Arthur Koestler, CBE was a Hungarian British Jewish author and journalist. Koestler was born in Budapest and, apart from his early school years, was educated in Austria. In 1931, Koestler joined the Communist Party of Germany, but he resigned in 1938 because Stalinism disillusioned him.
In 1940, he published his novel Darkness at Noon, an anti-totalitarian work that gained him international fame. Over the next 43 years, from his residence in Britain, Koestler espoused many political causes and wrote novels, memoirs, biographies, and numerous essays. In 1949, Koestler began secretly working with a British Cold War propaganda department known as the Information Research Department, which would republish and distribute many of his works, and also fund his activities. In 1968, he was awarded the Sonning Prize "for [his] outstanding contribution to European culture". In 1972 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
In 1976, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and in 1979 with terminal leukaemia. In 1983, he and his wife Cynthia committed suicide together at their home in London.