Writer and advocate for people with disabilities dies at 100

Margaret Giannini, a renowned Italian writer and advocate for people with disabilities, died last week, according to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, which first reported her death. She was 100.

Giannini won the World Community prize in 2004 for her nonfiction work “Daughters and Ghosts,” which examines the impact of Italian deportations during World War II on former women with disabilities.

“She was one of the greatest people of our time,” said Fabrizio Pezzoli, Italy’s former minister of culture, in a tweet. “A journalist, promoter of the urban landscape and of the Pozzo Massimo.”

“She helped disabled children by advocating for their parents,” Pezzoli added. “She set up the first museums for handicapped people in Florence, Modena and Naples. She taught herself sign language. She organized workshops for 50 years for children and young people with disabilities.”

As news of her death spread, so did tributes and memories of a woman who thrived despite her disability.

“More importantly, she was a creative person, even at age 100. Unbelievable!!!,” Fabrizio Rosello, who participated in one of Giannini’s workshops, wrote on Facebook.

Herzog & de Meuron-designed Cipriani Centre for Art, Architecture & Design in Naples, which will open this month.

Arne Jacobsen, who designed chairs made of plastic so that those who can’t reach them can be fitted, was a previous winner of the World Community prize.

Giannini also served as the first head of the Nonverbal Research Institute.

CNN reached out to Pezzoli for comment, but he declined to comment.

CNN contributed to this report.

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