Profession: Linguist and Author
Why Famous: Noam Chomsky is a major figure in analytic philosophy and is often described as the "father of modern linguistics". Working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955 he is responsible for introducing transformational grammar to the linguistics field.
Chomsky is one of the most prominent modern intellectuals, and frequently criticizes American foreign policy on issues such as the Vietnam War. He was involved in the free speech controversy surrounding Robert Faurisson and has written about the 9/11 terror attacks. He is the author of over 100 books.
Biography: Noam Chomsky (1928-), widely considered the most cited living author, is an academic who has made significant contributions to the fields of linguistics and cognitive science, and also received attention for his political thought and activism.
His influential 1957 book Syntactic Structures, which argued for new understandings of the way children learn language, popularised the concept of 'universal grammar' as innate to the human brain.
But it is for his devastating critiques of U.S. foreign policy that he has become best known. Starting with opposition to the Vietnam war, Chomsky has been a consistent critic of America's overseas adventures as well as its state capitalism and big business. (OnThisDay.com)
- 1949-12-24 Linguist Noam Chomsky (21) weds Carol Doris Schatz (19)
- 1967-02-23 Noam Chomsky's anti-Vietnam war essay "The Responsibility of Intellectuals" is published by the New York Review of Books