Howard Zinn was a historian, playwright, and social activist. He was a shipyard worker and a bombardier with the U.S. Army Air Force in Europe during the Second World War before he went to college under the GI Bill and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Zinn taught at Spelman College and Boston University, and was a visiting professor at the University of Paris and the University of Bologna. He received the Thomas Merton Award, the Eugene V. Debs Award, the Upton Sinclair Award, and the Lannan Literary Award. He lived in Auburndale, Massachusetts.