Academy Award winner for 1974's "The Godfather Part II." He also scored 1972's "The Godfather" and Franco Zeffirelli's Shakespeare movies.
He was a musical prodigy from an early age, writing his first oratorio when he was 11. He began performing soon after.
He scored over 150 films, writing more than one a month during his most productive year. He also composed operas, ballets, and orchestral works.
He was born Giovanni Rota Rinaldi in Milan. His family was very musical.
He had a long friendship with Igor Stravinsky, saying the Russian composer's "mind struck sparks," an apt description of Stravinsky's unceasing creativity.