Giovanni “Gianni” Agnelli, (Italian: [ˈdʒanni aɲˈɲɛlli]; 12 March 1921 – 24 January 2003), also known as L’Avvocato (“The Lawyer”), was an Italian industrialist and principal shareholder of Fiat. As the head of Fiat, he controlled 4.4% of Italy’s GDP, 3.1% of its industrial workforce and 16.5% of its industrial investment in research. He was the richest man in modern Italian history.Agnelli was regarded as having an impeccable and slightly eccentric fashion sense, which has influenced both Italian and international men’s fashion.
Agnelli was awarded the decoration Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 1967 and the title Knight of Labour (Cavaliere del lavoro) in 1977. Following his death in 2003, control of the firm was gradually passed to his grandson and chosen heir, John Elkann.