Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno was born in 1903 to relatively affluent parents in central Germany. His mother was a gifted singer, of Italian descent, and his father was a wine merchant and Jewish. Adorno’s partial Jewish status was to have an immeasurable effect upon his life and philosophical works. He was an academically and musically gifted child. Initially, it appeared that Adorno was destined for a musical career. During the early to mid 1920s Adorno studied music composition under Alban Berg in Vienna and his talent was recognized by the likes of Berg and Schoenberg. However, in the late 1920s, Adorno joined the faculty of the University of Frankfurt and devoted the greatest part of his considerable talent and energy to the study and teaching of philosophy. Adorno’s Jewish heritage forced him to eventually seek exile from Nazi Germany, initially registering as a doctoral student at Merton College, Oxford and then, as a member of the University of Frankfurtís Institute for Social Research, in New York concluding his exile in Southern California. Adorno did not complete his Oxford doctorate and appeared to be persistently unhappy in his exilic condition. Along with other members of the Institute for Social Research, Adorno returned to the University of Frankfurt immediately after the completion of the war, taking up a professorial chair in philosophy and sociology. Adorno remained a professor at the University of Frankfurt until his death in 1969. He was married to Gretel and they had no children.