American painter and writer Samuel Bak was born into a secular Jewish family in Vilnius, Poland on 12 August 1933, an area transferred to Lithuania in 1939. After the German Occupation, he was forced into the Ghetto, later seeking sanctuary in a Benedictine convent with his mother. After returning to the Ghetto, they were deported to a forced labour camp, but latterly hid again in the convent and were the only members of their extended family to survive. After they were liberated by the Soviets, they spent the years 1945-48 as Displaced persons in the American occupied zone of Germany, immigrating to Israel in 1948. Since 1993, Samuel Bak has lived in the United States.

Bak held his first exhibition inside the Ghetto at the age of nine. He later studied painting in Munich, then after immigration to Israel, entered the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem in 1952, afterwards continuing his studies in Paris in 1956, before travelling widely in Europe, prior to settling in the United States. His work has been exhibited widely in countries including America, Germany, Israel, Canada, South Africa and Lithuania including retrospectives at Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem, and the South African Jewish Museum in Cape Town. A collection of Samuel Bak's works is on permanent display at the Pucker Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.