Benito Mussolini

Italian politician and journalist who founded and led the National Fascist Party

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini KSMOM GCTE (29 July 1883 – 28 April 1945) was an Italian politician and journalist who served as Prime Minister of Italy from 1922 to 1943. He also was the leader of the National Fascist Party.

Benito Mussolini
Prime Minister of Italy[a]
In office
31 October 1922 – 25 July 1943
MonarchVictor Emmanuel III
Preceded byLuigi Facta
Succeeded byPietro Badoglio
Duce of the Italian Social Republic
In office
23 September 1943 – 25 April 1945
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Duce of Fascism
In office
23 March 1919 – 28 April 1945
Preceded byMovement established
Succeeded byMovement abolished
Ministerial positions
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
5 February 1943 – 25 July 1943
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byGaleazzo Ciano
Succeeded byRaffaele Guariglia
In office
20 July 1932 – 9 June 1936
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byDino Grandi
Succeeded byGaleazzo Ciano
In office
30 October 1922 – 12 September 1929
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byCarlo Schanzer
Succeeded byDino Grandi
Minister of the Colonies
In office
20 November 1937 – 31 October 1939
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byAlessandro Lessona
Succeeded byAttilio Teruzzi
In office
17 January 1935 – 11 June 1936
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byEmilio De Bono
Succeeded byAlessandro Lessona
In office
18 December 1928 – 12 September 1929
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byLuigi Federzoni
Succeeded byEmilio De Bono
Minister of War
In office
22 July 1933 – 25 July 1943
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byPietro Gazzera
Succeeded byAntonio Sorice
In office
4 April 1925 – 12 September 1929
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byAntonino Di Giorgio
Succeeded byPietro Gazzera
Minister of Corporations
In office
20 July 1932 – 11 June 1936
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byGiuseppe Bottai
Succeeded byFerruccio Lantini
Minister of the Interior
In office
6 November 1926 – 25 July 1943
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byLuigi Federzoni
Succeeded byBruno Fornaciari
In office
31 October 1922 – 17 June 1924
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byPaolino Taddei
Succeeded byLuigi Federzoni
Member of the Chamber of Fasces and Corporations
In office
23 March 1939 – 2 August 1943
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
11 June 1921 – 22 March 1939
Personal details
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini

(1883-07-29)29 July 1883
Dovia di Predappio, Forlì, Kingdom of Italy
Died28 April 1945(1945-04-28) (aged 61)
Giulino di Mezzegra, Como, Italian Social Republic
Cause of deathSummary execution
Resting placeSan Cassiano cemetery, Predappio, Italy
Political partyPNF (1921‍–‍1943)
Other political
Height5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
(m. 1914; div. 1915)
(m. 1915)
Domestic partner
RelativesMussolini family
Military service
Allegiance Kingdom of Italy
Branch/service Royal Italian Army
Years of service1915–1917 (active)
Unit11th Bersaglieri Regiment
a. ^ As Head of Government, Prime Minister, Secretary of State from 24 December 1925



Early life

Birthplace of Benito Mussolini in Predappio

Benito Mussolini was named after Benito Juarez, a Mexican opponent of the political power of the Roman Catholic Church, by his anticlerical (a person who opposes the political interference of the Roman Catholic Church in secular affairs) father.[1] Mussolini's father was a blacksmith.[2] Before being involved in politics, Mussolini was a newspaper editor (where he learned all his propaganda skills) and elementary school teacher.[3]

At first, Mussolini was a socialist, but when he wanted Italy to join the First World War, he was thrown out of the socialist party. He 'invented' a new ideology, Fascism, much out of Nationalist and Conservative views.

Rise to power and becoming dictator

platform of Fasci Italiani di Combattimento

In 1922, he took power by having a large group of men, "Black Shirts," march on Rome and threaten to take over the government. King Vittorio Emanuele III gave in, allowed him to form a government, and made him prime minister. In the following five years, he gained power, and in 1927 created the OVRA, his personal secret police force. Using the agency to arrest, scare, or murder people against his regime, Mussolini was dictator of Italy by the end of 1927. Only the King and his own Fascist party could challenge his power.

Fascism as practiced by Mussolini

Mussolini and Fascist Blackshirt youth in 1935 in Rome

Mussolini's form of Fascism, "Italian Fascism"- unlike Nazism, the racist ideology that Adolf Hitler followed- was different and less destructive than Hitler's. Although a believer in the superiority of the Italian nation and national unity, Mussolini, unlike Hitler, is quoted "Race? It is a feeling, not a reality. Nothing will ever make me believe that biologically pure races can be shown to exist today".[4]

Mussolini wanted Italy to become a new Roman Empire. In 1923, he attacked the island of Corfu, and in 1924, he occupied the city state of Fiume. In 1935, he attacked the African country Abyssinia (now called Ethiopia). His forces occupied it in 1936. Italy was thrown out of the League of Nations because of this aggression. In 1939, he occupied the country Albania. In 1936, Mussolini signed an alliance with Adolf Hitler, the dictator of Germany.

Fall from power and death

From left to right, you can see the lifeless bodies of the former communist politician Nicola Bombacci, the Duce Benito Mussolini, his faithful lover Clara Petacci, the minister Alessandro Pavolini and the renowned fascist politician Achille Starace, being exhibited in the Plaza Loreto in the city of Milan in 1945.

In 1940, he sent Italy into the Second World War on the side of the Axis countries. Mussolini attacked Greece, but he failed to conquer it. In 1943, the Allies landed in Southern Italy. The Fascist party and King Vittorio Emanuel III deposed Mussolini and put him in jail, but he was set free by the Germans, who made him ruler of the Italian Social Republic puppet state which was in a small part of Central Italy. When the war was almost over, Mussolini tried to escape to Switzerland with his mistress, Clara Petacci, but they were both captured and shot by partisans. Mussolini's dead body was hanged upside-down, together with his mistress and some of Mussolini's helpers, on a pole at a gas station in the village of Milan, which is near the border between Italy and Switzerland.

After death


After the war, several Neo-Fascist movements have had success in Italy, the most important being the Movimento Sociale Italiano. His granddaughter Alessandra Mussolini has outspoken views similar to Fascism.


Italian Libya postage stamp of Hitler & Mussolini

Mussolini's legacy is complex; he played a significant role in Italian history, but his association with fascism and authoritarianism has left a controversial mark. His policies had lasting effects, but they were often accompanied by suppression of dissent and human rights abuses.


  1. Brendon, Piers The Dark Valley: A Panorama of the 1930s Vintage Books 2000 page 128
  2. Mussolini, Benito (1998) My Rise and Fall Da Capo Press page 3
  3. Mussolini, Benito My Rise and Fall Da Capo Press 1998 pages 11-12
  4. Archived 2013-09-08 at the Wayback Machine 1941 book "Dictators and Democrats"

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