Eric Hoffer

On this date in 1902, Eric Hoffer was born in New York City to German immigrants. By age 5 he was reading in both English and German. Struck by unexplained blindness at age 7, Hoffer regained his sight at 15. The experience of reading deprivation turned him into a nonstop, inveterate reader. He started working as a migrant in California at age 18 and spent most of his life as a dockworker, writing in his spare time, which won him the sobriquet of “the longshoreman philosopher.”

His first book, The True Believer (1951), is a classic. Nine other books were published during his lifetime. His autobiography, Truth Imagined, was published posthumously. D. 1983.

Freedom From Religion Foundation