Maurice Samuel was born in Romania on February 8, 1895. Growing up in a Yiddish speaking environment inspired him later in life to embark on a writing career that included journalistic as well as literary expression.
Moving to England at a young age, Samuel acquired his childhood and secondary school education in Manchester. In the course of his university years, Samuel made the acquaintance of Chaim Weizmann, with whom he established a longstanding friendship and collaborative effort regarding the Zionist movement. Samuel left his studies at Manchester University and moved to the United States around 1914.
After living in New York City's Lower East Side, Samuel found himself back in Europe as a recruit in the U.S. army during World War I. Assignments in a variety of capacities-from training recruits to secretary and interpreter-placed Samuel in close contact with European Jewish life and prompted his intense study of Jewish history and culture, including the Hebrew language.
In addition to writing and publishing activities, Samuel became an outspoken freelance lecturer on Jewish themes and, alongside Mark Van Doren (Pulitzer prize winning poet and professor at Columbia University), appeared for nearly twenty years on The Eternal Light-the Words We Live By radio program.
Thrice married and the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees in the course of his lifetime, Maurice Samuel passed away in New York City on May 4, 1972, at the age of seventy-seven.