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Lorenzo de' Medici was never an old man. He died in 1492 - the year Christopher Columbus first set foot on American soil - at the age of forty-three. He came to power in fifteenth-century Florence at the age of twenty. In the twenty-odd years of his rule, this banker, politician, international diplomat, free-wheeling poet and songwriter, and energetic revolutionary helped to give shape, tone, and tempo to that truly dazzling time of Western history, the Renaissance. This Quick Read, by award-winning author Charles L. Mee, Jr., is the first in a six-part series on the life of Lorenzo de' Medici and of the times in which he lived.