Antonis Samarakis, a Greek author and children’s advocate, died on Aug. 8 of a heart attack. He was 84.
Samarakis studied law at Athens University, then became a civil servant in the labor ministry. During the German occupation, he fought in the Resistance until his activities were discovered. In 1944, he was sentenced to death, a fate he avoided by going into hiding until the end of World War II.
In the 1950s, Samarakis turned his love of writing into a career. He published three short story collections, seven novels and an autobiography. His work was eventually translated into 30 languages.
Samarakis was the first Greek to serve as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. He also became a leader of Greece’s youth parliament program. Each year, the program gives 300 high school students the opportunity to gather in the country’s parliament building and serve in a mock government.