Ignazio La Russa was born in Paternò (Sicily) on 18 July 1947. A father of three – Geronimo, Lorenzo and Leonardo – he lives and works in Milan. He studied at a college in St. Gallen, in German- speaking Switzerland, and received a law degree from Pavia University. The passionate political commitment he had ever since he was very young did not prevent him from becoming a criminal lawyer, practising in the Court of Cassation.
In 1985 he was elected to the Lombardy Regional Council with the MSI party (Italian Social Movement – right wing). In 1992, he was elected to both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies in the Milan constituency, where he won the highest number of votes. In January 1994 in Rome he presided over the congress that officially founded the Alleanza Nazionale (National Alliance party – right wing), which he strongly advocated.
In 1994, he was re-elected to the Chamber of Deputies and elected Vice-President. He was elected again to the Chamber of Deputies in all following elections until 2018, when he ran for the Senate and was elected.
In 2001 he was Leader of the Alleanza Nazionale Parliamentary Group. In 2003 he was appointed national coordinator of Alleanza Nazionale. In 2004 and again in 2006, he was Leader of the Alleanza Nazionale Parliamentary Group in the Chamber of Deputies.
In 2008 he was appointed Minister of Defence in the 4th Berlusconi Government and on 11 May 2008 he was interim leader of Alleanza Nazionale; he held said office until Alleanza Nazionale merged with the Popolo delle Libertà (People of Freedom coalition – right wing), of which he became national coordinator.
As soon as he was appointed Defence Minister, he introduced and steered through Parliament a Safe Streets Bill. During his parliamentary career, he promoted the establishment of the “Remembrance Day” Bill to honour the Italian exiles from Istria, Fiume and Dalmatia, victims of Tito’s foibe massacres, the establishment of the Day of Soldiers Fallen in International Peace Missions, and the recognition 17 March as a national holiday for the National Unity Day.
In 2012 he announced he was leaving the Popolo delle Libertà coalition along with a group of MPs who provisionally called themselves Centro-Destra Nazionale (National Centre-Right) and a few days later, when Giorgia Meloni, Guido Crosetto and other MPs joined in, Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) was officially born. In the general election in February 2013, he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies.
After 26 uninterrupted years in the Chamber of Deputies, in the 2018 general election he was elected Senator for the centre-right coalition. On 29 March 2018, he was elected Vice-President of the Senate of the Republic.
On 13 October 2022, in the first voting round, he was elected President of the Senate.