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(än-yĕl`lē), family of Italian industrialists.

Giovanni Agnelli, 1866–1945, served as a cavalry officer until 1892. One of the founders (1899) of Fiat (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino), he became its head in 1901. He also established (1907) Italy's first ball-bearing plant. Under Agnelli's leadership, Fiat became one of Europe's leading manufacturers of automobiles and also produced airplanes, railroad cars and locomotives, streetcars, and tractors as well as armament for the Italian military. He supported Benito MussoliniMussolini, Benito
, 1883–1945, Italian dictator and leader of the Fascist movement. Early Career

His father, an ardent Socialist, was a blacksmith; his mother was a teacher.
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, who rewarded Agnelli with an appointment (1923) to the Italian senate. An important figure in Italy's World War II mobilization, Angelli was removed from Fiat's leadership after the war's end.

His grandson, Giovanni Agnelli, 1921–2003, known as Gianni Angelli, studied law at the Univ. of Turin and was an army officer during World War II. He was named a vice president (1953) of Fiat, managing director (1963), and chairman (1966), returning the company to family control. Also active in politics, he was appointed to the Italian senate in 1991. Under his direction, Fiat diversified into banking, insurance, energy companies, real estate, chemicals, newspaper publishing, tourism, and other industries. Although the Fiat car company was in serious financial trouble by late 20th cent., Gianni Agnelli remained committed to the family's original business, which accounted for less than a quarter of Fiat's holdings when he died.

His younger brother, Umberto Agnelli, 1934–2004, also studied law at the Univ. of Turin (grad. 1959), served (1976–79) as a senator, and was a senior Fiat executive, spending many years running the family holding companies IFI (est. 1927) and IFIL (acquired 1958). He was largely responsible for the diversification of Fiat that occurred during Gianni's chairmanship. Upon his brother's death, Umberto succeeded him as chairman, serving until his own death.

Gianni's grandson, John Philip Elkann, 1975–, was his grandfather's chosen successor. Elkann, who grew up in Britain, Brazil, and France and studied engineering in Turin, joined the Fiat board at 22 and was widely considered the heir apparent to company leadership. After the death of his grandfather and great-uncle he became vice chairman of Fiat (now, after the purchase of Chrysler and in 2021 the merger with Peugeot, Stellantis) and of the family holding company Giovanni Agnelli e C.; he became chairman of both in 2010. In 2011 Elkann also became chairman of Exor (created by the merger of IFI and IFIL in 2009).

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References in periodicals archive ?
It slammed the merger as a "gift to the Agnelli family" (Fiat's leading shareholder).
Fiat Chrysler, which includes the holding company of the founding Agnelli family with a 29% stake, proposed that its shareholders get a $2.8 billion special dividend because of Fiat Chrysler's higher market value.
After a 2.5 billion euro dividend for existing FCA shareholders - giving a big upfront boost to the Agnelli family that controls 29% of FCA - investors in each firm would hold half of the new entity.
After a 2.5 billion euro dividend for existing FCA shareholders -- giving a big upfront boost to the Agnelli family that controls 29% of FCA -- investors in each firm would hold half of the new entity.
"I still have ties with the club and the Agnelli family are in control as they were when I was there.
Exor NV, the holding company of Fiat's founding Agnelli family, confirmed this morning that former Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) and Ferrari (RACE) CEO Sergio Marchionne has died.
The announcement came on the day that the Agnelli family held a key meeting of its holding company, during which Giovanni Agnelli had been expected to hand over the reins to younger brother Umberto Agnelli.
It is widely believed it came from the Agnelli family who bought the club in the 1920s, but the more cynical say it is a pun on Juventus meaning "youth" in Latin, and the club's tendency to hold on to players for too long.
He was a favourite of the Agnelli family, Juventus' main benefactors, and his love of life in Italy also saw him record, with some success, the song Sixteen Tons.
The Agnelli family was by far the most powerful and richest in the land of pasta, controlling newspapers, TV stations, heavy industries, and, of course, Fiat.