Ernesto Sábato was born in Rojas, in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, on June 24, 1911. Having completed his primary education in his native town, he moved to La Plata, where he attended secondary school. He was admitted to the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences of the local university, enrolling as a physics student. He became a member of the Communist Party, travelling to Moscow and Paris, where he lived between 1934 and 1936. Back in La Plata, he was awarded a Doctorate of Physics in 1938, winning a research scholarship to study atomic radiation at the Juliot-Curie Laboratory of Paris. At the outbreak of World War II he transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a further year. He returned to Argentina in 1940, alternating university teaching at his old school with the publication of articles on art and literary criticism in the magazines Teseo and Sur as well as in the newspaper La Nación. An inner conflict between science and literary creation led to an existential crisis that resulted in the abandonment of his promising scientific career, and in 1943 Sábato decided to devote himself to literature and painting. He combined writing with his work as advisor to various publishing houses, assistant to the Executive Board of UNESCO in Paris and Rome, and editor of the magazine Mundo Argentino. He was director of Cultural Relations at the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs and presided over the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons, which investigated the crimes committed by the military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983.