Mario Puzo Facts

Mario Puzo Facts
Mario Puzo was an Italian-American writer best known for his epic mafia novel The Godfather. He was born Mario Gianluigi Puzo on October 15th, 1920 in Hell's Kitchen, in New York City, New York to poor immigrant parents from Naples, Italy. His father abandoned the family when Mario was a teenager and the family moved to a housing community in the Bronx. Mario's interest in literature began during this time and he went on to graduate from the City College of New York. He joined the United States Air Force during World War II but was not assigned combat duties because of his eyesight. In 1950 Mario Puzo's first short story was published in American Vanguard. It was titled The Last Christmas. His writing career had begun and his first book The Dark Arena was published in 1955.
Interesting Mario Puzo Facts:
Mario Puzo's parents were illiterate, and as such did not encourage Mario's love of literature. After his father left, Mario's mother encouraged him to become a railroad clerk.
Before joining the US Army Mario worked as a railroad switchboard attendant to help support the family.
While in the US Air Force Mario was stationed in India and in Germany.
After the war ended Mario worked in Germany for the Air Force as a civilian public relations liaison.
When he returned to the U.S. Mario took literature and creative writing classes at Columbia University, and at the New School for Social Research.
Mario Puzo married Erika Lina Broske and together they had three sons, Anthony, Joseph, and Eugene, and two daughters Virginia and Dorothy.
Mario's first published work was The Last Christmas in 1950. Mario continued to write his own stories while working as a writer/editor for various publications.
Mario Puzo's first published book The Dark Arena received excellent reviews, but did not make him a large amount of money.
In 1960 Mario Puzo's second book The Fortunate Pilgrim was published. It met with excellent reviews just as the first, but again did not earn him a big payday.
In 1969 The Godfather was published. It became a bestseller and remained on the New York Times bestsellers lists for an unheard of 67 weeks. This established Mario Puzo as one of the best writers in the world. He went on to write and publish The Godfather II and The Godfather III.
The Godfather sold more than 10 million copies while on the bestseller's lists.
The Godfather was adapted to film and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, released on March 14th, 1972.
Mario wrote the screenplay and won the Oscar for his screenplay for The Godfather in 1973.
The film The Godfather also won Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actor - Drama, Best Original Score, and Best Picture - Drama at the 30th Golden Globe Awards.
Mario Puzo wrote several other novels including Fools Die (1978), The Sicilian (1984), The Fourth K. (1991), The Last Don (1996), Omerta (2000), and The Family (2002).
Omerta and The Family were published after Mario Puzo died.
Mario Puzo died on July 2nd, 1999 in Bay Shore, New York, at the age of 78.

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