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Berlin, Isaiah, Sir

Born: 1909 AD
Died: 1997 AD, at 88 years of age.

Nationality: British
Categories: Authors, Philosophers, Scholars


1909 - Born on the 9th of June in Riga, Latvia. British-Russian-Latvian-born author, philosopher, political scientist, and scholar.

         - Educated at St Paul's School, London, a private school.

         - He was the first Jew to be elected to a prize fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford.

1921 - Immigrated to Britain.

1932 - He became a fellow of All Souls.

1940-1942 - Worked for the British Information Services in New York.

1945-1946 - Worked in British Information Services Moscow.

1956 - Married to Aline Halban de Gunzbourg.

1957 - Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at the University of Oxford.

1958 - Inaugural lecture, "Two Concepts of Liberty".

1963-1964 - President of the Aristotelian Society.

1966 - He helped to found Wolfson College, Oxford and became its first president.

1971 - Awarded the Order of Merit.

1974-1978 - President of the British Academy.

         - Wrote the essay collections: "Russian Thinkers", "Concepts and Categories", "Against the Current", "Personal Impressions", "The Crooked Timber of Humanity" and "The Sense of Reality".

         - His philosophical works included Karl Marx, Historical Inevitability, Two Concepts of Liberty, and Vico and Herder.

1979 - Received the Jerusalem Prize for writings on the theme of individual freedom in society.

1993 - His later works included The Crooked Timber of Humanity and The Magus of the North.

1997 - He died in Oxford on 5th of November and was buried in Wolvercote Cemetery, Oxford.


Page last updated: 2:46pm, 03rd Aug '07

  • "Only barbarians are not curious about where they come from, how they came to be where they are, where they appear to be going, whether they wish to go there, and if so, why, and if not, why not."