I was born in Budapest on April 8, 1941, at the beginning of World War II. I escaped fascism, communism, and the Holocaust, growing up in the slums of Paris in the 50s and in Amsterdam's Counterculture of the 60s. I came to America at 18, alone, and eventually received my Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. I have enjoyed a long career as professor since then, recently retiring from CSUS. I have taught at Penn State, the University of California, the California State Prison at Vacaville, Cal State and several other institutions.
Having grown up and being educated in four separate countries, I speak Dutch, French, German and English fluently, and I dabble in a few others. My work has taken me to Asia, Russia, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, Iceland, Australia and every part of the United States. Before turning to Sociology, I studied flute at one of Amsterdam's conservatories. As a marathon runner, I won a few races and I was sponsored by Saucony for a while.
My mother is Ata Kando and my father was Jules Kando. He was a painter, and she is a photographer. She has published many books, and her work has been exhibited in many countries. One of her best-known books depicts the Makiritare aborigines in the Amazon jungle. Another one is about the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. She lives in the Netherlands, where she is recognized as one of the country's top artists. My parents are the recipients of the Righteous Among the Nations Award from the government of Israel, and their names appear on the Wall of Honor at Yad Vashem, for acts of valor in helping to save Jewish lives during the Nazi era.
The picture below is one my mother's more famous photographs. She likes to call this picture La Sainte Famille (The Holy Family). I guess because it is reminiscent of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. It has been published and exhibited many times.
The people in the photo are a refugee family. Ata took their picture in a Hungarian refugee camp during the 1956 Hungarian uprising against the Soviet Union. Although they are not related to us, the picture is reminiscent of our family, when we, too, fled Hungary as refugees shortly after World War Two in 1947.
I am married to Anita and I have two daughters, Danielle and Leah, and two grand-children so far. I have twin sisters, Madeleine and Juliette, who are two years younger than me. One lives in the south of Spain and the other one in Boston. Altogether, Ata now has 17 descendants - 3 children, 7 grand-children and 7 great-grand children (so far).