Assagioli did not like to discuss his personal life, as he preferred to be remembered for his scientific work. Very few biographical accounts on the life of Roberto Assagioli are available, and most are not written in English.
Assagioli was born on February 27, 1888 in Venice, Italy, and came from a middle-class Jewish background. He was born under the name Roberto Marco Grego, however, his biological father died when Assagioli was two years old, and his mother remarried Alessandro Emanuele Assagioli soon afterward. Assagioli was exposed to many creative outlets at a young age, such as art, and music, which were believed to have inspired his work in Psychosynthesis. By the age of 18, he had learned eight different languages, namely Italian (his native tongue), English, French, Russian, Greek, Latin, German, and Sanskrit. It was at this age he also began to travel, mainly to Russia, where he learned about social systems, and politics.
In 1922 he married a young woman named Nella, and they had one son together, Ilario Assagioli.
In 1938, Assagioli was arrested and imprisoned by Benito Mussolini’s Fascist government, due to his Jewish heritage, and his humanistic writing. He was placed in solitary confinement for over a month, until he was released and returned to his family. During World War II, his family’s farm in Florence, Italy was destroyed, and both he and his family fled underground. His son died at the age of 28 from lung disease, which was accredited to severe stress from the harsh living conditions during the war. Once the war had ended, he returned to his work, and began his legacy, known as Psychosynthesis.
The years after the war were relatively calm, and it was during this time that he founded various foundations dedicated to Psychosynthesis, in Europe and North America. Assagioli lived a long and prosperous life, and had a happy forty year marriage, until he died at age 86 on August 23d, 1974. The cause of his death was unknown.
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