Jorge Semprún Maura was born in Madrid on 10 December 1923. He was a Spanish writer and politician who lived in France most of his life and wrote primarily in French. From 1953 to 1962, during the era of Francisco Franco, Semprún lived clandestinely in Spain working as an organizer for the exiled Communist Party of Spain, but was expelled from the party in 1964. After the death of Franco and change to a democratic government, he served as Minister of Culture in Spain’s socialist government from 1988 to 1991. He was a screenwriter for two successive films by the Greek director Costa-Gavras, Z (1969) and The Confession(1970), which dealt with the theme of persecution by governments. For his work on the films The War Is Over (1966) and Z (1969) Semprun was nominated for the Academy Award. In 1996, he became the first non-French author elected to the Académie Goncourt, which awards an annual literary prize. He died in Paris on 7 June 2011 at the age of 87.