For more than a half-century, Elie Wiesel voiced his passionate beliefs to world leaders, celebrities and general audiences in the name of victims of violence and oppression. He wrote more than 40 books of fiction and non-fiction, but his most influential by far was “Night,” a classic ranked with Anne Frank’s diary as standard reading about the Holocaust.
Here’s a look at some of his published works and awards and distinctions:
- 1960: His first book “Night,” was first published in the U.S. in 1960. It has been translated into 30 languages and has sold millions of copies.
- 1961: “Dawn,” a novel.
- 1970: “A Beggar in Jerusalem,” a novel that won a French literary award, Prix Médicis.
- 1980: “The Testament,” a novel.
- 1995: “All Rivers Run to the Sea,” the first of his two-volume memoirs.
- 1999: “And the Sea is Never Full,” the second of his two-volume memoirs.
- 1978: President Jimmy Carter appointed him to head the President’s Commission on the Holocaust and plan an American memorial museum to Holocaust victims.
- 1985: President Ronald Reagan presented him with U.S. Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of his “humanitarian efforts and outstanding contributions to world literature and human rights.”
- 1986: In awarding him the Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee called him as “a messenger to mankind” and “one of the most important spiritual leaders and guides in an age when violence, repression and racism continue to characterise the world.”
- 1992: President George H.W. Bush presented him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour, saying Wiesel survived the Holocaust and “still today keeps watch against the forces of hatred.”
- 2001: Wiesel is granted the rank of grand croix in the French Legion of Honor, France’s premier award.
- 2013: Israel President Shimon Peres awarded him the Presidential Medal of Distinction, the country’s highest civil medal, for his “ongoing work in preserving the memory of the Holocaust.”