Born in Philadelphia on December 7, 1928, Noam Chomsky grew up in the shadow of World War 2. His parents were practicing Ashkenazi Jews, and Chomsky was greatly influenced by his left leaning family and the anti-Semitism he experienced as a boy. He excelled academically, starting high school at age 12, attending the University of Pennsylvania at 16, graduating at 20, and earning his Masters in linguistics from the same university in 1951, at the age of 22. In 1957, while an associate professor at MIT and visiting professor at New York's Columbia University, he published his first book. The groundbreaking <i>Syntactic Structures</i> was an extension of his undergraduate and graduate theses which incorporated logic, philosophy, and mathematics to break down the structure of the Hebrew language. In the book, he expanded his theory to include every language, and Chomsky ultimately concluded that all humans share the same underlying linguistic structure. The book is widely acknowledged to have revolutionized the study of language. Although Chomsky continued in his capacity as professor at MIT, when the U.S. became involved in the conflict in Vietnam his political and sociological views rose to prominence. In 1967, the New York Times Review of Books published his essay "The Responsibility of Intellectuals," which was inspired by a series of articles questioning the responsibility of the German and Japanese civilian population for allowing their governments to commit atrocities during World War II. From this period forward, the bulk of Chomsky's publications and lectures had a political bent, highlighting his libertarian socialist leanings. His mistrust of government and capitalism (he insisted that every worker should be a partner in any endeavor they are undertaking - working for someone else is tantamount to slavery), made him a leading voice of many movements critical of power and globalization. This included vocal opposition to the U.S. aid given to the Contras in Nicaragua in the mid 1980s, as well as U.S. aid given to Israel, and strong support of the Occupy Movement that came to prominence in 2011. During his career, Chomsky wrote over 100 books and appeared on numerous TV news shows as well as documentary films.