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Established in 1946 by Leo Longanesi (who managed it for ten years), acquired by Luciano Mauri (Messaggerie Italiane) in 1977, Longanesi Publishing House was entrusted to Mario Spagnol who managed it from 1980 to 1999 in the capacity as Chief executive officer, together with Guglielmo Tognetti, and also as Publishing director.
In 1999, after the death of Mario Spagnol and the resignation of Guglielmo Tognetti, Stefano Mauri became Chief executive officer and Luigi Brioschi became Publishing director. In 2011 Giuseppe Strazzeri became Publishing director.

For what regards its publications, Longanesi has always stood out for its unconventional leaning, complete freedom of choices, and the originality of its catalogue.
Longanesi has combined publishing fiction and genres that have given rise to acclaimed best-sellers – adventure stories, thrillers, action books and fantasy – with the Cammeo,
essays, books from journalism to art, archaeology, popular science (La Lente di Galileo) and the great works of contemporary thought (Spengler, Heidegger).
More recently, the publication of a new line of Maritime stories and the Le Spade series coincided precisely with the centennial anniversary of the founder’s birth: a series intended to renew a long tradition of independence and non-conformism.

The most popular authors who have marked the course of Longanesi include: Patrick Süskind, Wilbur Smith, Michael Ende, Isaac B. Singer, William Golding, Elizabeth George, Clive Cussler, Jostein Gaarder, Marianne Fredriksson, Vikram Seth, Patrick O’Brian, Marion Zimmer Bradley.
Among Italian writers: Tiziano Terzani, Sergio Romano, Federico Zeri, Piero Ottone, Piergiorgio Odifreddi, and the novelists: Marta Morazzoni, Giuseppe Conte, Marco Buticchi.