Ezio Maria Gray
Gray, a staunch critic of socialism, was a founder member of the Italian Nationalist Association in 1910. He dropped out of politics to serve in the Italian Army during the First World War and afterwards in Dalmatia.
On his return to Italy he became a supporter of fascism and set up the Novara fascio in 1920. Gray was elected to parliament for the fascists in 1921 and was appointed to the National Directorate in 1924. The following year he was appointed to the Grand Council of Fascism and in 1927 he took over the editorship of the fascist journal Il Pensiero di Benito Mussolini. Away from his party duties he was a leading figure in the Società Dante Alighieri, President of the Ente Autonomo della Stampa and a businessman with a reputation for shady dealings.
Gray served in the army during the Second World War before returning to civilian life as a radio broadcaster. His broadcasts were especially noted for their anti-Semitic content. His position grew towards the end of the Italian fascists period and on 23 July 1943 he was appointed vice-president of the Chamber of Fasci and Corporations. Gray continued to be an important figure in the Italian Social Republic and was appointed head of the Ente Italiano per le Audizioni Radiofoniche during the republic's brief existence. Following the collapse of this regime he was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for his leading role in the fascist government.
Soon after being sent to prison however Gray was amnestied and in 1947 he launched his own journal, La Rivolta Ideale, which pressed a neo-fascist line. He then edited Il Nazionale, the paper of the Italian Social Movement and became a leading figure on the hard-line tendency, supporting Giorgio Almirante in his struggles with the more moderate Arturo Michelini. In the MSI he became noted for his support for seeking an accommodation with political Catholicism, seeing this as a way to rehabilitate fascism, and to this end held a number of surreptitious meeting with Azione Cattolica leader Dr. Luigi Gedda. Gray returned to parliament, serving the MSI as a deputy from 1953 to 1958 and in the Senate from 1963 to 1968.
- Philip Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890, 1990, p. 161
- Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right, p. 162
- Emilio Gentile, The Struggle for Modernity: Nationalism, Futurism, and Fascism, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003, p. 174
- Luisa Quartermaine, Mussolini's Last Republic: Propaganda and Politics in the Italian Social Republic (R.S.I.) 1943-45, Intellect Books, 2000, p. 63
- Richard A. Webster, The Cross and the Fasces: Christian Democracy and Fascism in Italy, Stanford University Press, 1960, p. 213