Cellini-Freedom Fighter: This is his true life story. (Hardcover)
(This book cannot be returned.)
Vito "Tutuc" Cellini went from street gangster to soldier to resistance fighter to secret agent - all before he was 21 years of age. In World War Two he deserted the Italian Army and fought Nazis with the Partisans in Yugoslavia, before returning to Italy to join the Allies amid one of the biggest cover-ups of the war. He ended the war as an agent with the American OSS (forerunner of the CIA) hunting down criminals and undesirables. Sailing home to New York in 1948 with a forged Italian passport and 12 cents in his pocket, he was arrested at Ellis Island. Since then, Cellini's inventiveness, reputation and irrepressible sense of adventure have taken him all over the world. Respected by the New York Mafia, he has negotiated with organized crime syndicates in Italy and been embroiled in the assassination of a high-profile journalist while advising Nicaragua's President Somoza. He once served, albeit inadvertently, as bodyguard for a notorious drug lord in Mexico. His inventions have earned him 19 patents, as well as the undying respect and gratitude of US Special Forces and Law Enforcement. He has been privileged to count some of America's most revered and decorated military heroes among his closest personal friends and ardent supporters of his work. He has never been afraid of taking the law into his own hands because, he says, sometimes that is the only way to survive. And while some of his adventures make fictional spies and secret agents pale by comparison, unlike his fictitious counterparts, Cellini remained faithful to one woman. Above all, Vito Cellini is a true patriot. Now in his 90s, he finally feels comfortable talking about his life. And he isn't pulling any punches...
Author Mick J. Prodger spent more than two years interviewing Cellini, traveling in the US and Europe with him, talking to those who know him and visiting the sites of his adventures, as well as researching the historical background for this book, which includes more than 75 photographs.