How Mario Puzo penned ‘The Godfather’ to get out of debt — and made bank

Mar 03, 2019 1532

BY: Reed Tucker

In the late 1960s, Mario Puzo retreated to the basement nook that served as his office to work on a new book. The broom-closet-like space beneath his Long Island house had enough room for a desk, a typewriter and little more. The basement also held a pool table, and while Puzo typed away, his five children would come down and play loud games, forcing Puzo to admonish the brood.

“He’d say, ‘Keep it down, I’m writing a best-seller,'” Puzo’s eldest child, Tony, tells The Post. The kids rolled their eyes and snickered. Their father’s claim was so laughable because, at that point, Puzo was a long way from the best-seller list. His previous two novels were well-reviewed but had sold about enough copies to fill a modest station wagon.

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