Albert Camus

Albert Camus (/kæˈm/ kam-OO, US also /kəˈm/ kə-MOO; French: [albɛʁ kamy] (listen); 7 November 1913 – 4 January 1960) was a French philosopher, author, and journalist. He was awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 44, the second-youngest recipient in history. His works include The Stranger, The Plague, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Fall, and The Rebel.

Albert Camus
Portrait from New York World-Telegram and Sun Photograph Collection, 1957
Born(1913-11-07)7 November 1913
Mondovi, French Algeria (present-day Dréan, Algeria)
Died4 January 1960(1960-01-04) (aged 46)
Villeblevin, France
Alma materUniversity of Algiers
Notable work
The Stranger / The Outsider
The Myth of Sisyphus
The Rebel
The Plague
Spouse(s)
  • Simone Hié
    (m. 1934; div. 1936)
  • (m. 1940)
RegionWestern philosophy
School
Main interests
Ethics, human nature, justice, politics, philosophy of suicide
Notable ideas
Absurdism
Signature

Camus was born in French Algeria to Pieds Noirs parents. He spent his childhood in a poor neighborhood and later studied philosophy at the University of Algiers. He was in Paris when the Germans invaded France during World War II in 1940. Camus tried to flee but finally joined the French Resistance where he served as editor-in-chief at Combat, an outlawed newspaper. After the war, he was a celebrity figure and gave many lectures around the world. He married twice but had many extramarital affairs. Camus was politically active; he was part of the left that opposed the Soviet Union because of its totalitarianism. Camus was a moralist and leaned towards anarcho-syndicalism. He was part of many organisations seeking European integration. During the Algerian War (1954–1962), he kept a neutral stance, advocating for a multicultural and pluralistic Algeria, a position that caused controversy and was rejected by most parties.

Philosophically, Camus's views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. He is also considered to be an existentialist, even though he firmly rejected the term throughout his lifetime.