Leszek Kołakowski Is Born

Leszek Kołakowski (October 23, 1927 – July 17, 2009) was a Polish philosopher and historian of ideas.

He was best known for his critical analyses of Marxist thought, especially his acclaimed three-volume history, Main Currents of Marxism, considered by some to be one of the most important books on political theory of the 20th century.

Kolakowski was born in Radom, Poland. Owing to the German occupation of Poland in World War II, Kołakowski did not attend school but read books and took occasional private lessons, passing his final examinations as an external student in the underground school system. After the war, he studied philosophy at Łódź University and in 1953 earned a doctorate from Warsaw University with a thesis on Spinoza. He was a professor and chairman of Warsaw University's section on the history of philosophy from 1959 to 1968.