Eliezer Wiesel was born in 1928, a native of Sighet, Transylvania (Romania) which is near the Ukrainian border; He grew up experiencing first-hand the horrors of the Holocaust, this started when at fifteen years old Wiesel and his family were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz. His mother and younger sister perished there, his two older sisters survived. Wiesel and his father were later transported to Buchenwald
In 1945, at the end of the war, Elie moved to Paris, where he studied literature, philosophy, and psychology at the Sorbonne. With a strong desire to write, Elie worked as a journalist in Paris before coming to the United States in 1956. He became an American citizen almost by accident. After being in New York City on an assignment, he was hit by a taxi, and confined to a wheelchair for a year. A friend convinced him to apply for U.S. citizenship, and he eventually decided to remain in America.
Elie has written more than thirty-five books, including Night, The Accident, A Beggar in Jerusalem, The Forgotten and From the Kingdom of Memory. His wife, Marion, has translated most of his books into English. His books have won numerous awards, including the Prix Medicis for A Beggar in Jerusalem, the Prix Livre Inter for The Testament and the Grand Prize for Literature from the City of Paris for The Fifth Son. Wiesel’s most recent books published in the United States are A Passover Haggadah, Sages and Dreamers. The first volume of his memoirs, “All Rivers Run to the Sea” was published in New York by Knopf publishers in December 1995.
THIS IS ELIE PICTURED WEARING HIS NOBEL PRIZE MEDAL THAT HE WON IN 1986
He has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States Congressional Gold Medal, the French Legion of Honor, the Medal of Liberty Award and, in 1986, the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in improving the living conditions, and promoting the understanding and global acceptance of Jews. For this same reason, Mr. Wiesel was presented with an Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1992 and He has received more than seventy-five honorary degrees from institutions of higher learning.
Elie Wiesel has been Distinguished Professor of Judaic Studies at the City University of New York (1972-1976), and first Henry
Luce Visiting Scholar in the Humanities and Social Thought at Yale
University (1982-1983). Since 1976, he has been the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University where he also holds the title of University Professor. He is a member of the Faculty in the Department of Religion as well as the Department of Philosophy.
He has been an American citizen since 1963 and lives in New York