Wilson Fittipaldi was born in Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil as the son of Italian immigrants. He became known worldwide when he said “It is Brazil winning the World Championship for the first time in history!”
Those words were part of his live transmission describing the Formula One race on September 10, 1972. The Baron made history himself as he narrated the victory of his own son, Emerson Fittipaldi. To this day, his words on the day his son became the World Champion is kept on record in his native country. There was obvious joy in in his voice when he said, “Attention! There comes the contest winner! (...) Won Emerson Fittipaldi (…) Undisputed Victory of the Brazilian motorsport."
Wilson Fittipaldi lost his wife, Juze, in 2006, and now the Fittipaldi family mourns the death of their beloved baron. He entered the Copa D'Or hospital in the south of Rio de Janeiro on February 25th for respiratory problems. At the time, he claimed it was just a “pit stop” but late last night he passed away at the age of 92.
His son, Emerson Fittipaldi was with his father at the time of his death, and he later recounted the obvious heart-breaking moment. "Yesterday I spoke with my dad… what a beautiful family he formed and that we were all hoping and praying that he would improve and that God has always loved him and our family too. Was in that moment that he - for the first time since in the hospital opened his eyes, shook his leg and he moved his mouth... what was a sign of great love for this family.”
Wilson Fittipaldi did not just cheer on his son – and later other family members who competed in racing – he also was an organizer/promoter in his homeland. He created the Brazilian Thousand Miles event; and was kept busy from 1950 to 1960 with a series of races. His voice on the radio became famous not only in Brazil but other parts of the world.
The Baron was proud of the involvement that his entire family took on in motorsport. He saw the offspring of Emerson and Wilson Jr. make history in racing, and the younger ones continue to do the same. His legacy will live on for generations to come.