13.08.

1866: Giovanni Agnelli – Founder of FIAT and a Million-Dollar Dynasty

1866: Giovanni Agnelli – Founder of FIAT and a Million-Dollar Dynasty
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Pinerolo

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 13 August 1866
  • Giovanni Agnelli’s family became one of the wealthiest in Italy. The name FIAT is short for Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino.

Famous Italian businessman Giovanni Agnelli, the founder of FIAT, was born on this day in 1866.

Interestingly, he was born near the town of Pinerolo, known for being the site of the fortress where the “Man in the Iron Mask” was held captive.

Namely, that town today lies in Italy near the French border, but once belonged to the Kingdom of France and housed important prisoners such as Nicolas Foquet, King Louis XIV’s minister of finance, who also died there.

Giovanni Agnelli participated in the founding of the FIAT company in 1899. The name FIAT is short for Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino.

Agnelli later even became an Italian senator. His Agnelli family became one of the wealthiest in Italy. FIAT grew into a huge company, and is today also the majority shareholder of Chrysler, and the owner of Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, and Maserati.

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