Ignazio La Russa

Ignazio La Russa
Minister of Defence
In office
8 May 2008  16 November 2011
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
Preceded by Arturo Parisi
Succeeded by Giampaolo Di Paola
President of Brothers of Italy
Assumed office
4 April 2013
Preceded by Guido Crosetto
Personal details
Born (1947-07-18) 18 July 1947
Paternò, Italy
Political party Brothers of Italy
Other political
Italian Social Movement
National Alliance
The People of Freedom
Spouse(s) Laura De Cicco
Children Geronimo
Lorenzo Cochis
Leonardo Apache
Parents Antonino La Russa
Lidia La Russa
Relatives Vincenzo La Russa (brother)
Emilia La Russa (sister)
Romano La Russa (brother)
Alma mater University of Pavia

Ignazio Benito Maria La Russa (born in Paternò, Catania, Sicily 18 July 1947) is an Italian politician. He was Minister of Defence in the fourth cabinet of Silvio Berlusconi.[1]

On 11 May 2008, he became acting president of National Alliance (AN), which, on 29 March 2009, merged into Berlusconi's party The People of Freedom (PdL). He was one of the three national coordinators of the PdL until 17 December 2012 when he launched his own National Centre-right (CN) party.

He is married and has three sons, Geronimo, Lorenzo and Leonardo.


When he was 13, his family moved to Milan, where his father Antonino La Russa was a practising lawyer. After attending college in the Swiss German Canton of St. Gallen, he obtained a degree in Law at the University of Pavia. After serving as a Regular Army Reserve Officer, he has worked as a criminal defence lawyer at the Court of Cassation.

He has shown an interest in politics since his student years, and was involved in far-right activism in Milan.

In 1985, he was elected Regional Councillor for the Lombardy Region, for the neo-fascist Italian party Movimento Sociale Italiano.

In 1992, he was elected Member of Parliament (MP) to both the Senate of the Republic and the Chamber of Deputies (a law of the time allowed a candidate to run for election as representative for both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies: if the candidate obtained sufficient votes to be elected to both, he had to opt for one of the Houses; this law has been modified some years ago: now candidates have to choose the House they will run for in advance), and Daniela Santanché became one of his assistants.

On 29 June 1993, the President of the National Alliance, Gianfranco Fini appointed him as First Vice-President of National Alliance.

On 27 March 1994, he was re-elected MP and appointed Deputy Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies.

In 1996, he was appointed Chairman of the Committee on Parliamentary Immunity of the Chamber of Deputies, an office he held for the entire 13th Parliament.

On 5 June 2001, he was elected Chairman of the Deputies of National Alliance Parliamentary Group at the Chamber of Deputies (National Alliance - Alleanza Nazionale, or AN - was an Italian right-wing party).

Between November 2004 and July 2005 he was again Chairman of the Deputies of National Alliance. He held this office also during the following Parliament, as he was re-elected MP in the ‘Lombardy 1’ constituency.

Throughout the last years, thanks to his professional background, he acted as spokesman for the Right on justice-related subjects. Also of note is his commitment with respect to other significant issues, namely security of citizens, immigration, reduction of the tax burden, safeguarding national identity, and the liberal professions.

On 8 May 2008, he was appointed Minister of Defence, office he held until 16 November 2011.

On 21 December 2012, La Russa with Guido Crosetto and Giorgia Meloni founded Brothers of Italy, a national conservative party[2] split from the PdL.

On 4 April 2013, La Russa was appointed President of Brothers of Italy.


Party political offices
Preceded by
Gustavo Selva
Leader of the National Alliance in the Chamber of Deputies
Succeeded by
Gian Franco Anedda
Preceded by
Gian Franco Anedda
Leader of the National Alliance in the Chamber of Deputies
Succeeded by
Fabrizio Cicchitto
as Leader of the People of Freedom in the Chamber of Deputies
Preceded by
Gianfranco Fini
President of National Alliance

Succeeded by
Silvio Berlusconi
as Leader of the People of Freedom
Preceded by
Guido Crosetto
President of Brothers of Italy
4 April 2013 - incumbent
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Arturo Parisi
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Giampaolo Di Paola
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