieved 12 Sept 2013
  10. ^ Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own consciences, The Guardian, 12 Sept 2013. Retrieved 12 Sept 2013

Cento Bull, Anna (2007). Italian Neofascism: The Strategy of Tension and the Politics of Nonreconciliation, Oxford: Berghahn Books, ISBN 1-84545-335-2