The "greatest European mathematician of the middle ages", his full name was Leonardo of Pisa, or Leonardo Pisano in Italian since he was born in Pisa (Italy), the city with the famous Leaning Tower, about 1175 AD.
Pisa was an important commercial town in its day and had links with many Mediterranean ports. Leonardo's father (Guglielmo Bonaccio) was a kind of customs officer in the North African town of Bugia now called Bougie where wax candles were exported to France. They are still called "bougies" in French, but the town is a ruin today says D E Smith (see below).
So Leonardo grew up with a North African education under the Moors and later travelled extensively around the Mediterranean coast. He would have met with many merchants and learned of their systems of doing arithmetic. He soon realised the many advantages of the "Hindu-Arabic" system over all the others.
D E Smith points out that another famous Italian - St Francis of Assisi (a nearby Italian town) - was also alive at the same time as Fibonacci: St Francis was born about 1182 (after Fibonacci's around 1175) and died in 1226 (before Fibonacci's death commonly assumed to be around 1250).
[The portrait here is a link to the University of St Andrew's site which has more on Fibonacci himself, his life and works.]
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