Thomas Mann, the son of a merchant, was born in Lubeck, Germany, on 6th June, 1875. At the age of 18 Mann moved to Munich where he worked in an insurance office while attending university lectures. He then moved to Italy where he wrote his first novel Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family (1901).
On his return to Germany Mann had several short-stories published in various literary magazines. This included the remarkable Death in Venice (1913). During the First World War he wrote the patriotic Reflections of a Non-Political Man (1918). Mann's international reputation was enhanced with the publication of The Magic Mountain (1927). This won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929.
A strong opponent of Adolf Hitler he was forces to flee Nazi Germany in 1933. After living in Switzerland Mann emigrated to the United States in 1936. During the Second World War Mann made anti-Hitler broadcasts to Germany. The scripts were published in the book Twenty-Five Messages to the German People (1945).
Mann returned to Germany after the war and had further success with the publication of Doctor Faustus (1947). His unfinished novel, Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man, was published after his death on 12th August, 1955.