Benito Mussolini is made Prime Minister of Italy
Benito Mussolini was an Italian political leader who became the fascist dictator of Italy from 1925 to 1945. Originally a revolutionary socialist, he forged the paramilitary fascist movement in 1919 and became prime minister in 1922. Called “Il Duce” by his countrymen, Mussolini allied himself with Adolf Hitler, relying on the German dictator to prop up his leadership during World War II, but he was killed shortly after the German surrender in Italy in 1945.
Born on July 29, 1883, in Verano di Costa, Italy, Mussolini was the son of blacksmith and ardent socialist Alessandro Mussolini and a devout Catholic mother, Rosa Maltoni. By most accounts, Mussolini’s family lived in simple, small quarters.
Young Mussolini was expelled from his first boarding school at age 10 for stabbing a fellow student. At 14, he stabbed another student but was only suspended.
Much of Mussolini’s early adulthood was spent traveling around Switzerland, getting involved with that country’s Socialist Party and clashing with police. In 1909, he moved to Austria-Hungary to become editor of a socialist newspaper, but was deported back to Italy, accused of violating laws meant to regulate press freedom.