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Gabriele D'Annunzio
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    (March 12, 1863-March 1, 1938)
    Born in Pescara, Italy
    Italian novelist, dramatist, poet and journalist
    Novels include 'The Child of Pleasure' (1889), 'The Triumph of Death' (1894) and 'The Flame of Life' (1900)
    Plays include 'The Dead City' (1899), 'La Giocanda' (1899) and 'Francesca da Rimini' (1902)
    Poetry collections include 'Primo Vere' (1879), 'Canto Novo' (1882) and 'Poema Paradisiaco' (1893)
    With 2,000 followers, seized the disputed city of Fiume and established the Regency of Carnaro (1919-20)
    He boasted that he was hated by a thousand husbands.
    He drank toasts from the skull of a woman who committed suicide over him.
    He had an affair with actress Eleanora Duse, then revealed the details in his novel 'The Flame of Life.'
    He racked up massive debts thanks to his flamboyant lifestyle and temporarily fled to France to escape his creditors (1910).
    The trappings of his rule over Fiume -- including balcony addresses, the Roman salute, and squads of blackshirted followers -- were copied by Mussolini.
    As a result, he was called the John the Baptist of Italian fascism.
    He was a pilot during World War I and lost the sight in one eye in a flying accident.
    He was seriously injured in a fall out of a window, that may have been a murder attempt ordered by Mussolini to eliminate a popular rival (1922).
    He urged Mussolini not to become an ally of Hitler.

Credit: C. Fishel

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