"Carlo Collodi is the pen name of Carlo Lorenzini. He was born in Florence in 1826, son of a cook and a servant. He began his writing career as a newspaperman and soon founded his own humour magazines, called Il Lampione and La Scaramaccia respectively, but none of them survived a long time.
He was very interested in politics, and in 1848 he became a soldier to defend the Tuscany in revolt against its Habsburg rulers and again in 1859, he took part in the war between Italy and Austria.
By 1850, Collodi had a variety of fiction and nonfiction works published. From 1875 on, he decided to write only for children, adapting traditional tales and creating new educative books, which gave him quite a lot of success. Giannettino was the most famous character in his children's stories.
In July 1881, the first chapter of Pinocchio appeared in the Giornale dei bambini, directed by Ferdinando Martini, and became an immediate success. The story depicted a wooden puppet carved by Geppetto, a friendly old man. Suddenly, one night, this puppet came to life, but Pinocchio had to learn a lot about life. And his first lesson is not to be a liar, for his nose grows larger when he tells lies. Eugenio Mazzanti was in charge of illustrating the original Le Avventure de Pinoccio. The story was first translated into English in 1892 by M.A. Murray, under the title of The Story of a Puppet or The adventures of Pinocchio.
Later on, Collodi tried his luck by writing other stories, but he never found the perfection reached in Pinocchio. He died in Florence in 1890."
Another interesting Pinocchio link for further reading is
The Carlo Collodi National Foundation