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‘Godfather’ Author Mario Puzo Dies

July 2, 1999

BAYSHORE, N.Y. (AP) _ Best-selling author Mario Puzo, creator of the fictional Corleone mob family and winner of two Oscars for his screen adaptations of his book ``The Godfather,″ died today. He was 78.

Puzo died, apparently of heart failure, at his Long Island home, said Neil Olson, his literary agent. Puzo had just finished work on his latest book, ``Omerta.″ The book is due out in July 2000.

Puzo, who wrote seven other novels in addition to ``The Godfather,″ was born in New York, the son of illiterate Italian immigrants. After serving in World War II, he began his writing career _ starting out doing pulp stories for men’s magazines.

But his literary ambitions were much higher, and he published his first novel, ``The Dark Arena,″ in 1955.

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