Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel is an author, teacher, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and a Holocaust survivor.

During World War II, Wiesel and his family were forced forced first into a ghetto in their village of Sighet in Transylvania, and then later were taken to Auschwitz. Wiesel and two of his sisters survived; the rest of his family, including his parents and younger sister, did not.

When the war ended, he studied in Paris and later worked as a journalist. Like many Holocaust survivors, Wiesel refused to talk about his experiences. Finally, his friend, Francois Mauriac, the 1952 Nobel Laureate in Literature, encouraged him to write about what he had gone through during the war. This book, eventually translated from French to English as Night, has been translated into 30 languages and sold more than seven million copies.

In 1978, Wiesel was appointed chair of the Presidents Commission on the Holocaust. His job was to plan an American Holocaust memorial. The museum he helped build will continue to honor the memories of those who died and suffered because of the Nazis.

Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1986. Three months later, he and his wife, Marion, established the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. Its mission, according to its website, "is to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogues and youth-focused programs that promote acceptance, understanding, and equality."

Wiesel continues to author books, many of which have been translated into multiple languages. He is also the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, a position he has held since 1976, and Professor in the departments of Religion and Philosophy.