HEROES: The Life & Death of Manila John

As a boy on the streets of Raritan, N.J., John Basilone used to run alongside the Italian peddlers' carts, shouting at the top of his voice, "Any vegetables today, lady?" John was a lively boy; he had nine brothers & sisters, and his Italian-born parents had a hard time keeping track of him.

John finished St. Bernard's Parochial School at 15, and his mother wanted him to go to high school. But John had other ideas and quietly stuck to them: he started driving a truck for Gaburo's Laundry. He was big and...

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