Johanna “Hannah” Arendt (October 14, 1906 –December 4, 1975) was a German-born American political theorist. Her 18 books and numerous articles, ranging from works on totalitarianism to thinking and judging, greatly influence political philosophy to this day.
Arendt is widely considered one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century. She escaped from Germany during the Holocaust, becoming an American citizen.
After completing her high school studies in 1924, she enrolled at the University of Marburg, where she spent a year studying philosophy with Martin Heidegger. After a year at Marburg, Arendt spent a semester at Freiburg University, attending the lectures of Edmund Husserl.
In 1926 she moved to the University of Heidelberg, where in 1929 she completed her dissertation under the existentialist philosopher-psychologist Karl Jaspers.
Her works deal with the nature of power and the subjects of politics, direct democracy, authority, and totalitarianism. The Hannah Arendt Prize is named in her honor.