Count Francesco Matarazzo

Don Francesco Antonio Maria Matarazzo, Count Matarazzo (March 9, 1854 in Castellabate – December 10, 1937 in São Paulo, Brazil), was an Italian-Brazilian businessman and noble who created a large business in South America, particularly in Brazil.[1]

The Count Matarazzo
Francesco Matarazzo
Personal details
Francesco Antonio Maria Matarazzo

(1854-03-09)9 March 1854
Castellabate, Province of Salerno, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Died10 December 1937(1937-12-10) (aged 83)
São Paulo, State of São Paulo, Brazil
Spouse(s)Filomena Sansivieri
ChildrenGiuseppe Matarazzo
Andrea Matarazzo
Ermelino Matarazzo
Teresa Comenale
Mariangela Comide
Attilio Matarazzo
Carmela Campostano
Lydia Pignatari
Olga, Princess Giovanni Alliata of Montereale
Ida Matarazzo
Claudia Ruspoli, Princess of Cerveteri
Francesco Matarazzo Jr.
Luigi Matarazzo
ParentsCostabile Matarazzo
Mariangela Jovane


He was born in Castellabate, Salerno, Italy, the eldest of Doctor Costabile Matarazzo's nine sons, and Mariangela Jovane. At the age of 26, when Italian emigration to Brazil was widespread, he moved to the city of Sorocaba, São Paulo with his brothers, wife and children.[2] Initially he sold oranges and lottery tickets and shined shoes, reinvesting the proceeds in new businesses, eventually including plantations of tea, coffee, corn, rice, rubber and cotton.[3]

In 1890, he moved to São Paulo and with his brothers, Giuseppe and Luigi, founded Matarazzo and Irmãos. He diversified its business and imported wheat flour from the United States of America. Giuseppe took part in the company with a lard factory in Porto Alegre and Luigi with a deposit-warehouse in São Paulo.

The following year the company was dissolved and replaced by Companhia Matarazzo SA with 43 minority shareholders. This corporation also controlled the factories in Sorocaba and Porto Alegre.

War between Spain and Central American countries made it difficult buy wheat flour and he obtained credit from the London and Brazilian Bank to build a mill in São Paulo. From there, his business expanded rapidly to a total of 365 factories[citation needed] throughout Brazil. The conglomerate became the fourth largest in the country and 6% of the population depended on its factories in São Paulo. The business was renamed Indústrias Reunidas Francisco Matarazzo (IRFM) in 1911.

The Gestapo spy Hans Wesemann reported that:

An entire fleet sails under his flag. Tens of thousands of workers toil in his factories. He makes cement, cuts down trees and turns the pulp into paper, on which he prints his newspapers. The public drinks his beer and watches films in his cinemas. He contrives to be both wealthy and popular and when the president of Brazil visits Sao Paolo, he calls upon Matarazzo first.[3]

In recognition of his financial and material assistance to Italy during the First World War King Victor Emmanuel III conferred the title of Count.[citation needed]

Matarazzo died in 1937 after an attack of uremia. At that time he was Brazil's's richest man, with an estimated fortune of 20 billion U.S. dollars.[4]

See alsoEdit

Matarazzo Building

São Paulo Museum of Modern Art


  1. ^ entrepreneurreview (2015-12-18). "Count Francesco Matarazzo: Royalty in Life and in Business". The Entrepreneur Review. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
  2. ^ "MATARAZZO, Francesco". TRECCANI, La cultura italiana. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b Barnes, James J; Barnes, Patience P (2001). Nazi Refugee Turned Gestapo Spy: The Life of Hans Wesemann, 1895–1971. Praeger Publishers. pp. 11. ISBN 0-275-97124-4.
  4. ^ "BLECHER, Nelson". BLECHER, O maior do Brasil, um dos maiores do mundo. Retrieved 18 February 2011.