Aristotle, 384 B.C. - 322 B. C. Aristotle was born at Stagira, in Macedonia, in 384 B.C. At the age of 17, he went to Athens to study at Plato's Academy, where he remained for about 20 years, as a student and then as a teacher. When Plato died in 347 B.C., Aristotle moved to Assos, a city in Asia Minor, where a friend of his, Hermias, was ruler. After Hermias was captured and executed by the Persians in 345 B.C., Aristotle went to Pella, the Macedonian capital, where he became the tutor of the king's young son Alexander, later known as Alexander the Great. In 335, when Alexander became king, Aristotle returned to Athens and established his own school, the Lyceum Aristotle's works were lost in the West after the decline of Rome, but during the 9th Century A.D., Arab scholars introduced Aristotle, in Arabic translation, to the Islamic world. In the 13th Century, the Latin West renewed its interest in Aristotle's work, and Saint Thomas Aquinas found in it a philosophical foundation for Christian thought. The influence of Aristotle's philosophy has been pervasive; it has even helped to shape modern language and common sense. Aristotle died in 322 B.C.
Justin Kaplan was born in Manhattan, New York on September 5, 1925. He received a bachelor's degree in English from Harvard University, followed by graduate work in the field there, but he left before earning a doctorate to work as a freelance writer and book editor. His first book, Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain, won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1967 and a National Book Award. His other works include Lincoln Steffens: A Biography, When the Astors Owned New York: Blue Bloods and Grand Hotels in a Gilded Age, and Walt Whitman: A Life, which won a National Book Award. He also wrote books with his wife Anne Bernays including The Language of Names and Back Then: Two Lives in 1950s New York. He was the editor of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. He died from complications of Parkinson's disease on March 2, 2014 at the age of 88.