Joy – An Italian American Dream

The Italian Tribune explores the life of Joy Mangano, the inspiration behind Jennifer Lawrence's Oscar-nominated performance.

This article appears on The Italian Tribune.

The Academy Award nominations are out and Jennifer Lawrence has received the nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of Joy Mangano in the movie Joy.

The movie Joy is not entirely the factual story of the QVC and Home Shopping Network sales maven Joy Mangano, but her struggles as a single mother, vision and determination as an inventor are certainly true enough.

Joy Mangano was born on Long Island, New York, on February 15, 1956, and raised in Huntington. Her father was an inventive mechanic and Mangano had always had a talent for observing a chore and figuring out a better way of accomplishing it. While still a teenager, Joy worked in an animal hospital. Seeing the number of pets that had been hit by cars in the dark roads of Long Island, she devised a florescent-colored collar for cats and dogs to make them easily visible to cars at night. She didn’t patent the devise and as luck would have it, Hartz put out a similar product a year later.

Unlike the character in the movie, Joy did complete college (she graduated in 1978 with a BA in business administration from Pace University). After college, she went on to hold a variety of jobs including waitress and airline reservations manager, while getting married and having three children. Read more on The Italian Tribune.

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