Mr. Sommer was born in 1927 in Makachelo a small village in Czechoslovakia. He was 14 years old when he was forced into a Nazi labor camp from which he escaped just before he was to be shipped to concentration camp Auschwitz. He was in the involuntary service in the Soviet Army and has lived through many harrowing experiences, which he describes in his book "Journey Through the Golden Door".
He came to the United States in 1948 and ultimately became a teacher and National Teacher of the Year in 1981-82. This led to an invitation to serve on President Reagan's National Commission on Excellence in Education.
Mr. Sommer is a frequent speaker before students, professional groups and numerous organizations and lives in New Rochelle with his wife Shirley.