Born on June 14, 1933, in Lodz, Poland, to a Jewish clan, Jerzy Kosinski lived as a child beggar to survive during World War II, later attending the University of Lodz. He settled in New York and earned acclaim as the writer of books like The Painted Bird, Being There and Steps, which earned the 1969 National Book Award. Suffering from a severe heart condition, Kosinski committed suicide in New York City on May 3, 1991.
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