The son of a prominent newspaper editor, he was ordained in 1920. Later he did advanced studies in Rome and entered (1922) the Vatican secretariat of state, in which he served for 32 years. After 1944, when Pius XII acted as his own secretary of state, Montini became especially influential as one of the two prosecretaries on whom the pope relied. As archbishop of Milan (1954–63) he showed particular concern with social problems and worked to improve relations between workers and employers. He was created a cardinal in 1958.