A great man, a clever politician.
Was born in Carrù (Cuneo) on 24 March 1874.
He graduated in Law from Turin University in 1895 with a thesis on the agrarian crisis in England which was subsequently published in the Giornale degli economisti. He embarked on a university academic career and worked as a journalist, becoming a member of the editorial staff of the Turin daily La Stampa.
In 1902 he was appointed Professor of Financial Science and Financial Law, at Pisa and then at Turin universities, and in 1904 at the Bocconi University in Milan.
In 1903 he began writing for Corriere della Sera, which he left in 1925 following the resignation of Luigi Albertini as the editor of that paper. His scientific merits are internationally acknowledged.
In 1919 he became a Senator of the Realm.
Following the murder of Matteotti he took his distance from Fascism.
In March 1935 he cast his vote in the Senate against the motion unconditionally supporting the Ethiopian war.
On 25 July 1943 he was appointed Rector of Turin University. He obtained asylum in Switzerland when the armistice was declared, and returned to Italy only at the end of 1944.
On 5 January 1945 he was appointed Governor of the Bank of Italy, and in September became a member of the "Consulta Nazionale".
On 2 June 1946 he was elected to the Constituent Assembly on the National Democratic Union list. On 31 May 1947 he was appointed Minister of the Budget and Deputy Prime Minister in De Gasperi's 4th Government.
On 11 May 1948 he was elected President of the first Italian Republic.
He was sworn in and delivered his Address to Parliament on 12 May 1948.
On 11 May 1955 he became a member of the Senate.
His high scientific merits have been amply recognized:
- Member and Vice-President of Lincei’s Academy;
- Member of Science Academy in Turin;
- Member of “Institut International de Statistique de L'Aja”;
- Member of Econometric Society in Chicago;
- Honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Boston;
- Member of American Academy of Political and Social Science di Filadelfia;
- Honorary member in the American Economic Association;
- Honorary member in the Economic History Association of New York;
- Honorary president in the International Economic Association;
- Corresponding member in “Societè d'Economie Politique” in Paris;
- Vice-President of Economic History Society di Cambridge;
- Corresponding member of Coben Club of London;
- Corresponding member in the “Oesterreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften” in Vienna
- Honorary degrees from University in Paris and Algeri.
He died in Rome on 30 October 1961.