Born Voronezh, 1887; died Moscow, 1964
Samuil Iakovlevich Marshak first came to prominence as a lyric poet and translator of Yiddish and Hebrew texts, thanks to the patronage of critic Vladimir Stasov and writer Maksim Gor’kii. In 1912–14 Marshak studied in England and, after returning to Russia, gained recognition as a translator of the work of Robert Burns, Shakespeare’s sonnets, and other English-language poetry. In 1923 Marshak began publishing works for children. For many years, he also served as editor in chief for the children’s publishing house in Leningrad, where he cultivated numerous young writers. Marshak was awarded four Stalin Prizes (1942, 1946, 1949, and 1951) and one Lenin Prize (1963). During World War II, he worked closely with the artistic collaborators Kukryniksy in the creation of TASS and other posters, as well as caricatures for periodicals and even labels for dry goods. Together they published four books of their wartime caricatures. His writings, especially his children’s poems and translations, have been constantly republished since his death.
Nikolai Fedorovich Denisovskii and Samuil Iakovlevich Marshak. Our Alphabet: The Letter I, February 15, 1943. Ne boltai! Collection.