Walter Veltroni (born 3 July 1955) is an Italian writer, journalist and politician, who served as the first leader of the Democratic Party within the centre-left opposition, until his resignation on February 17, 2009. He also served as Mayor of Rome from 2001 to 2008.
Walter Veltroni was born in Rome. His father, Vittorio Veltroni, an eminent RAI manager in the 1950s, died only one year later. His mother, Ivanka Kotnik, was the daughter of Ciril Kotnik, the Slovenian ambassador of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia at the Holy See who helped numerous Jews and antifascists to escape Nazi persecution after 1943.
Veltroni joined the Federazione Giovanile Comunista Italiana (Italian Youth Communist Federation) at the age of 15, and was elected Rome city councilor in 1976 as member of the Italian Communist Party, serving until 1981. He was then elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 1987. As a member of the Italian Communist Party's national secretariat in 1988, he played a leading role in the transformation into a social democratic party.