Friday 28th April 1876
Born on this day, Nicola Romeo, Italian engineer and entrepreneur, best remembered for founding the Alfa Romeo brand. Romeo graduated with a degree in engineering from the Politecnico di Napoli (nowadays Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II) in 1899. After that, he worked for a couple of years abroad and completed a second bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in Liège, Belgium. In 1911 he returned to Italy and created “Ing. Nicola Romeo e Co.”. The company manufactured machines and equipment for the mining industry. As the company became successful he wanted to expand and acquired a majority of Milan based car manufacturing company A.L.F.A. in 1915. Only three years later, in 1918, Romeo owned the whole company. A.L.F.A. was renamed to “Società Anonima Italiana Ing. Nicola Romeo”. The first car carrying the Alfa Romeo badge was the 1921 Torpedo 20/30 HP. The company gained a good reputation, but in 1927 came very close to liquidation. These changes “forced” him to leave in 1928. He married Portuguese Angelina Valadin and fathered seven children; Maurizio, Edoardo, Nicholas, Elena, Giulietta, Piera and Irene.Nicola Romeo died on 15 August 1938 in his home at Lake Como at the age of 62. Almost seventy years later, with the 130th anniversary of his birth, Naples dedicated a street to the memory of Nicola Romeo, called Via Nicola Romeo.