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Famous Puglians - Aldo Moro
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Famous Puglians - Aldo Moro

Aldo Moro (1916 - 1978) was a former Prime Minister of Italy, prominent political leader and member of the catch-all Christian Democracy political party. He is best known for being one of Italy’s longest-serving post-war PMs.

The manner of Aldo Moro’s death also dominates his legacy. During a time of political faction, he was kidnapped by far-left insurgents. His body was later found in the boot of a parked car in Rome 55 days later, covered in bullet wounds.

Aldo was born in September 1916 in the town of Maglie, in the province of Lecce in Puglia. His parents both worked in the education industry and were strong Catholics. Aldo would attend church-sponsored youth groups as a teenager. He then continued this into his education at the University of Bari, where he studied law and was president of the Catholic student chapter. After graduation, he became firstly a Professor of Philosophy of Law and Colonial Policy, then Criminal Law at his alma mater.

Around his graduation, he made an important lifelong friendship; that of Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Pope Paul VI. In 1945, against the backdrop of Mussolini’s Fascist uprising, Aldo was elected onto the Constituent Assembly on the Christian Democratic. Despite being the youngest electant, he rose quickly through the ranks. In 1948, he served as an undersecretary to the Foreign Minister.

In 1954, Aldo took his place in his first cabinet role. Under Antonio Segni’s leadership, he became the Minister of Grace and Justice. He instantly began historic reforms of the prison system.

Three years later, he was appointed Minister of Education. His most notable move was introducing the study of civic education in schools, educating students on their civil rights. In 1959, Aldo became the secretary of the Christian Democracy party.

Around this time, he had an increasing reputation for his staunchly anti-Fascist and anti-Communist politics. In 1963, Aldo Moro became Prime Minister of Italy under a coalition government.

Under his first premiership, he oversaw a series of sweeping reforms, revaluing pensions and raising the national living wage. However, he gradually lost the support of socialists in the light of tough economic times. In 1968 he left office. Six years later, he was back in the role of PM. This time he would last only two years.

Over the six years of his leadership, he earned a reputation for not only being a brilliant public speaker but possessing an ability to unite antagonists.

Indeed, it was this that ultimately led to his downfall. Just five days following his conclusion of a Christian Democracy and Communist Party coalition, his car and five bodyguards were attacked by a dozen armed ultra-left-wing terrorists. He was kidnapped and taken to a secret location.

The Communist Party The Red Brigade took credit for the kidnapping. After the Italian government refused to negotiate with the kidnappers, they announced Aldo Moro would be executed.

Shortly after, he sent a farewell letter to his wife, saying, “They have told me that they are going to kill me in a little while, I kiss you for the last time.” His body was then discovered on Via Caetani, 300 yards from his beloved Communist Democracy party HQ.