NEW YORK — Stylish, brilliant, charismatic and charming — that was Gianni Agnelli, who died of prostate cancer in Turin on Friday. He was 81.

The terms jet-setter and Beautiful Person might have been invented for him. But he also played another, far more important role. In his native Italy, as head of Fiat, he was the embodiment of Il Boom, the country’s postwar economic "miracle." There, he was known simply as l’Avvocato, the lawyer — although he had only studied law and never practiced it — and was a dashing, larger-than-life figure, his handsome hawk-like face one of the most recognizable in the country. Pictures of him have been a staple of newspapers and magazines for decades. His wife, Marella, who survives him, with her long-necked aristocratic beauty and understated style, was regarded as one of the most elegant women in the world. Once a photographer got a shot of Gianni jumping into the sea from his yacht naked, and it appeared worldwide under variations on the headline, "The Man Who Has Everything."

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