Noam Chomsky was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 7, 1928. He is a linguist, political theorist, and activist best known as “the father of modern linguistics.” Chomsky has described his politics as an anarchist, anarcho-syndicalist, and libertarian socialist, and has been a vocal critic of American foreign policy for decades. Chomsky joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after finishing his studies. He became more involved in left-wing activism and anti-war protests, which led to his arrest on several occasions. Surprisingly, his civil disobedience had no impact on his academic career. Chomsky rose to international prominence as a linguist and mentored several students who went on to become leading linguistic specialists in their fields. Right here, we will assist you in commemorating his special day.
Avram Noam Chomsky
December 7, 1928
Noam Chomsky was born on December 7, 1928, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father was an Ashkenazi Jew from Ukraine who immigrated to the United States in the 1910s. Chomsky was raised in an intellectually stimulating environment, along with his younger brother David. Several members of his extended family supported left-wing politics, and as a young boy, he was exposed to the ideals of socialism, anarchism, and Stalinism. Chomsky attended Central High School, where he distinguished himself as an exceptional student who excelled not only in academics but also in extracurricular activities. Chomsky began his studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 1945, where he majored in philosophy, logic, and languages. During his university years, he met the Russian-born linguist Zellig Harris, who inspired a deep interest in theoretical linguistics in the young Chomsky. Chomsky earned his master’s degree in 1951 and attended Harvard University on the advice of Nelson Goodman to work on his doctoral dissertation. In 1952, he published “Systems of Syntactic Analysis” in “The Journal of Symbolic Logic.” Chomsky earned a Ph.D. in linguistics in 1955 after submitting his doctoral thesis on transformational analysis.
Chomsky joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an assistant professor in 1955. In addition to his teaching duties, he was required to devote significant time to a machine translation project. His work was well-received, and he was promoted to associate professor within two years. Based on a series of lectures he gave to his students at M.I.T., he published his first book, “Syntactic Structures,” in 1957. His book presented many novel ideas that wowed the university’s senior faculty, so Chomsky and his colleague Morris Halle were requested to start a new graduate program in linguistics. Following the program’s success, he was promoted to full professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics in 1961.
Chomsky became more involved in political activism in the late 1960s, but it wasn’t until 1967 that he publicly began speaking out against U.S. foreign policy. In 1969, he published “American Power and the New Mandarins,” his first political book, in which he detailed his opposition to the Vietnam War. Over the next few years, he published several other political books, including “At War with Asia,” “The Backroom Boys,”, “For Reasons of State,” and “Peace in the Middle East?” As a result of his activism, Chomsky was arrested several times but nothing could stop his rebellious spirit. He traveled to Australia in 1995 at the request of the East Timorese Relief Association and the National Council for East Timorese Resistance to discuss Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor. His lectures were well received, and they were published as a book in 1996. East Timor gained independence from Indonesia in 1999, and his efforts were thought to have aided the cause significantly.
Chomsky left M.I.T. in 2002 and yet continued to conduct studies and give seminars as an emeritus professor. He endorsed the 2011 Occupy movement, giving talks at encampments and publishing works that documented its impact. Chomsky became a senior fellow on the advisory committee of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, an organization that campaigns for the global abolition of nuclear weapons, in March 2014. He took a short-term politics course at the University of Arizona in Tucson in 2017 and was later employed as a part-time professor in the linguistics department. In 2018, Chomsky signed the Declaration on the Common Language of Croats, Serbs, Bosniaks, and Montenegrins.
Noam Chomsky studies philosophy, logic, and languages at the University of Pennsylvania.
He receives his master's degree and enrolls at Harvard University on the advice of Nelson Goodman to work on his doctoral dissertation.
Chomsky publishes his first book, "Syntactic Structures," based on a series of lectures he gave to his students at M.I.T.
Chomsky becomes more active in political activities and begins publicly criticizing U.S. foreign policy.
Chomsky signs the Declaration on the Common Language of Croats, Serbs, Bosniaks, and Montenegrins.
Why We Love Noam Chomsky
He emphasizes the importance of love
Aside from politics and his numerous works, Noam Chomsky teaches about love and its importance in our lives. In an interview, he stated that love is very important and exists all over the world, and that life would be meaningless without it.
He was always outspoken about his beliefs
Throughout his career, Chomsky was constantly forthright about his thoughts and opinions, even if it meant jeopardizing his career or safety. He was open about his beliefs without fear of being controversial or opposed, which earned him respect and support from his students, fellow intellectuals, and audiences.
He aims to share as much information as possible
Chomsky has been a teacher for over 60 years and has done countless investigations and discoveries regarding politics, mass media, linguistics, and other topics. In addition to lecturing, Chomsky has published over 100 books and appeared in over 160 films, documentaries, and television programs on a range of issues, doing everything he can to promote knowledge.
5 Surprising Facts
He became interested in politics in childhood
Noam Chomsky wrote his first article at the age of 10 and became interested in anarchist politics after visiting left-wing and anarchist bookstores while visiting relatives in New York.
He was dubbed the "controversial Jew"
Chomsky's work and political beliefs are of interest as explorations into some of how his opinions and words have been understood and misunderstood by his fellow Jews.
An essay made him famous
Chomsky, an outspoken opponent of the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War, published an anti-war essay titled "The Responsibility of Intellectuals" that garnered him national attention.
He was on a president’s enemies list
Chomsky's association with the New Left, a broad political movement consisting of activists in the Western world who campaigned for a wide range of social issues, resulted in him being arrested several times for his activism and being placed on then President Richard Nixon's enemies list.
He has written more than 100 books
Chomsky is a writer who speaks truth to power, and his work is distinguished by his clarity of vision and impassioned commitment to truth and justice, resulting in over 100 books that have been translated into many languages.
Noam Chomsky FAQs
Is Noam Chomsky a capitalist?
Chomsky identifies himself as a libertarian socialist and anarcho-syndicalist.
Who is Chomsky's wife?
Chomsky was married to Carol Schatz from 1949 until she died in 2008, after which he married Valeria Wasserman in 2014.
Does he have children?
Chomsky has three children — Aviva Chomsky, born in 1957, Diane Chomsky, born in 1960, and Harry Chomsky, born in 1967.
Noam Chomsky’s birthday dates