Mann, born in Luebeck, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1929 for his novels "Buddenbrooks" and "The Magic Mountain." He was mainly lauded for his highly symbolic and often ironic writings, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist who his entire life struggled with bisexuality.
Mann left Germany in 1933 after Hitler's Nazi Party gained power. He lived in exile in France, Switzerland and the United States, and in 1944 became a U.S. citizen.
He taught literature at Princeton University, but left the United States, frustrated after he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where he was termed "one of the world's foremost apologists for Stalin and company." Mann, in contrast to his brother Heinrich, also a novelist, is considered apolitical by biographers.
The novelist died in 1955 at age 80 in a hospital in Zurich.