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Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, known in English as George Santayana , was a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. Originally from Spain, Santayana was raised and educated in the United States from the age of eight and identified himself as an American, although he always kept a valid Spanish passport. He wrote in English and is generally considered an American man of letters. At the age of forty-eight, Santayana left his position at Harvard and returned to Europe permanently, never to return to the United States. His last wish was to be buried in the Spanish pantheon in Rome.

A line drawing of the face and upper torso of George Santayana as a middle-aged man. He is balding, wearing a suit, and looking away from the viewer to the right.
A drawing of George Santayana from the early 20th century.
Born Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás
(1863-12-16)December 16, 1863
Madrid, Spain
Died September 26, 1952(1952-09-26) (aged 88)
Rome, Italy
Nationality Spanish
Alma mater Harvard University
King's College, Cambridge
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School
Notable ideas
Lucretian materialism
Skepticism
Natural aristocracy
The Realms of Being

Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, known in English as George Santayana (/ˌsæntiˈænə/ or /-ˈɑːnə/; December 16, 1863 – September 26, 1952), was a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. Originally from Spain, Santayana was raised and educated in the United States from the age of eight and identified himself as an American, although he always kept a valid Spanish passport. He wrote in English and is generally considered an American man of letters. At the age of forty-eight, Santayana left his position at Harvard and returned to Europe permanently, never to return to the United States. His last wish was to be buried in the Spanish pantheon in Rome.

Santayana is popularly known for aphorisms, such as "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it", "Only the dead have seen the end of war", and the definition of beauty as "pleasure objectified". Although an atheist, he always treasured the Spanish Catholic values, practices, and worldview in which he was raised. Santayana was a broad-ranging cultural critic spanning many disciplines.