Born Mar. 31, 1899, in Florence; died Oct. 6,1969, in Rome. Leader in the Italian and international workers’ movement. Metalworker by trade; member of the Italian Communist Party from 1921.
During the years 1927–43, under sentence by a Fascist tribunal, Bitossi was in prisons and in exile. From 1943 to 1945, Bitossi took an active part in the struggle to liberate Italy from the Hitlerite invaders. From 1946 he was a member of the Central Committee of the Italian Communist Party; he was a deputy to the Constituent Assembly during 1946–47, and beginning in 1948, a senator. In 1945–46 and 1957–60, Bitossi was secretary of the Labor Board of Florence and from 1947 to 1957, secretary of the General Italian Confederation of Labor; from 1960 he served as director of the confederation’s National Institute of Social Assistance and as a member of the confederation’s Steering Committee. At the Fifth World Congress of Trade Unions (Moscow, December 1961), Bitossi was elected president of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), and he was reelected at the Sixth World Congress of Trade Unions (Warsaw, October 1965).