Marconi Family History

Biography of Guglielmo Marconi

By Degna Marconi

Guglielmo Marconi was a boy genius who was unable to gain admitance to university. Instead, he set up a laboratory in the attic of his father's house and enravelled one of the great mysteries of the universe. The result was the invention of wireless communication -- radio. At first only a few feet separated the transmitter from the receiver. In the days that followed, he carried his experiments into the arden, out to the fields, and behind a hill. Often disparaged by the sceintific community of the day, he persisted – spanning the Atlantic, circling the world.

At Signal Hill in Newfoundedland, in 1901, he picked up the first transatlantic communication –the three dots representing the letter "S"in Morse. The next year, from Table Head near Glace Bay in Nova Scotia, he transmitted the first message across the ocean by wireless. More than any otehr man, he made the twentieth century possible.

In My Father, Marconi his daughter, Degna, recounts his scientific achievements. More important, she gives an intimate portrait of his turbulent personal life. The single-minded deidcation that changed the world played havoc with the lives of those around him. His marrieage ended in divorce followed by an annullment fromthe Roman Catholic Church. His children became outcasts in their native Italy, totally estranged from their father and disinherited by him.

The result could have been bitterness. Instead, as this book reveals, there was forgiveness, warmth and understanding. Degna Marconi draws a touching and poignant account of her fathers. Her writing reflects her Edwardian childhood and her Italian heritage. The result is a charming portrait of the man whose name became a household word.