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Vale Eddie Jaku

Eddie Jaku, Holocaust survivor and author of the bestselling memoir The Happiest Man on Earth (Macmillan), has died in Sydney, aged 101.

Born Abraham Jakubowicz in Germany in 1920, Jaku was a volunteer at Sydney’s Jewish Museum since its inception in 1992. The self-proclaimed ‘the happiest man on earth’, Jaku, according to his author biography, ‘saw death every day throughout WWII, and because he managed to survive, he made a vow to himself to smile every day.’

Jaku’s memoir, published in 2020 as Jaku turned 100, was shortlisted for several awards in 2021 including the Australian Book Industry Awards, Booksellers Choice and Indie Book Awards. The Happiest Man on Earth has sold more than 60,000 copies this year to date.

Jaku’s publisher Pan Macmillan said in statement:

‘After a long and beautiful life, Eddie Jaku OAM has passed away at 101 years of age. It was a great privilege and pleasure to have worked closely with Eddie on his bestselling memoir, The Happiest Man on Earth, and to share his message with readers everywhere. Eddie was an inspiration of hope, happiness and wisdom, a man who truly worked to make the world a better place. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.’


Category: Obituaries