Ephraim Kishon 1924-2005

Author, satirist, playwright, film director

Sun., January 30, 2005 

Author and satirist Ephraim Kishon dies, aged 80
By Shiri Lev-Ari, Haaretz Correspondent

Author and satirist Ephraim Kishon passed away late Saturday night at the age of 80.

Kishon died in Switzerland, apparently of a heart attack, with his third wife Lisa by his side. His coffin will be brought to Israel on Sunday, where he will be buried in the cemetery on Tel Hai street in Tel Aviv, where writers and artists are traditionally laid to rest.

Kishon, one of Israel's most prolific writers, was born in Budapest and was deported to a Nazi concentration camp in World War II. He immigrated to Israel in 1949. "They made a mistake they left one satirist alive," Kishon later said, summing up the period in his book "The Scapegoat."

Kishon's first satire published in Israel was "The Blaumilch Canal" in the newspaper Davar.

In the 1950s, he started a regular column in Maariv. In the 1960s, Kishon began working in film, writing and directing "Sallah Shabati." In the last three decades Kishon became known throughout the world as a successful author and playwright. His works have been translated into 37 languages. In recent years, several of his best-known books were reissued, and a new play of his came out a month ago.

Kishon was awarded the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement in 2002, for his unique contribution to society and the state. The judges panel described Kishon as "a light rescued from the fire of the Holocaust, who scaled the heights of satire in the world."

They also praised Kishon's work for reflecting Israeli society and rendering concretely the socioeconomic distress, unemployment, poverty and harsh living conditions of immigrants in the state's formative years.

Kishon is survived by his wife, three children Rafi, Amir and Renana and five grandchildren.

Read more:

Ephraim Kishon's literary work, by Dr. Chani Hincker

Institute for Translation of Hebrew Literature - short biography, works, works in translation 

Wikipedia - how Kishon learned Hebrew, translations of his works, recent works in German, some family details, related links 

Fan site, Germany: English version (life, bibliography, German literature and Israeli awards, photos). German and Spanish versions. 

Info website (German) 

The National Center for Jewish Film - short biography and major films

International Film Database 

Israel Prize website - reasons for the prize; biography, books, films, plays, prizes, honorary doctorate from Ben Gurion University, 2000 

Ynet/Encyclopedia - Biography with details about the Shoah, love of Israel, Israeli characters in his works, Israel prize 

Short bio and publications from Yedioth 

Habama - Kishoniada satire evening, with literary biography 

Tapuz/Yes - Filmography with summary of each film, biographical links for actors, producers 




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02 May 2005 / 23 Nisan 5765 0