Biography of Martyr Edoardo Agnelli

   “God opens all doors.”

                                                                           “Edoardo Agnelli”

Feuds, plotting, madness, debauchery and sudden deaths have so characterized the Agnelli clan that the locals say that if there are so many disasters that can hit a dynasty, the Agnellis have had most of them twice. In their home country the “Agnelli’s” have the same hallowed status accorded to the “Kennedy’s” in the United States. The giant of Italian manufacturing, Giovanni Agnelli, founded Fiat in 1899 with the investment of only 400 dollors. He became its chairman in 1920, steering Fiat and his good name into the history books.

After his death in 1945, his son Gianni became the scion of the dynasty. Gianni had a privileged upbringing, but was thrown into the war in 1940 and was wounded twice on the Russian front. It was two decades before he took over as president of Fiat in 1966, leading a worldwide expansion of its factories, from Soviet Union to South America, nick named as I’avoccato {the lawyer}. He was regarded by many as “the true king of Italy”. He forged strong relations with the Italian Communist party. Despite being an arch capitalist, he formed close friendship with international politicians such as “Henry Kissinger” and bankers such as “David Rockefeller” of the “Chase Manhattan Bank”. Gianni became the richest man in Italy. He married a princess, “Marella Caracciolo de Castagneto” in 1953.  Soon after their marriage, Edoardo Agnelli was born in New York; 9 June 1954 he was named after his grandfather, who tragically died in a plane crash.

Edoardo completed his basic studies at the “Liceo Classico Massimo d’Azeglio” in Turin, Italy. Later he studied at “Atlantic College in U K. He read modern literature and oriental philosophy at “Princeton University” where he graduated in Modern Literature. After leaving Princeton he took a long trip to India and Iran to reflect on his life, pursuing his interest in oriental religion and mysticism.

 It’s easy to assume that life would be a breeze if we had unlimited wealth, but money truly can’t buy happiness. Edoardo was born with a silver spoon but he secretly suffered emotionally.  Growing up in an aristocratic tradition where children were cared by nannies and were brought to see their parents only for a goodnight’s kiss made it even more difficult for them to connect with parents. His relationship with his father was difficult right from the start. The family did not often have meals together. In his later years, Edoardo took to calling the family’s butler each day for an update on the news of his father. “It was like something straight out of the film, “The King’s speech”, said a family member, referring to the Oscar winning film about King George VI. Edoardo’s biographer, Marco Bernardini, a sports journalist, tells a heart breaking tale of Edoardo at age nine that he says was recounted to him by Edoardo’s sister Margherita. The young boy was told by his father to have dinner early and then get ready to go to a Juventus soccer game. Gianni would come by the mansion at Villar Perosa and pick him up. Edoardo wolfed down his dinner, and then waited around with a black and white Juventus scarf around his neck. But evening turned to nightfall and his father never turned up. Edoardo woke up the next day with his clothes on and with the scarf still around his neck. He suffered from his father Gianni’s frigid treatment of him, his inability to love and have normal family relations is well known. His mother Marella seems to also have been an absentee parent, “Eduardo suffered a lot from having a father who didn’t care about him and a mother who was more interested in running after the father trying not to lose him.” said a family friend. It was a family accustomed to power and uncomfortable with affection.

Edoardo Agnelli was Gianni’s only son…

Gianni had formed relationships with International bankers and politicians largely through his membership at the Bilderberg Group, which he regularly attended since 1958. He formed particular relationships with Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger and David Rockefellers. He turned the family company, Fiat into a business machine that transformed post war Italy into the world’s fifth strongest economic nation and himself into a colossus of power, privilege and style.  Gianni was preparing his son Edoardo to inherit the family’s large fortune and influence… During his life, the be-spoke suited Gianni Agnelli held stake in the world show case as an industrialist, Italian senator, principal share holder of Fiat and the richest man in modern Italian history with a net worth estimated of 2billion dollars. He had basically no relationship with his own children. During his forty years in power he was probably the most important man in Italy’s economy, yet he failed to groom a family heir…

Edoardo was the sole heir of the legendary wealth of Italy’s royal family.

 But Edoardo had little interest in material possessions, he devoted most of his time in the study of philosophical and spiritual themes. Edoardo spent the 90s without any special particular position he spent his time reading, writing, travelling and engaging in humanitarian activities. He was a man who always moved against the flow of river. His father Gianni continually challenged Edoardo to make decisions about his future, but Edoardo always evaded him. He never liked to blindly follow others. He wanted to bring new things in this world considering his family customs and traditions that was naturally impossible. When he was just 22 years old, he argues in the press against “Margherita Hack” defending the values of astrology. He visited India several times, where he met the Holy man Sai Baba, subsequently Edoardo goes to Tehran, Iran where he is impressed by the mystical figure Ayatollah Khomeini and embraces Shiite Islam.

During the days of Islamic Revolution, people came in large numbers to Iran from Asia, Africa, America and the European countries. The Islamic Revolution that signaled an indisputable sea of changes attracted a lot of international attention. Due to his family’s political and financial status, Edoardo had come face to face with different kinds of political and religious figures all over the world. However his meeting with Ayatollah Khomeini essentially changed his life forever. Edoardo was captivated by Ayatollah Khomeinis simple yet glorious spiritual lifestyle. According to Mohammed Hassan Ghadiri Abyaneh, (Iran’s ambassador to Mexico) “Edoardo Agnelli declared faith to Fakhroddein Hejazi and became a Shia Muslim. He was deeply impressed by the Islamic Revolution of Iran. During his visit to Imam Khomeini, Imam kissed his forehead. A number of our friends who were members of the Islamic society of Italy were also present. They translated what they heard and told us that the meeting with Imam Khomeini had deeply moved Edoardo. None of the papers wrote a word about Edoardo becoming a Muslim except for Mr. Igorman, journalist of the La Stampa newspaper, owned by the Fiat conglomerate. He said that Edoardo spoke a lot about meeting Ayatollah Khomeini and how he was influenced. Mr.Igorman was the only person who wrote an article on Edoardo’s choice to become a Muslim.”

Aytollah Rafsanjani, mentions in his book “Crossing the crisis” page no 45 that, “Mr. Fakhreddin Hejazi and the son of the Fiat Magnate, Edoardo who had converted to Islam met Imam Khomeini and discussed the needs of Islamic students living abroad.” According to Hashmi Rafsanjani’s book the meeting took place on April 9, 1981 in the presence of Ayotallah Khomeini and his son Ahmad Khomeini.

Dr. Muhammad Abdollahi and his brother Dr. Hussain Abdollahi were the closest Iranian friends of Edoardo and knew his deepest secrets. He learned about Islam and Quran and had done some research in the area during his studies at Princeton University in America. He conducted research on all the different religions, after having studied all them, and finally he choose to be a Shia Muslim and no one managed to change his opinion during the rest of his life.

 The Italian press reported the Iranian ‘revelations’ on his repeated visits to Qom in the late 70s and early 80s as true, and also accepts his conversion as probably true and these reports were never denied by the Agnelli family.

Ginnani Agnelli had everything that a man could ask for except one thing… a child to whom he could bequeath his fortune his only son, Edoardo his only successor.

Edoardo could have the inheritance only under one condition, that he should renounce his newly found faith…..

He was disinherited, threatened by his father with institutionalization and was reduced to ask his father’s advisers for his allowance.

 The closest he came to a responsible management role was as a director of the Agnelli owned Juventus football club in the 1980s- along with his cousin Giovanni Alberto, who was 10 years his junior. Juventus is something for more than a business to the Agnelli clan. During an important game in April 1986, Edoardo appeared in the dugout with the coach and players giving advice. He was hoping to have a managerial role running the team. But all hell broke loose when Edoardo gave an interview to Tutto sport in which he laid out his strategy for the team and made the mistake of saying the Juventus president Giampiero Boniperti “tired out” hinting perhaps that he should resign. Boniperti was furious. The journalist Marco Bernardini was invited to the Agnelli law firm and “asked” to retract the story. He refused. Later that year, Edoardo attracted the wrong sort of attention in another public appearance. On October 27, 1986 Pope John Paul II hosted the first World Day of Prayer and Peace. Leading world religious leaders in a day of prayer and fasting. Edoardo attended and gave two long interviews to two Italian media outlets, the left- wing newspaper “Manifesto” and the weekly news magazine “Panorama” about his own religious views.

Religion is a “ private  relationship between God and myself,” he said more worryingly for the heir to one of the world’s automotive dynasties, he said that it was  “utopian to think that capitalism would last forever” and added that he wanted to spend his time thinking about matters related to “religion, philosophy and fundamental values” because it’s no longer enough just to produce automobiles well” All the same, he did not intend to step back from a role in Fiat, he said “It is my intention to accept all responsibility that awaits the owner of a big industrial group like ours,” he said.

   He protested at being marginalized when younger relatives got permanent. He was never considered for an active role in the family business. He refused to take advantage of his shares in Dicembre and there by turning his back on the fortune that was his birth right. In an interview with the left-wing daily II Manifesto in 1988, he expressed his disappointment as being bypassed in favor of younger relatives. He complained that, “part of my family has been overtaken by a baroque and decadent logic. Meaning no offense to anyone, we are approaching the gesture of Caligula, who made his horse a senator.” This was thought to be a reference to his 25 year old cousin John Elkann, the hot tip to take over the reins when he is fully groomed. 

Tension over Fiat succession came to a head in 1986 when Edoardo announced his interest in taking charge of Italy’s top Industrial conglomerate. In a news paper interview in Assisi he criticized his family, “my personal search as a voluntary abstention from the problems of the group, as though I were incapable of assuming responsibilities.” Italian inheritance laws force parents to leave their property to their surviving children. In other words, Gianni by law was not free to pick an heir. So when Edoardo would inherit the company, sometimes in the future. They feared that Fiat would be controlled by an outspoken critic of capitalism. His family thought that it was dangerous for him to inherit all this wealth after his conversion. What would Edoardo have done with this enormous wealth and influence that is beyond our wildest dreams? Maybe he would have spent it to help the oppressed, uplift the impoverished, oppose imperialism…

He saw through the reality of expensive cars, wealth, political influence and more as nothing but a distraction and a product of man’s greed, selfishness, egoism, evil and overcompensation of insecurities. He preferred the spiritual life and was known by many as a mystic. Angelo Magrini, the chairman of a blood donor’s association in Turin, paid tribute to his social sensibilities and his generous work of charity.  

Edoardo hit the headlines in October 1990, when he was arrested in the Kenyan beach resort of Malindi for possession of heroin. “I feel exhausted,” he said on leaving court after learning his acquittal on the drug charges. “It has been a tough battle, which I think I have faced fundamentally on my own.” He was constantly threatened by his family, that if he doesn’t give up his beliefs he will not inherit the wealth. They even made subtle remarks suggesting that his life was also at stake if his beliefs remain….

Dr. Hasan Ghadiri says, “It was very hard for the people of Italy, the center of Christianity, to accept that Senator Agnelli’s only son had turned towards Islam. They were very upset about his decision to become a Muslim and pressured him to change his mind. They boycotted him, threatened him, they voted to disinherit him and actually did it. They claimed that Edoardo had become insane and forced him into a private mental hospital, as Edoardo later stated, “There were only Jewish and Zionist doctors. He was extremely worried. He said, “Jews will finally kill me one day, they are doing everything in their power to turn me away from Islam, but I shall never do that.” He even fled the hospital once.” Many people believe that Edoardo’s sister marrying a Jewish journalist was not accidental. It seems that the family link with the Zionist was solid and strong.

  Upon the upper hills of the northern Turin lies the enormous and magnificent Villa called La Villa Sole, this Villa is Agnelli’s main home. It was the place where Edoardo underwent intense pressure to reconsider his beliefs. It was the place where he faced degradation for he was deprived of the most basic needs of life, where he was imprisoned for a very long time. The house has been flash frozen since the day its owner left it…..

Marco Bava, a financial analyst and a friend of Edoardo says in an interview, “I met him in 1987- 88 at a meeting of Agnelli family which discussed the company’s control. I took the elements that Edoardo did not know that the control of the company was changing. The Agnelli family was forming the company, and Edoardo was excluded from succession.” According to Dr. Marco Bava, “Edoardo was one of the most transparent and fair people I’ve come across in my life. He felt it as his duty to distribute through social actions, being good to people and taking care of the less fortunate. These were the great privileges that Edoardo was blessed with at birth. He always wanted to try to convey his good fortune and his great privilege to others who did not have the same luck. I would call him a generous, helpful and simple person. Even though, we discussed economic issues and international politics. I knew that he had chosen the Iranian Republic as his second country of adoption. In a sense that he did not feel safe in his own country, he was afraid of being killed. Many a times as his fear became more pressing he fled to Iran. His relations with the United States were bad especially he had skirmishes discussions with Henry Kissinger, we all know this was a very important figure in US history. From religious point of view, I perceived that he had an attraction towards Islam and he maintained good relations with the Pope Giovanni Paolo II.”

Thursday, November 15, 2000

Touring Savona highway northern Italy, the deputy of the touring Savona transportation network Carlo Frankeini was patrolling the wrong side of the street under the Romano Bridge. He saw empty silver Fiat Croma parked on the bridge with the motor running, lights on, doors unlocked. At first, he thought that the car faced a mechanical problem. The driver would have been forced to leave the car. On further investigating Frankeini saw the body lying below highway viaduct and notified the police at 10:30 am. Turin’s chief of police, Nicola Cavaliere, entered the Turin-Savona toll way and drove south until they got off at Fossano, and then wound down the hill to reach a field on the pebbly bank of the Stura River below  there on the ground, underneath a plastic cloth, lay the lifeless, bruised body of Edoardo, 46.  Police found Edoardo’s license at the scene.  On 15 November 2000 Edoardo Agnelli was found dead. The official story was that he jumped off “the bridge of suicides” near Turin, a bridge that belonged to his father’s construction company. Many believe Edoardo was “assassinated” by his own family to prevent a spiritual man with anti establishment politics from coming into such obscene levels of wealth. He died turning down wealth in exchange for righteousness. Gianni Agnelli died in 2003, if Edoardo had not been killed; he would have inherited the wealth in a post 9/11 world. One can only imagine what would happen if he used the money to counter the influence of global power structure, create official consortiums for challenging the 9/11 official story, and oppose the wars and corporatocracy around the globe. His story goes to show that most people have the capacity to change and break the cycle of their parent’s traditions if they were involved in corruption and oppression. This capacity is even true among the wealthy elite. Hopefully more children of the financial and political elites wake up and use their influence to affect change, no matter if the cost is their own life, because in doing so they will save the lives of both the present and the future generations of humanity and Earth as whole. Sadly, Edoardo’s death may  have served as means of striking fear into the hearts of the children  of the wealthy preventing them from coming forward even though their hearts may command them to.

The tragic story of Edoardo was published in Italy in a book entitled “Eighty meters of mystery” authored by Giuseppe Puppo a journalist, who with the help of interviews and unpublished testimonies conducts an investigation, rigorous and objective grouped to clarify the many doubts that characterize this case. The author in fact declares, “I remember the rumors, the articles, the allegations made in the time of Edoardo’s death reported by certain internet sites, the mysterious suicide, the power struggle, the exclusion of the child from all roles’. For six months I’ve collected testimonies from friends, relatives, others to rewrite the events of that day, 15 November 2000. I asked myself, when Lady Diana died in France, thousands of articles and several books were written and 32 investigation were carried out in England for a while. But Edoardo’s case was closed within 48 hours. The preface of the book is written by “Ferdinando Imposimato, one of Italy’s top prosecutors, magistrate in the past holds major terrorism investigations and the “Italian mysteries” gives the investigative book of Puppo further value. He says, “Journalist Giuseppe Puppo has examined the least convincing aspects of the suicide verdict. In his view the most likely motivating factor would have been straight greed and power lust on the Kissinger-linked Elkan side of the Agnelli family tree- in quite possible/probable conjunction with “Atlanticist” unwillingness to see the wealth and power concentrated in Fiat fall into the “dubious” hands of a man as idealistically unworldly as Eduardo. Edoardo Agnelli had studied comparative religion at Princeton he was by temperament a mystic not a dogmatist. His Islam was essentially that of Rumi.” Marco Bava, a financial analyst and friend of Edoardo was also interviewed by the author, Bava since the day of Edoardo’s death has sought the truth about what happened in those tragic moments. The author identified many of the consistencies and oddities like the absence of guards of Edoardo, the interval of two hours between leaving home and arriving on the Fossano viaduct, the Agnelli cameras- whose images have never been seen, telephone traffic on the two phones, the total absence of witness along a road section which recorded at least eight cars per minute passage, the absence of finger prints on the car, the hurried burial, missing post mortem examination. In this context the author’s book is an objective and balanced documenting the relationship between Edoardo and part of the family conflict relationship when Edoardo refused to give a month before his death in exchange for settlement, the rights of holding the company that controlled the empire and publicly denounced “attempts to radical exclusion from Fiat” and the intention of his father that he wanted to give the children of Margaret, John and Lapo Elkann, the surname of the Agnelli.

Dr. Marco Bava conducted an independent investigation of the entire incident and wrote a letter dated August 2001 to the highest legal authority highlighting numerous flaws of the “suicide” theory. His efforts at presenting the other view of the incident went without fruit, probably because of the great financial and political influence, the Agnelli family has over the Italian establishment.

Edoardo made sure to let his close companions know that they should not believe a word of anything if he dies and people say it was a suicide, drugs or other circumstances that are abnormal to his disciplined spiritual life. Edoardo had left no suicide note, and the people close to him later told the police that he had given no indication that he was planning  to do anything self destructive or indeed out of the ordinary.  It was speculated a suspected suicide, but many aspects of the story remain obscure and controversial. The investigations into his death were stored in a hasty manner and inexplicably, the fact that an autopsy was never done on his body and the incident was declared “suicide” in great haste also adds fuel to the controversy.

He is buried in Villar Perosa, near Turin, in the family tomb.



1. “Mondo Agnelli”: Fiat, Chrysler, and the power of dynasty.   Book by: Jennifer clark.  Chp.5, “A lament like a river.”

2. “ Edoardo Agnelli: Son of billionaire Italian killed for embracing Islam.”

3. The legendary ten: From humble beginnings to big business.

4. The Iran project. {The heir to Italy’s unofficial royalty was “suicided” by his own family.}   American Herald Tribune, by Ali Salaam.

5. Staff writer. “Interview with Dr. Marco Bava, a friend of Edoardo Agnelli” posted by Redazione. Cogitoergo {in Italian}. Retrived 11 December 2015

6. Suicide suspected after Fiat heir found dead| World news| The Guardian. Philip Willan in Rome

7. Edoardo Agnelli {1954-2000} Wiki Visually

8. Who is Edoardo Agnelli.  Bulletin

9. Edoardo Agnelli, who had embraced Islam and how?  Orient news, http//

10. The curse of inheritance: Do wealthy dynasties always make for happy heirs? – Features- Belfast Telegraph.

11. Edoardo Agnelli, The martyr of his belief.

12. Edoardo Agnelli: Son of Billionare Italian killed for embracing Islam- Islam for Muslims- Nairaland

13. A tale of two Dynasties… by Richard Bremner.

 14.   Edoardo Agnelli.

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