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Last edited by Hermann Schindler
December 22, 2010 | History

Romain Gary

8 May 1914 - 2 December 1980

Romain Gary was born Roman Kacew in Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania). He grew up in Vilna and later in Warsaw, Poland, with family. In 1925, his father abandoned his family and remarried, and Kacew moved with his mother to Nice, France. He studied law, first in Aix-en-Provence and later in Paris. In World War II he became a pilot in the French Air Force. When the Nazis invaded and occupied France, he fled to England, changed his name to Romain Gary, and served with the Free French Forces in Europe and North Africa and was highly decorated for his bravery in the war (Compagnon de la Libération, Légion d'Honneur).
After the war, he worked in the French diplomatic service and married his first wife, author and journalist Lesley Blanch. His first novel, "Education européenne" (A European Education), was published in 1945. In 1952, he became secretary of the French Delegation to the United Nations in New York, and later in London. In 1956, he became Consul General of France in Los Angeles. He divorced Lesley Blanch in 1961 and married American actress Jean Seberg in 1962. He wrote the screenplay for the film "The Roots of Heaven" in 1958 and went on to direct two films, "Les oiseaux vont mourir au Pérou" in 1968 and "Kill!" in 1971, which starred his ex-wife Seberg, whom he had divorced in 1970. In 1979 Seberg committed suicide, and Gary followed her in 1980.
Over the course of his career he had written more than 30 novels, and had become one of France's most popular and prolific writers. In addition to writing under his own name, he wrote under the pseudonyms of Émile Ajar, Shatan Bogat, Rene Deville and Fosco Sinibaldi.

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History Created April 1, 2008 · 7 revisions
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December 22, 2010 Edited by Hermann Schindler filled in bio, purged mispelled names
December 22, 2010 Edited by Hermann Schindler added "Rene Deville"
December 22, 2010 Edited by Hermann Schindler merge authors
April 12, 2010 Edited by Open Library Bot Added photos to author pages.
April 1, 2008 Created by an anonymous user initial import