Perhaps most famous for his bestselling work A People's History of the United States (1980), this writer, historian, activist, and professor also penned several historically-themed plays, including Emma (1976) and Marx in Soho (1999).
After fighting in World War II as a bombadier with the U.S. Army Air Forces, he studied at New York University under the GI Bill and went on to earn a doctorate in history from Columbia University.
Following teaching assignments at Spelman College (Atlanta, Georgia), the University of Bologna, and the University of Paris, he became a popular political science and civil liberties professor at Boston University.
The son of a Siberian-born mother and an Austrian and Hungarian father, Zinn grew up in Brooklyn, New York. His more than six-decade marriage to Roslyn Shechter resulted in children named Jeff and Myla.
He and religious leader and fellow anti-war activist Daniel Berrigan traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam in early 1968 and successfully negotiated the release of three American POWs.