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Gianni Agnelli’s funeral


As scion of the Fiat family, Gianni Agnelli was both a multi-millionaire and one of Italy’s most influential figures, and among the men least likely to accept being relegated to the sidelines. His best friend was Stavros Niarchos, the shipping tycoon known as “the Golden Greek”.

When he died in 1996, his grieving widow rang Agnelli, who insisted on seeing the body before it was buried. She took it as a sign of the men’s great friendship, but was taken aback when the Fiat magnate, faced with the corpse, took the cold hand in his and proceeded to take its pulse; he repeated the gesture with the other hand. Agnelli went on to press his fingers on Niarchos’s temple: he couldn’t accept his loss, the widow concluded. She was taken aback when Agnelli, instead, burst out: “This is crazy! Men like us don’t die!”




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