Autumn Of The Patriarch

MARCO VASINI/ AP PHOTO

Calisto Tanzi, former chairman and founder of Parmalat

From Milan boardrooms to Parma dairy farms, Calisto Tanzi has long been viewed as the model Italian entrepreneur: hardworking, successful, modest, pious and, above all, generous. Over the past four decades, as he built dairy company Parmalat into a worldwide giant with annual sales of €7.6 billion, he showered his hometown of Parma with his philanthropy. Tanzi helped pay for a major restoration of Parma's theater and 11th century basilica. He poured cash into the local soccer team, making it one of Europe's best, and financed programs for the poor, aids patients and drug addicts. Last February, when the Catholic Church...

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