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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in St.Petersburg, Russia
Died in Moscow, USSR [now Russia]
Birth NameNikolai Vasilyevich Korneichukov

Mini Bio (1)

Kornei Chukovsky was a Russian-Jewish writer who established himself before the Russian Revolution of 1917, and later emerged as important public figure in the Soviet Union.

He was born Nikolai Vasilyevich Korneichukov on March 31, 1882, in St. Petersburg, Russia. His father, Emanuel Ben Shlomo Levinson, was an honorary citizen of Odessa. His mother, Yekaterina Osipovna Korneichukova, worked as the housekeeper for Levinson's family. The young Chukovsky grew up virtually without a father, because Levinson did not legitimize his fatherhood, but apparently supported him financially. Through his entire life in Russia and Soviet Union Chukovsky was shy to mention that he was half-Jewish.

Chukovsky was a classmate and a close friend of Vladimir Jabotinsky in Odessa Gymnasium. Their friendship and correspondence lasted for several decades, regardless of the many dangers. He was a journalist for an Odessa newspaper from 1901-1905, spending 2 years as a correspondent in London. In St. Petersburg he published a satirical magazine "Signal" (1905-1906) with criticism of the Czar's government, for which he was arrested and sentenced to 6 months in prison. He became friends with Vladimir Mayakovsky, Vladimir Korolenko, Leonid Andreyev, Aleksei Tolstoy, and Maxim Gorky.

Chukovsky was a praised Russian translator of Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, and other English and American authors. His writings for children are regarded as classics of the form. His best-known poems for children are "Krokodil", "Moydodyr", "Tarakanische", and "Doctor Aybolit" (Doctor Ouch). Sergei Prokofiev composed music to several of his stories. In 1930 Chukovsky published a brilliant study of the language of children, "Ot 2 do 5" (From Two to Five). His "Mastery of Nekrasov," a literary research on Nikolai A. Nekrasov, was awarded the State Lenin Prize in 1962. Chukovsky received an honorary doctorate from Oxford University (1962). His works were praised by Vladimir Nabokov.

Chukovsky was fearless when he congratulated Boris Pasternak with the Nobel Prize. He also defended Mikhail Zoschenko, Anna Akhmatova, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn during their hard times under Joseph Stalin's dictatorship. His daughter, Lidiya Chukovskaya was the literary secretary and a life-long companion of Anna Akhmatova. Chukovsky was instrumental in publications of the authors, who were writing in Yiddish. He died on October 28, 1969, and was laid to rest in Peredelkino, a suburb of Moscow, Russia.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Spouse (1)

Maria Aron-Berovna Goldfeld (26 May 1903 - 1955) ( her death) ( 4 children)

Trivia (1)

Father of Nikolai Chukovsky.

Personal Quotes (1)

[about his father, Nikolai Chukovsky] I don't know him.

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