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Jean-Paul Sartre



Sartre was born in Paris and was raised in the house of his maternal grandparents following the death of his father, who died shortly after Sartre's birth. Sartre, who had taught himself to read, was kept at home by his grandfather, Charles Schweitzer, until the age of ten. Sartre's grandfather had, by far, the greatest influence both on Sartre's early upbringing and on his subsequent career. Sartre's first real formal education began in 1915 when he entered the junior Lycée Henri IV. Sartre studied at the École Normal Supérieure from 1924-1928, and then at the universities of Berlin and Freiburg from 1933-1935. Following graduation, Sartre taught at a number of French lycées until the outbreak of the war in 1939, when Sartre was called up for active duty. He was captured during the war, but was released the following year, after which time he continued writing and teaching, and also took part in the Resistance until the end of the war. After the war, Sartre quit teaching and became much more politically active. For example, he helped found a political movement aimed at regrouping the parties of the left, and also helped found and edit a journal with a strong leftist orientation, called Les Temps Modernes. In 1964 Sartre refused to accept a Nobel Prize for Literature. In March of 1980, Sartre was hospitalized for a pulmonary edema, after which time his condition deteriorated until he fell into a semicoma in mid-April, and died, unconscious, two days later.


Novels and Plays of Philosophical Interest:

Sartre on the Web

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Last modified May 2, 1996