Jean-Paul Sartre

Philosopher, Author

1905 – 1980


Who was Jean-Paul Sartre?

Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism, and one of the leading figures in 20th-century French philosophy and Marxism.

His work has also influenced sociology, critical theory, post-colonial theory, and literary studies, and continues to influence these disciplines. Sartre has also been noted for his open relationship with the prominent feminist theorist Simone de Beauvoir.

He was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature and refused it, saying that he always declined official honors and that "a writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution".

Famous Quotes:

  • Nothingness lies coiled at the heart of being like a worm
  • We mean that man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards.
  • Hell is other people.
  • Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance.
  • Fascism is not defined by the number of its victims, but by the way it kills them.
  • If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company.
  • I am responsible for everything except for my very responsibility, for I am not the foundation of my being. Therefore everything takes place as if I were compelled to be responsible. I am abandoned in the world... in the sense that I find myself suddenly alone and without help, engaged in a world for which I bear the whole responsibility without being able, whatever I do, to tear myself away from this responsibility for an instant.
  • To eat is to appropriate by destruction.
  • Words are loaded pistols.
  • If literature isn't everything, it's not worth a single hour of someone's trouble.

We need you!

Help us build the largest biographies collection on the web!

Jun 21, 1905
Also known as
  • Jean Paul Sartre
  • Sartre, Jean-Paul
  • Sartre
  • Dr. Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre
  • Atheism
  • France
  • École Normale Supérieure
  • Lycée Louis-le-Grand
Lived in
  • Paris
Apr 15, 1980
Resting place
Montparnasse Cemetery

on July 23, 2013


Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:


"Jean-Paul Sartre." STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 2 Dec. 2021. <>.

Discuss this Jean-Paul Sartre biography with the community: