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A.P. Giannini: The People’s Banker

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While in lockdown in Italy, I came across the remarkable story of A.P. Giannini, the Italian-American banker who founded the Bank of Italy, which became Bank of America. I had not heard of him before, but a TV interview with his niece led me to a book about him in Italian (but there’s a great English-language one by Francesca Valente). His story is so fascinating, and his banking practices helped support immigrants that no one else would help, giving them loans when no one else would. He was also an important financier in the film and wine industries — he financed Disney’s Snow White — and he was also instrumental in the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. His life was an inspiration, and there are too few people like him today.  

A.P. Giannini: The People's Banker

A.P. Giannini: The People's Banker

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