Scalfaro, Oscar Luigi

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Oscar Luigi Scalfaro (ōs´kär lōōē´jē skäl´färō), 1918–2012, Italian political leader, president of Italy (1992–99). A lawyer, Scalfaro aided jailed antifascists during World War II. In 1946 he was elected to the postwar assembly that established the Italian Republic, and in 1948, in the general election, Scalfaro, a Christian Democrat, won a seat in the lower house, where he served until 1992. Beginning in 1966, he was a minister in several governments, most notably interior minister from 1983 to 1987. Elected president at a tense political time—amid corruption investigations that led to the disbanding of the Christian Democrats in 1994—and serving during a period that saw the formation of four governments and a number of political crises, Scalfaro remained a respected, steadfast presence. In 1999 he was appointed senator for life.