Rasul Gamzatovich Gamzatov, Russian Soviet poet, born on 8 September 1923 in an Dagestani village. His father, the Peoples Poet Gamzat Tsadas, was his first teacher and mentor in the study of poetry. Gamzatov wrote his first poem when he was eleven years old.
Gamzatov studied at the pedagogical institute and, in 1940, returned to teach in his village school for a short time. He then took on a series of jobs, including director's assistant in a traveling theatre troupe, and worker for radio as well as the newspaper Bolshevik Gor.
In 1943, he published his first collection of poems, Firey Love and Burning Hate, in Avar, the language of Dagestan.
Between 1945 and 1950, Gamzatov studied at the Gorky Institute of Literature in Moscow. His first collection of poems in Russian was published in 1947. Since then, he has published over 20 books in both Russian and Avar.
His poetry collection Year of My Birth (1950) was awarded the USSR State Prize in 1952. Gamzatov also won the Lenin Prize for his 1962 collection Lofty Stars. Some of his other titles include, Word About The Older Brother (1952), Dagestani Spring (1955), Miner (1958), My Heart is in The Hills (1959), Two Shawls, Letters (1963), Rosary of Years (1968), By The Hearth (1978), Island of Women (1983), Wheel of Life (1987) as well as the lyrical novel My Dagestan (1967-1971).
In 1959, Gamzatov was declared a People's Poet of Dagestan. In 1974 he became a Hero of Socialist Labor.
Rasul Gamzatov currently lives and works in Makhachkala, Dagestan. He is Chairman of the Union of Writers of Dagestan, a post he has held for 50 years now.