Medici, Ferdinand I de', 1549–1609, grand duke of Tuscany (1587–1609); brother and successor of Francesco de' Medici. He was made a cardinal in his youth, and he built the famous Villa Medici at Rome. To become grand duke at his brother's death he resigned his cardinalate (he had never been ordained). Ferdinand improved the administration, strengthened the fleet, and created the port of Livorno. His son, Cosimo II de' Medici, succeeded him.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.