Marconi Family History

Biography of Guglielmo Marconi

By Gioia Marconi Braga

On December 12, 1901, Guglielmo Marconi succeeded in transmitting three dots, the Morse Code letter "S", from Poldhu, England to St. John's Signal Hill, Newfoundland. At twenty-seven Marconi had turned the revolutionary idea of transmitting Hertzian waves across thousands of miles, without wires, into practice.

There is no doubt as to how my father intended his invention to be used. Since the very beginning of his experimentation in the early 1890's and on through his lifelong pursuit of creating and developing a system of communications, he saw it as capable of operating with complete reliability from any point on earth, providing - among other benefits the one that was dearest to his heart: safety at sea. No less important, he saw the realization of the free flow of information between peoples as a unifying bond that no force could resist.

Father's many successes have been attributed to his outstanding experimental ability, to the courage he displayed in overcoming numerous obstacles, to his perseverance in the face of considerable setbacks, to the enthusiasm he was able to instill in his associates, and to his executive capacity as the head of his business enterprise.

He was a quiet, reserved person who recognized a spiritual force outside and above himself. He preferred to trust his own intuition rather than to accept too rigidly the limitations of his own plans which might have been imposed by the science of his day.

The underlying logic of a life that reveals such exceptional integrity of thought, of purpose and of action can be explained only by the fact that he had a clear objective in mind, a definite goal to reach which he considered so important that he devoted all of his intellectual, moral and material resources to its pursuit.

He accumulated an impressive array of honors during his lifetime. Many of the influential personalities of his day could be counted among his friends, but his enthusiasm was kindled by the young scientists, engineers and radio amateurs, whose studies, experiments and research ran along parallel lines to his own. With them he enjoyed to compare notes, to offer encouragement, to volunteer intellectual and material assistance.

Over a century has passed since his birth in Bologna, Italy, on April 25, 1874, and yet the extraordinary interest aroused by his work still survives. "I would like to meet that young man who had the monumental audacity to attempt and succeed in jumping an electrical wave across the Atlantic," remarked Thomas Edison after learning the success of Marconi's first trans-Atlantic transmission. The Marconi International Fellowship commemorates Guglielmo Marconi's genius, his invention, his audacity, his perseverance. The Fellowship recognizes that the highest and most significant recognition Marconi can receive from future generations is for the intellectual and spiritual forces of their minds to be directed toward the creation of a better world in which to live. Ingenium Pro Bono Humanitatis.