Gronchi, Giovanni(jōvän`nē grôn`kē), 1887–1978, Italian political leader. He entered parliament in 1919 as a member of the new Popular party. When Benito Mussolini seized power in 1922 and formed a coalition ministry, Gronchi became undersecretary for industry and commerce. He joined the opposition a few months later and was soon forced to retire from political life. After Mussolini's downfall, he helped to found the Christian Democratic party and served (1944–46) as minister for commerce, industry, and labor. He was later (1948–55) speaker of the chamber of deputies and served as president of Italy from 1955 to 1962.
See his autobiography (1962).
Born Sept. 10, 1887, in Pontedera. Italian politician and statesman.
Gronchi took part in the founding of the Catholic-inspired Italian People’s Party in 1919. In 1924 he joined the oppositionist Aventine bloc. He left politics after having been deprived of his parliamentary mandate by the fascist government in the beginning of 1925 (he had been a deputy since 1919). During the resistance movement (1943–45), he represented the Christian Democratic Party (created in 1943 based on the former Italian People’s Party) in the Committee of National Liberation. After World War II (1939–45). he became the leader of the leftist element of the Christian Democratic Party; these elements called for a more flexible policy in domestic and international affairs and made demands for some socioeconomic reforms and a more independent foreign policy for Italy. From 1948 to 1955, Gronchi was chairman of the Chamber of Deputies; from 1955 to 1962 he was president of the Italian Republic.