Raphael Lemkin was a Polish lawyer of Jewish descent who is best known for coining genocide and initiating the Genocide Convention, an interest spurred on after learning about the Armenian genocide and being horrified to find out that no international laws existed to prosecute the Ottoman leaders who had perpetrated these crimes.
Lemkin coined the word genocide in 1943 or 1944 from genos and -cide. Lemkin became interested in war crimes after reading about the 1921 trial of Soghomon Tehlirian for the assassination of Talaat Pasha. Lemkin recognized the fate of Armenians as one of the most significant genocides in the 20th century. His work inspired Jessie Bernard, whose book American Community Behavior contains one of the earliest sociological studies of genocide.