Salvatore Verducci as Grand Master
March 12, 1416
November 26, 1476 (age 60)
Salvatore Verducci was an Italian businessman and banker, as well as a member of the Templar Order. He served as the Grand Master of the Templar Order from 1443 until his death in 1476, acting as Rodrigo Borgia's immediate predecessor and mentor. He was the grandfather of Marco Verducci, who would go on to be one of Ezio Auditore's greatest adversaries.
From 1440 until the time of his death, Verducci was the head of the Papal Bank, and owned several legitimate businesses all across Italy. This made him one of Italy's wealthiest men during his lifetime.
As the head of the Papal Bank, Verducci had a tremendous amount of influence over the political, governmental, and business functions of Italy, which played a tremendous role in the Templars' bid to take control of Italy. He was known for his high intelligence and expertise in the political and business fields, and his opinion was highly respected. He served as the head of the Papal Bank under six different Popes: Eugene IV, Nicholas V, Callixtus III, Pius II, Paul II, and Sixtus IV. Even before he properly became head of the Papal Bank, he served as a financial advisor and friend to Eugene IV. Using his close position to each Pope would be beneficial in helping the Templars gain a foothold in Italy for years to come, and it was through his friendship with Callixtus III (real name, Alfonso de Borja) that he introduced Rodrigo Borgia (who was Callixtus's nephew) to the Templars.
Like his successor Rodrigo, Verducci was an expert strategist and often had a direct hand in a lot of the Templars' plans. By 1476, Verducci had initiated a plan to assassinate King of Sicily Ferdinand II of Aragon in an attempt for the Templars to gain a foothold in the Crown of Aragon. This was thwarted in July of 1476 when Assassins Giovanni Auditore and Eladio Higuera (of the Spanish Assassins) killed Verducci in Naples. Following Verducci's death, Rodrigo Borgia ascended to the position of Grand Master.