Author, Holocaust Survivor, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel Dead at 87

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Photo: Bebeto Matthews/AP

Elie Wiesel died at his home in Manhattan on Saturday, reports the New York Times. The author, Auschwitz survivor, activist, journalist, Zionist, academic, lecturer, and Nobel Peace Prize winner was 87. Wiesel, perhaps more than anyone else in his generation, devoted his life to helping the world remember the Holocaust, its victims, and its lessons for mankind. That work included writing more than 40 books, including his acclaimed 1955 Holocaust autobiography Night, an account of his time as a teenager at the Auschwitz concentration camp which has sold more than six million copies and is now published in 30 languages. Wiesel's father, mother, and younger sister were all killed in the Holocaust, and he eventually became a voice for them and the millions of other Jews who perished through his books, activism, promotion of Holocaust education, and countless lectures and speeches on the subject.

Among many other awards and honors, Wiesel eventually won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for speaking out against violence and racism, with the Nobel citation calling him a “messenger to mankind” for “peace, atonement and human dignity.” He and his wife Marion would later found the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, an organization devoted to fighting tolerance and injustice. Wiesel is survived by his wife, son, stepdaughter, and two grandchildren.