Erich Maria Remarque
Name at birth: Erich Paul Remark
Erich Maria Remarque was the author of 1929's All Quiet on the Western Front (Im Westen Nichts Neues), a novel based on his experiences as a soldier in World War I. The book -- and its strong anti-war message -- made Remarque an international celebrity (the 1930 film version is a classic of early cinema). He emigrated from Germany in 1931 to Switzerland, then moved to the United States in 1939. He wrote novels and worked briefly in Hollywood, making friends with movie stars such as Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo, and in 1958 he married Paulette Goddard. Remarque's other novels include The Road Back (Der Weg Zurück), a sequel to his most famous book, and Arch of Triumph (Arc de Triomphe, 1945) and Night in Lisbon (Die Nacht von Lissabon, 1962). He died in 1970.
There is some dispute about Remarque’s real surname. Some have said Remark is his family name (Kramer) backwards; others insist he was descended from the French, and that his family name was, in fact, Remarque.