Leonardo Mondadori, chairman of the Italian publishing house founded by his grandfather Arnoldo, died December 13 of cancer in Milan. He was 56. The house, one of the biggest in Italy, publishes a number of magazines and is a major Italian imprint for such English-language authors as Saul Bellow, E.L. Doctorow and William Styron. Mondadori joined the family firm after university, and became general manager of the book division in 1981 and chairman of the Mondadori Group 10 years later. It is now part of a holding company controlled by Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Mondadori's biggest coup as a publisher was commissioning Pope John Paul II to write Crossing the Threshold of Hope, which became a major bestseller around the world. He was also an early publisher in Europe of the works of Gabriel García Marquez.