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Leandro Arpinati

Biographical information

Full nameLeandro•Arpinati
Used nameLeandro•Arpinati
Born29 February 1892 in Civitella di Romagna, Forlì-Cesena (ITA)
Died22 April 1945 in Argelato, Bologna (ITA)
NOC Italy


Leandro Arpinati was an Italian politician and sports official. A controversial figure, he was originally an anarchist after World War I, but was a follower of Benito Mussolini, and he became vice-secretary of the P.N.F. (National Fascist Party) from 1928-30. In 1926 he was named Podestà (mayor) of Bologna, a position which he left in 1929 to become Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior.

Arpinati held several positions in the Italian sports world. He was President of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) from 1931-33, President of the Italian Football Federation from 1926-33, President of the Italian Athletics Federation (1924-29), and led the Italian Swimming Federation from 1931-33. Due to his initiative the Bologna stadium, Il Littoriale, was opened in 1927 with a football match between Italy and Spain.

After disagreements with the secretary of the PNF, Achille Starace, Arpinati was charged as an enemy of the regime and confined first on Lipari Island (1934-37) and then to home detention near Bologna. Arpinati was always rebellious, and was an extreme individualist, which conflicted with the fundamentals of the regime. In 1943 Arpinati refused a personal invitation from Mussolini to join the Italian Social Republic (Salò Republic), but instead he supported the Resistance. Despite this, in April 1945 he was assassinated by a group of communist partisans.

Organization roles

Role Organization Tenure NOC As
President Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano 1931—1933 ITA Leandro Arpinati