Living and Giving

Leadership Series: Mario Andretti\’s Fast Lane to America, Part One of Four

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This is Part One of Four in the Series on \”Mario Andretti\’s Fast Lane to America\”.


Thank you for joining our Leadership Series: How To Become a Leader     

We feature real-life stories on how people became successful leaders, so you can too. We show you Practical Steps and Stories to Following Your Passion, leading you to your own success. Our feature today is on Mario Andretti, a world-class racer who started out in a refugee camp. Join us as we explore his life story!

Before Mario Andretti first came to America, his life wasn’t glamorous. His family of six was housed in a couple of rooms in a college dormitory in a refugee camp in Italy, right at the end of World War II. 




His uncle was able to find a job for his father at a cement factory and so they came over to America.Mario was grateful to be in America and felt life could only go up.




While his father was applying for the visa to come to America, he and his brother, Aldo, happened to be playing in a cul-de-sac. One day they saw some cars speeding by. They were able to locate them at a local car shop in a parking garage across from where they lived.

The Andretti brothers had the courage to go and meet the owners. And really, that was the start of their dreams. They went to help, observe and eventually work on cars there after school.For a start, they were allowed to park them in garage. Even this gave him a feel and love of cars. He and his brother Aldo continued to work at the shop and obtained a strong love for Italian cars. Unbeknownst to the brothers they would in the future attend races such as the 1954 Italian Grand Prix, and win races such as Daytona.

What an amazing pursuit of one\’s dreams.

They saw cars.

They explored.

They followed their interests.

They met the owners.

They offered to help.


They were on their way to becoming world class racers by doing the above. Above doesn\’t sound overly exciting or world class, but it\’s following your passion, offering help, getting experience. That\’s how you achieve your dreams! It\’s that simple! And, that much daily, hard work.


So let\’s watch this story closely.  Humble backgrounds and they followed a lead about which they were excited. You can do this, too!  This could be you start to being a successful engineer, the first woman flutist in South Congo, a first-time CEO or a new entrepreneur. You can do it, too.

You Can Do It, Too.



Stay tuned for Part Two of the Four Part Series “Mario Andretti\’s Fast Lane to America” tomorrow!


Citations: 1 Myers, Marc “Mario Andretti: From Italian Refugee Camp to the Winner’s Circle at Indy”, The Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2018,  ² Ibid.
Fig.1: Photo by Bailey Scully on Unsplash
Fig.2: Photo by Matt Antonioli on Unsplash