As chairman of Lepetit, one of Italy's premier pharmaceutical companies, Guido Zerilli-Marimò, said that his greatest achievement during his distinguished career was " perhaps to have contributed significantly to the molding of so many young people, to have started them out in life, pointing out to them its laws and dangers."
The answer reflects his broad-heartedness and the overall moral stature of the man. His faith in mankind set an example for future generations.
Many young people benefited from cultural organizations he created, such as Associazone Italo-Americana (Italian American Association) and Centro di Azione Latina (Center for Latin Action) which sponsored courses in language, History, Economics, Literature, and other subjects as well as scholarships for study in other countries.
A TRIBUTE FROM A FRIEND
When Mariuccia, his devoted wife, brought me the sad news of the death of my dear friend, Guido, it was as if a piece of me had also died. He was part wonderful, exciting time we shared around the world. We were the closest of friends and the greatest of competitors as we built the Pharmaceutical plants and service organizations to bring medicines to peoples of the world.
We worked in an exciting time. When the world was rebuilding after the Second World War and there was still a touch of the pioneer in us as we traveled the world — meeting first in one place then in an other. I recall Guido so vividly with his arms outstretched in warm greet and a big smile on his face.
As a competitor he was imaginative, forthright and extremely able. As a friend, he was interested and caring and unselfish to an extreme. He was a brilliant and interesting talker and I enjoyed many chats with him whether in New York or Buenos Aires, or Rome, or Paris. He was a man of his time and he had my respect and affection.
Since the first visit of his young manhood, New York had held its spell over him; and now and then over the decades he would return to America; to a country and a city that he loves. Time and again in his writings and lectures, he alluded to it for anecdote, inspiration or sound moral lesson. In the city, he said, he saw a universal spirit. In its youth, as in youth everywhere, he saw the future.
A most suitable site to celebrate the values he held highest, Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimò reflected when in 1988 she designated New York University to be the home of his living memorial. She intended that it be part of his enclave devoted to education, culture, youth and future at the heart of a capital of the world.
Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo is dedicated to the study of Italian language, institutions, art and heritage, and to the strengthening of ties between Italy and the United States.
Under the donor's precepts, the Casa must reflect the spirit of the person whose memory is honored here by his family and must be the living realization of the answer Guido Zerilli-Marimò gave almost thirty years ago when asked his greatest ambition:
"to ensure that what little I have created, built, organized,
will be a lasting source of inspiration and motivation
profiting ever-wider groups of humanity."