Who is Simon Schama?
Sir Simon Schama (born 1945) is an English historian, who specialises in art history, Dutch history, Jewish history, and French history, although has also written and hosted a 15-part BBC television documentary series 'A History of Britain' (2000-2002). He also works as University Professor of History and Art History at Columbia University in New York City.
Schama was born in Marylebone, London, to Jewish parents. He won a scholarship to attend the private Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School in Cricklewood, then studied history at Christ's College, Cambridge.
In 1977, Schama published his first book, 'Patriots and Liberators', about the Dutch revolution of the 1780s, which won the Wolfson History Prize. In 1980, Schama moved to the USA to work at Harvard University, whilst continuing to write books about Dutch history and art.
Schama returned to the UK in 2000 to work on his 'A History of Britain' documentary. The following year, he received a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for his work. Schama continued writing books and presenting documentaries, focusing on topics such as Judaism, politics, art and America. In 2018, he was made Knight Bachelor, giving him the title 'Sir'.
As of 2014, Schama resides in Briarcliff Manor, New York. He is married to Virginia Papaioannou, a geneticist from California, and has two children, Chloe and Gabriel.