Michael Žantovský

Czech Republic, 1949

Michael Žantovský is a diplomat, politician, writer and translator. In November 1989 he was a founding member of the Civic Forum, the organization that coordinated the overthrow of the Communist regime, for which he became press spokesman. In January 1990 he became the Spokesman and Press Secretary for President Václav Havel. Žantovský later served as the Czech ambassador to the United States, to Israel and, until 2015, to the United Kingdom. From 2012 to 2015 he was president of the Aspen Institute Central Europe, and since 2015 he has served as Executive Director of the Václav Havel Library in Prague. A prolific author, translator, lyricist and journalist, Žantovský has translated into Czech more than 50 works of contemporary English and American fiction, poetry, drama and nonfiction. Especially noteworthy among his publications is his biography of his long-time friend, Havel: A Life, which was published to great acclaim in English, Czech, and several other languages in November 2014.