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henry mancini

He grew up near Pittsburgh where his steel-worker father from Abruzzo enrolled him in flute lessons at age 8.

He attended the Juilliard School but was drafted into the army before he could complete his studies, and in 1945 helped liberate a concentration camp.

Following the war he rose to fame as a film and television composer, winning a record 20 Grammys and 4 Oscars for his work on such productions as Peter Gun, Breakfast at Tiffany's (think "Moon River") and The Pink Panther.

Today's great Italian is Enrico Nicola Mancini, otherwise known as Henry.

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