On February 17, 1929, Herman Potok entered the world in the Bronx. His parents, Jewish immigrants from Poland, named him in Hebrew Chaim Tzvi. Growing up, Potok decided he wanted to be an author, writing his first article for publication at age seventeen. Though Atlantic Monthly didn't print his work, the editor offered him encouragement. Potok later attended Yeshiva University for his bachelor's degree in English literature and then earned his master's degree in Hebrew literature. Becoming a rabbi, he volunteered for the U.S. Army as a chaplain during the Korean War. While working as an editor for Conservative Judaism and the Jewish Publication Society, Potok also earned his Ph.D. Accomplished as an editor, painter, and author of plays, short stories, nonfiction pieces, children's books, and novels, Potok's work The Chosen was later made into a movie. Husband to Adena and father of three children, Potok passed away from brain cancer in Pennsylvania on July 23, 2002.
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