Piero Angela died at 93. Farewell: “I’ve done my part, now it’s your turn”

“Have a good trip, dad.” Through the tweet posted by his son and professional heir Alberto Angela, Italy discovered yesterday morning that Piero Angela he was gone. In the utmost discretion as he had always lived, at the age of 93, after seventy years spent spreading science on TV, writing books, representing an uninterrupted example of love for culture, rigor, good television, intellectual curiosity, civil commitment, elegance of gentlemanly manners.


THE GOALS

Born in Turin On December 22, 1928, the son of an anti-fascist psychiatrist who saved numerous Jews by hospitalizing them in his clinic, journalist, presenter and essayist with about forty titles to his credit, Angela was the most famous and beloved popularizer of our country, pillar of Rai and exemplary embodiment of public service: its cult broadcasts Quark (which debuted in 1981), Superquark (1995) and other derivatives have changed the way we talk about culture on TV by revealing to the general public the secrets and discoveries of science, from dinosaurs to the wonders of the cosmos, from the behavior of cells to the deep sea, from climate changes to evolutions. of neuroscience. Always through a simple language, accessible to all, based on the rigor of research (Angela has spent her life fighting pseudoscience, charlatans, disinformation) and smiling politeness, according to the Anglo-Saxon style introduced by him in our television. With the result of recording stellar plays every time to make any entertainment program pale.

Despite being a man of the last century, Quark’s father has constantly looked to the future by showing great attention to advances in technology: his broadcasts have been studded with 3D reconstructions, holograms, sophisticated animations. He also resorted to social media: his touching farewell from viewers, the message in which the journalist confessed the “long illness” that plagued the last phase of his life was posted right on Superquark’s Facebook profile. Angela also selected the young scientists destined to conduct Superquark + on the RaiPlay platform.

THE FAMILY

Many messages of condolence from dozens of personalities from television, entertainment, science and politics. He was “a great Italian to whom the Republic is grateful”, declared President Sergio Mattarella who last year gave him the insignia of Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, one of the numerous honors that the patriarch of disclosure he had received together with the Kalinga prize from Unesco and 12 honorary degrees, more than deserved compensation for having abandoned his engineering studies in favor of journalism. “Every Italian has learned something from him”, commented Pippo Baudo, another dean of TV, “I now expect a piece of Rai to be named after him”.

Angela began working at Rai at the age of 24 as a radio reporter. In 1954 you entered the news as a host, then as a correspondent from Paris and Brussels, then as a correspondent covering the moon landing, the war in Vietnam, the conflict in Israel from America. Back in Italy, he leaves the news and discovers the world of documentaries that feed his natural interest in science. Quark was born in 1981, a title borrowed from physics (quarks are highly studied subnuclear particles) and Bach’s unmistakable theme song: the success of the show is overwhelming and year after year it gives it a rock star celebrity. On Mickey Mouse they even dedicate an alter ego in a comic version to him: Piero Papera. Passionate about jazz, Angela in her youth before turning to journalism formed a trio and also played with Duke Ellington. In 1955 he married Margherita Pastore, a student dancer at La Scala, whom he conquered by “playing the piano”. Leaving with no regrets a future career on pointe, the lady then gave him two children: the popular conductor Alberto, who successfully followed in his father’s footsteps, and Christine. «My wife is more than half of my success», Piero had recently confided, «she gave up her career and took patience for my absences. She followed me in all my wanderings. You have raised two magnificent children. ‘ And again: “The best heritage that parents can leave to their children is knowledge, education”.

Angela worked until the end, celebrating her professional jubilee “like Queen Elizabeth”. In 2021, there are several programs that bear the signature or face of Piero, some of which conducted together with his son Alberto: Special Ulysses, A wonderful planet, The future to be saved, And how is the sea ?, the documentary The places of hope. Alberto has always called him by name, Piero, never dad: “It was I who wanted him, to underline the working relationship that bound us together with affection,” explained Angela. Author in 2017 of the autobiography My long journey, Piero has written other best sellers including In the cosmos in search of life (1980), The thinking machine (1983), Oceani (1991), The challenge of the century (2006), Why do we have to have more children (with L. Pinna, 2008), What is politics for? (2011), Behind the scenes of History – Daily life through time (with A. Barbero, 2012), Journey into the mind: knowing the brain to keep it in shape (2014), Thirteen billion years. The novel of the universe (2015), The eyes of the Mona Lisa (2016). An asteroid and a mollusk have been named after him.

LAY FUNERAL

On Tuesday 16 August, the funeral home will be set up in the Capitol from 11.30 am to precede the lay funeral. “The death? It’s a nuisance, ”Angela had joked recently. But those who, like him, have changed our way of looking at the world, never completely goes away. Especially if he leaves words destined to make us think: «It was an extraordinary adventure. I believe I have done my part », Angela wrote in her farewell,« you too try to do yours for this difficult country of ours ».

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About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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