Avram Noam Chomsky was born on December 7, 1928, in the East Oak Lane neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father was the Ukrainian-born William Chomsky, who had moved to the United States in 1913. Having studied at Johns Hopkins University, he went on to become school principal of the Congregation Mikveh Israel religious school, and in 1924 was appointed to the faculty at Gratz College in Philadelphia. William’s wife was the Belarus-born Elsie Simonofsky. Described as a “very warm, gentle, and engaging” individual, William placed a great emphasis on educating people so that they would be “well integrated, free and independent in their thinking, and eager to participate in making life more meaningful and worthwhile for all”, a view subsequently adopted by his son. Noam was the Chomsky family’s first child. In 1945 Chomsky embarked on a general program of study at the University of Pennsylvania, where his primary interest was in learning Arabic. In 1947, Chomsky entered into a romantic relationship with Carol Doris Schatz, whom he had known since they were toddlers, hey were married in 1949. In 1955, Chomsky obtained a job as an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), spending half his time on a mechanical translation project and the other half teaching linguistics and philosophy. He later described MIT as “a pretty free and open place, open to experimentation and without rigid requirements. It was just perfect for someone of my idiosyncratic interests and work.”
1947 he entered into a romantic relationship.
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