Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (1896-1957)

Death: 23rd July 1957
Location: Cimitero dei Cappuccini, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Cause of Death: Cancer - Lung
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Italian author who is best remembered for his only novel Il Gattopardo / The Leopard which is set in Sicily during the Risorgimento; it was published posthumously in 1958.
He was born in Palermo into one of the oldest families of the Sicilian aristocracy; his father was Prince of Lampedusa. He was an only child; his sister died from diphtheria, and he was educated at home by his mother and a tutor.
In 1915 he travelled to Rome to study, but later that year he was drafted into the army to fight in the First World War; he was taken prisoner by the Austrians after fighting in the battle of Caporetto. He was held in a POW camp in Hungary, but escaped and travelled back to Italy on foot. He left the army and returned to Sicily where he studied foreign literature. In 1932 he married Alexandra Wolff Stomersee and in 1934 his father died and Tomasi inherited his title.
He finished writing Il Gattopardo in 1956, but it was rejected by publishers during his lifetime. The following year he was diagnosed with Lung Cancer and died on the 23rd July in Rome.
Il Gattopardo was published in 1958 and in 1959 it was awarded the Premio Strega and has remained one of the greatest works of 20th century Italian literature. In 1963 Il Gattopardo was filmed by Luchino Visconti starring Burt Lancaster.