Carlo Levi was born to a prosperous Italian-Jewish family in Turin. Although he earned a medical degree from the University of Turin, he never practiced medicine. He served as an assistant to a professor at Turin University's clinic while painting and writing. He went to live and study in Paris, where he mingled with many notable artists. Back in Italy, he helped found the anti-fascist Giustizia e Libertà movement and directed the underground publication Lotta politica. In 1935-1936, Levi was forced by Mussolini's government into internal exile southern province of Lucania. Out of this experience he wrote his first book, Christ Stopped at Eboli, published in 1945. He was elected to the Italian Senate in 1963 and served on the Communist ticket for two terms.