Louis Althusser (1918-90) was a French Marxist political philosopher. He was born in Algeria and educated in Algiers and France. He was admitted to the École normale supérieure in 1939, but World War II disrupted his studies when he was called to military duty. During the German occupation of France, Althusser was captured and placed in a German prison camp where he remained until the end of the war. Freed, he resumed his studies. In 1948 Althusser completed a master’s thesis on the German philosopher Hegel and later passed the agrégation in philosophy and was given a teaching appointment.