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Born in Palermo, Italy, in 1939, Giovanni Falcone was the son of Arturo Falcone, director of a provincial chemical laboratory, and Luisa Bentivegna. He spent part of his youth in the Magione District, which suffered extensive destruction during the Allied aerial attacks of 1943. Falcone received a classical education and briefly attended Livorno's naval academy prior to studying law. In 1961, he graduated from law school and practiced law for 3 years before being appointed as a judge in 1964. By the 1970s, Falcone was hearing cases involving organized crime. During the next decade, Falcone's work in the courtroom helped dissolve the aura of mystique and myth surrounding the structure and culture of the Mafia. By the 1980s, following years of bloodshed (and the murders ...

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