Russian-American mathematician known for his work in algebraic geometry. Born Ascher Zaritsky in Kobrin, Belarus, he changed his name to Oscar Zariski after moving to Rome, Italy, in the early 1920s. He in turn fled the fascist regime in Italy by immigrating to the United States in 1927. Once in America, he taught at Johns Hopkins University. In 1947 he moved to Harvard University, where he taught until his retirement in 1969. Among his many honors are the Cole Prize in Algebra from the American Mathematical Society (1944), the National Medal of Science (1965), and the Steele Prize (1981) for the body of his work. He died in Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1986.