Michelangelo Puglisi was born in 1879 in Catania, Sicily. A member of an instrument making family, he took over the family business after the death of his father, Giuseppe Reale Puglisi. In 1880, Giuseppe Reale had founded one of the largest Italian factories for the manufacture of stringed instruments. In Catania, Michelangelo was an active maker and produced many fine instruments, including violins, guitars, and mandolins, and also instructed his son Giuseppe in the craft. The Puglisi factory was destroyed by bombing in 1943, but was later rebuilt.