Mario Puzo was born in New York City on 15th October, 1920. He’s best known as the author of the novel The Godfather (1969), which was made into a movie in 1972. People had written novels and made movies about the mafia before, but the mafia characters had always been the villains.
Puzo was the first person to write about members of the mafia as the sympathetic main characters of a story. The son of Italian immigrants, he started out trying to write serious literary fiction. He published two novels that barely sold any copies.
He fell into debt, trying to support his family as a freelance writer. Then came The Godfather, which became the best-selling novel of the 1970s.
He went on to publish many other books, including The Sicilian (1984) and The Last Don (1996), but he always felt that his best book was the last book he wrote before he became a success – The Fortunate Pilgrim (1964), about an ordinary Italian immigrant family.