Abba Eban (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Eban was Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador to the United States, and foreign minister. He played an influential role in the negotiations leading to the creation of the state of Israel and in securing its membership in the United Nations. His diplomatic and oratorical talents, used in the service of Israel, gained for him worldwide recognition.
Abba Solomon Eban was born in Cape Town, South Africa, on February 2, 1915. He was the second of four children of Abraham Meir and Alida Solomon. His father, a merchant, had fled from the persecution of Jews in Russian-controlled Lithuania in the late nineteenth century. When he was six months old, the family moved to London (the home of his mother’s family), as his father was seriously ill. Abraham Solomon died shortly after their arrival, and some years later, his mother remarried to Issac Eban, a specialist in radiology. The boy adopted the surname of his stepfather, and was known as Aubrey S. Eban until the independence of Israel when, like many Israeli citizens, he began using the Hebrew version of his first name.
Eban was a disciplined, studious, and witty boy, but somewhat shy and introspective. At seven, he was enrolled at St. Olave’s Grammar School for Boys, which was regarded as one of the best grammar schools in London. He spent his weekends with his maternal grandfather, who supervised his...
(The entire section is 1973 words.)
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