Avram Noam Chomsky, American theoretical linguist, widely known as the "father of modern linguistics," was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 7, 1928. Chomsky revolutionised linguistics with his work from the 1950s which treated language as a human, biological, cognitive capacity.
Often referred to as "America's Socrates" Chomsky made significant contributions in the fields of cognitive psychology, philosophy and politics as well.
Here are a few interesting facts about one of the world's most influential intellectuals:
1. Chomsky was born into a middle-class Ashkenazi Jewish family. He faced anti-Semitism as a child and recalls German "beer parties" in Philadelphia celebrating the capture of Paris by the Nazis.
2. He wrote his first article about the spread of fascism when he was ten years old.
3. He is a critic of US foreign policy, capitalism and mainstream media, and got arrested multiple times for his strong opinions.
4. He was accused of anti-Americanism and being a terrorist apologist by critics.
5. In 2013, a newly discovered bee species was named after Chomsky as 'Megachile Chomskyi'.
6. Chomsky was on President Richard Nixon's 'Enemies List' -- a list of Nixon's political opponents -- for his stand against US involvement in the Vietnam War.
7. He has written over 100 books on various socially relevant topics.
8. He is known for his witty quotes and dry humour. Chomsky said his success is "a series of accidents".
9. In an interview, he described the Pentagon as "one of the most evil institutions in world history," "the most hideous institution on Earth," which "constitutes a menace to human life."
10. Chomsky has starred in around 160 films, documentaries and TV series like "Best of Enemies" and "The US vs. John Lennon."