Charles Ponzi

1882 - 1949

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Charles Ponzi (, Italian: [ˈpontsi]; born Carlo Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Tebaldo Ponzi; March 3, 1882 – January 18, 1949) was an Italian swindler and con artist who operated in the U.S. and Canada. His aliases included Charles Ponci, Carlo, and Charles P. Bianchi. Born in Lugo, Italy, he became known in the early 1920s as a swindler in North America for his money-making scheme. He promised clients a 50% profit within 45 days or 100% profit within 90 days, by buying discounted postal reply coupons in other countries and redeeming them at face value in the U.S. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Charles Ponzi has received more than 3,141,396 page views. His biography is available in 35 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 32 in 2019). Charles Ponzi is the 24th most popular extremist (down from 21st in 2019), the 593rd most popular biography from Italy (down from 557th in 2019) and the 2nd most popular Italian Extremist.

Charles Ponzi was most famous for his 1920s scheme, which he called "the Ponzi scheme." In his scheme, Ponzi promised investors a 50% return on their investment in 45 days. He would use the money from new investors to pay the promised returns to earlier investors.

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  • 2.80

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)


Among extremists, Charles Ponzi ranks 24 out of 283Before him are Ted Kaczynski, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Ulrike Meinhof, Ed Gein, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and Albert Fish. After him are Carlos the Jackal, Patrizia Reggiani, George Habash, Frederick Trump, Amon Göth, and Luis Carrero Blanco.

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Among people born in 1882, Charles Ponzi ranks 31Before him are Zoltán Kodály, Lili Elbe, Rodolfo Graziani, James Franck, Edward Hopper, and Izz ad-Din al-Qassam. After him are Emmerich Kálmán, Hans Geiger, A. A. Milne, Arthur Eddington, Jacques Maritain, and Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia. Among people deceased in 1949, Charles Ponzi ranks 11Before him are Georgi Dimitrov, Hassan al-Banna, Edward Thorndike, Margaret Mitchell, Friedrich Bergius, and James Ensor. After him are Klaus Mann, Kim Jong-suk, August Krogh, Louis II, Prince of Monaco, Elton Mayo, and Axel Munthe.

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In Italy

Among people born in Italy, Charles Ponzi ranks 593 out of 5,161Before him are Muzio Clementi (1752), Bona Sforza (1494), Niccolò dell'Abbate (1512), Roberto Mancini (1964), Giorgio Moroder (1940), and Francis I of the Two Sicilies (1777). After him are Saint Rosalia (1130), Livius Andronicus (-280), Carlo Ponti (1912), Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma (1545), Bianca Maria Sforza (1472), and Pope Zephyrinus (150).


Among extremists born in Italy, Charles Ponzi ranks 2Before him are Man in the Iron Mask (1640). After him are Patrizia Reggiani (1948), Tommaso Buscetta (1928), Carlo Gambino (1902), Matteo Messina Denaro (1962), Johnny Torrio (1882), Vincenzo Peruggia (1881), Luciano Leggio (1925), Leonarda Cianciulli (1893), Sante Geronimo Caserio (1873), and Frank Nitti (1886).