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Abril’s Civita, Brazilian Billionaire-Publisher, Dies at Age 76

Roberto Civita
A file photo shows billionaire Roberto Civita speaking at the opening press conference of the World Economic Forum in New York during January 2002. Civita, an Italian-born publisher, has died at the age of 76 after three months of battling an abdominal aneurysm. In 1968, Civita created Veja magazine, the most read general news weekly in Brazil. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Billionaire Roberto Civita, an Italian-born publisher who created Brazil’s biggest weekly news magazine, has died. He was 76.

Grupo Abril’s chairman died yesterday at the Sirio-Libanes hospital in Sao Paulo after three months battling an abdominal aneurysm, according to his company’s website. He is survived by his wife Maria Antonieta and three children.

After an 18-month internship at Time Inc., Civita returned to Brazil in 1958 and told his father Victor, the founder of Grupo Abril, he wished to publish a weekly similar to Time, a business journal along the lines of Fortune and a magazine like Playboy.

In 1968, Civita created Veja magazine, the most read general news weekly in Latin America’s biggest economy. Abril publishes seven of the 10 most-read magazines in Brazil, including Exame and the local version of Playboy, according Abril’s website.

“I like being an editor,” Civita used to say, according to the website. “And I know how to make a magazine.”

Civita, who had a net worth of $4.9 billion, according to Forbes World’s Billionaires list, took over the group when his father died in 1990. He expanded the business into education, founding Abril Educacao SA, which was taken public in 2011.

He was born in Milan and was a naturalized Brazilian.

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