Anderson Antunes for FORBES
|Roberto Civita (Photo by Ivan Pacheco)|
Brazilian billionaire Roberto Civita, the head of one of Latin America’s largest media conglomerates, died on Sunday after spending more than 60 days at a São Paulo hospital due to complications of an aneurysm, according to his media group, Abril. He was 76.
The son of Victor Civita, who founded Abril in 1950, Roberto Civita took over the company in 1990 when his father died. Abril currently employs more than 7,000 people, and includes Editora Abril, which publishes some of Brazil’s biggest magazines, and the publicly listed Abril Educação.
Born in Milan in 1936, Roberto and his family moved to the United States soon thereafter, where they stayed for about a decade. During a visit to Brazil, his father decided to settle his business there, and the family moved once again, this time to São Paulo.
Civita initially founded his publishing company as Editora Primavera (Spring Publications), publishing an unsuccessful Italian comic called Raio Vermelho (Red Ray). He later renamed it Abril (April), referencing the month in which Spring begins on the northern hemisphere, and published its first title, Donald Duck, which continues to run to this date. Abril’s first magazine led Civita to claim, “It all started with a duck,” parodying Walt Disney‘s declaration that “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing: that it was all started by a mouse.”