Romain Gary

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Romain Gary (8 May 1914 – 2 December 1980) was a French diplomat, novelist, film director, World War II aviator. He is the only author to have won the Prix Goncourt twice (under his own name and under a pseudonym).


Early life

Gary was born Roman Kacew[citation needed] (Yiddish: קצב, Russian: Касев) in Vilnius. His mother was Russian Jewish and his father had Tatar/Mongol ancestry.[1] His father, Arieh-Leib Kacew,[citation needed] abandoned his family in 1925 and remarried. Although Gary never liked to discuss his father's identity, his recent biographer Dominique Bona[2] theorizes convincingly that he was the son of the actor Ivan Mozzhukhin. After his father left Gary was raised by his mother, Nina Owczinska.[citation needed] When Gary was fourteen, he and his mother moved to Nice, France. In his books and interviews, he presented many different versions of his father's origin, parents, occupation and childhood.

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