Mario Puzo

Mario Gianluigi Puzo (* October 15, 1920 in New York City; † July 2, 1999 in Bay Shore on Long Iceland ) was an American writer of Italian descent.

As a crime writer Mario Puzo was known worldwide for his novel The Godfather (English The Godfather ) 1969 a Mafia family epic that charts the rise of an Italian mafia family over a generation, and the eponymous film by Francis Ford Coppola. For the screenplays for The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II, he received, along with director Francis Ford Coppola, each an Oscar in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay.

Life and work

Puzo grew up in poor circumstances in New York's Little Italy. In his works he often sat apart with his background as well as the position of Italian immigrants in the United States. During World War II, he volunteered and was stationed as a soldier in Germany. After he returned to the U.S., he studied with a GI scholarship for former soldiers in evening classes at New York's The New School for Social Research and Columbia University.

His first short story published Puzo 1950, 1955 his first novel, The Dark Arena, which plays in black market circles in postwar Germany. He wrote for magazines and was at times even a government employee. With his second novel, Mamma Lucia ( The Fortunate Pilgrim ) he succeeded in 1965, the first success. The novel takes place in Italian Einwanderkreisen in New York during the Depression era. In 1969 he published his legendary bestseller The Godfather.

In 1977, his factual report Inside Las Vegas appeared a year later he reworked the player milieu of Las Vegas in the novel Fools Die ( The Fools ). The Sicilian ( The Sicilian ) 1984 was published, in 1990, the fourth K ( ennedy ) ( The Fourth K ), a novel about another president from the Kennedy clan. In 1996 he wrote the novel The Last Godfather 2001 he published his last novel, Omerta, the novel, the family he has not written to an end. Puzo wrote the screenplays in addition to the Godfather movies and the screenplays for films such as earthquakes ( Earthquake ) ( 1974), Cotton Club (1984 ), Superman (1978) and Superman 2 (1980). His experiences as a screenwriter in Hollywood, he also portrays in an autobiographical sketch. Again, he was just for the money claims to be - his Superman script he wrote for a mature extensive tax payment.

In a rare interview ( on Larry King 1996), he stated that both the book The Godfather, than to have written only of money reasons, the screenplays to and subsequent screenplays, and that he even wanted to revise the godfather, his publisher had but already published the book. The novel Mamma Lucia, who appeared before, he considered his best work, but which brought him little money - at a time when he had five children.

The movie- The Godfather, The Godfather - Part II and The Godfather - Part III are all the awards and were seen over one billion times. After Puzo's information it was he who suggested Marlon Brando for the role of godparents. He had previously called Brando, because he did not agree with the proposals discussed occupation. Brando pointed out to him that no studio would hire him at the time and that he should speak with the director, if this common ground. Director Francis Ford Coppola then accepted Brando in the lead role. Puzo had claims to any personal experience with the Mafia milieu - the novel is based entirely on research, and also for the role of the singer Johnny Fontane Frank Sinatra was after Puzo no direct model. In the book Puzo also saw less the thriller aspects in the foreground when the family history. The second sequel to the Godfather, which was also significantly Coppola certain the script, Puzo was less satisfied.

With his latest work, The Family ( The Family ) met Mario Puzo to write a lifelong dream, the story of the powerful Renaissance family of the Borgias. In this work, Puzo, however, holds less to the reliable historical facts, but rather processes the myriad of stories in novel form. Already in The Last Don (whose action has nothing to do with the Godfather ), aspects of the Borgia story were incorporated. The name of the Clericuzio family in the novel was his mother after her second marriage, the name ( and that of his siblings, this then shortened to Cleri ). From his novel The Last Don 1997, a television series on CBS ( with Kirstie Alley, Joe Mantegna ) was born.

Puzo died during his work on "The Family " at his home on Long Iceland. The book was completed by Carol Gino, Puzo's assistant and companion for over twenty years, who had also worked on the research for the work. In 2012, the novel The Corleones, a perfect Edward Falco screenplay by Mario Puzo, that was the story of the godfather in the 1930s and 1940s and planned as the fourth installment of the saga appeared.

Puzo had five children from his first marriage. After the death of his wife he lived with Carol Gino to him ( Puzo was an avid player) as full-time nurse, 1978 in Las Vegas saved her life. She recognized the symptoms of an impending angina pectoris (including blue fingers ) and made ​​sure that he investigate and let undergo a bypass surgery.

His daughter Dorothy Ann Puzo is director of the film Cold Steel (1987).


Puzo was at the Oscars in 1973 and 1975, an Academy Award in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay, as he along with Francis Ford Coppola the screenplays for The Godfather and The Godfather - Part II had written. In 1990, The Godfather III in the cinema, for the re Puzo wrote the screenplay. For the screenplay for The Godfather 1 he received a 1972 Golden Globe for the screenplays of Part 2 and 3, he was nominated for a Golden Globe. For the first and second part of the godfathers He also received a WGA Award for Superman, he was nominated for the 1978 WGA Award.




Short stories

His short stories published under the pseudonym Mario Cleri Puzo.