Cardinal Severino Poletto, Archbishop emeritus of Turin, Italy, was born on 18 March 1933 in Salgareda (Treviso), Italy. He was ordained for the Diocese of Casale Monferrato on 29 June 1957 and holds a licentiate in moral theology from the Alphonsian Academy, Rome.
He was a curate in Montemagno, prefect of discipline at the diocesan seminary and vocation director. In 1965 he was named parish priest of St Mary of the Assumption in the Oltreponte area of Casale. In that period he also worked part-time at a local factory. In 1973 he founded the Diocesan Centre for Family Ministry and in 1974 coordinated the city mission for the 500th anniversary of the Diocese's foundation.
On 3 April 1980 he was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Fossano and received episcopal ordination on 17 May. On 29 October he succeeded Archbishop Giovanni Dadone. For 10 years he was also secretary of the Piedmontese Episcopal Conference. On 16 March 1989 he was named Bishop of Asti and on 19 June 1999 was appointed Archbishop of Turin.
Archbishop emeritus of Turin, 11 October 2010.
He participated in the conclave of April 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI and in the conclave of March 2013, which elected Pope Francis.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by St. John Paul II in the consistory of 21 February 2001, of the Title of S. Giuseppe in Via Trionfale (St. Joseph in Via Trionfale), deaconry elevated pro hac vice to presbyteral title.