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Jacobo Timerman

Jacobo Timerman (January 6, 1923 – November 11, 1999) was a publisher, journalist, and author. Born in Bar, Ukraine, Timerman and his family emigrated to Argentina in 1928.


Life and imprisonment in Argentina

In the decade of the 1960s, Timerman established himself as a popular journalist, and, before the decade had come to a close, he was able to found two different weekly news magazines. Later, from 1971 to 1977, Timerman edited and published the left-leaning daily La Opinión. Under his leadership, this paper publicized news and criticisms of the human rights violations of the Argentine government during the early years of the "Dirty War". On 15 April 1977, Timerman was arrested by the military. Thereafter, he was subjected to electric shock torture, beatings, and solitary confinement. These experiences were chronicled in his 1981 book Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number, and a 1983 movie by the same name:

Life in Israel

After his release from prison in September 1979, Timerman was forced into exile and sent to Tel Aviv, Israel. A year after publishing Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number, he released The Longest War. This book was a detailed and personal response to the first few months of Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

Return to Argentina

Sometime after the publication of The Longest War, Timerman moved to Madrid and then to New York. Finally, in 1984, he returned to Buenos Aires. Three years later, in 1987, Timerman released Chile: Death in the South, a critical examination of life under dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Timerman died in Buenos Aires on 11 November 1999.

The Catholic priest Christian von Wernich, personal confessor of provincial chief of police Ramón Camps, was convicted of involvement in his abduction and torture (and that of many others) on 9 October 2007.


In 1980, Timerman was awarded the Golden Pen of Freedom [1] by the World Association of Newspapers in recognition of his courage in defending the right to free expression and press freedom. He received the Conscience-in-Media Award in 1981, from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Also in 1981, he received the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award from the Institute for Policy Studies.


Timerman had three sons. Héctor Timerman continues his father's work. He is also an author and journalist, currently serving as Argentina's Ambassador to the United States of America (appointed in December 2007). Javier Timerman, his other son, resides in New York with his three children and wife. Daniel Timerman lives in Israel with his three children.

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