Raphael Lemkin, Polish: Rafał Lemkin (June 24, 1900 in Belarus – August 28, 1959 in New York City) was a lawyer of Polish-Jewish descent. Before World War II, Lemkin was interested in the Armenian Genocide and campaigned in the League of Nations to ban what he called "barbarity" and "vandalism". He is best known for his work against genocide, a word he coined in 1943 from the root words genos (Greek for family, tribe or race) and -cide (Latin for killing).
Lemkin died of a heart attack at the public relations office of Milton H. Blow in New York City in 1959, at the age of 59. In an ironic final twist for a man whose life was dedicated to the remembrance of millions of victims of genocide, seven people attended his funeral.