|Sir Isaiah Berlin was born in Riga, Latvia to a well-to-do, cultured, and liberal-minded Jewish family. His father was a timber merchant who took the family to England in 1921. When Berlin was 8, he witnessed the first moments of the Bolshevik Revolution outside his window in Petrograd. This was one of many significant world events to which he would be tangentially related; he would later play a role in the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, as a Zionist supporter. Berlin studied at Oxford University, where he remained for the majority of his life. In 1932 he was appointed lecturer in philosophy at All Souls College, and taught social and political theory from 1957 to 1967. Following a few years of teaching at the start of World War II, Berlin worked for the Ministry of Information in New York. In 1942 he was transferred to the Foreign Office in Washington, DC, where he reported to Britain on the state of political affairs in the U.S. He also worked for the Foreign Office in Moscow and Leningrad, where he met such literary figures as Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova; both had a long-lasting effect on him. Isaiah Berlin was a prolific reader in many languages, and he was a fast talker and avid lecture. He met a host of prominent figures in his lifetime, including Winston Churchill, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, and Pablo Picasso. He was knighted in 1957.