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Albert Camus
Born: November 7, 1913 in Oran, Algeria
Died: January 4, 1960 in an automobile accident 
After winning a degree in philosophy, he worked at various jobs, ending up in journalism. In the 1930s, he ran a theatrical company, and during World War II was active in the French Resistance, editing an important underground paper, Combat. 
Albert Camus won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957 "for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times". 
A copy of his acceptance speech is available on line from the Nobel web site, as is a more detailed biography