Jerzy Kosinski, Polish-American author, was born Józef Lewinkopf on June 14, 1933 in Łodź, Poland. His experiences as a war refugee and in post-war Poland informed his works of fiction, most notably The Painted Bird. He immigrated to the United States in 1957 and studied political sociology at Columbia University. Among his many honors is a National Book Award in 1969. In the early 1970s, Kosinski was a Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Drama.
Kosinski's early works of nonfiction were written under the pseudonym of Joseph Novak: The Future is Ours, Comrade (1960) and No Third Path (1962). His works of fiction include The Painted Bird (1965), Steps (1968), Being There (1971), Devil Tree (1973), Cockpit (1975), Blind Date (1977), Passion Play (1979), Pinball (1982) and The Hermit of 69th Street : the working papers of Norbert Kosky (1988).