A German scholar (b. 1901), Ven. Nyanaponika Thera ordained in Sri Lanka in 1936 after fleeing the Nazis. He was imprisoned by the British Empire as a possible spy for the duration of World War II, completing (from prison) German translations of the Suttanipata, Dhammasangani, and Satipaṭṭhāna.

After the war, he traveled to Burma where he helped the sixth council publish their edition of the Pāli Canon and learned vipassana meditation from Mahasi Sayadaw himself, later writing The Heart of Buddhist Meditation about the experience.

But Ven Nyanaponika Thera is most famous for co-founding the Buddhist Publication Society in 1958, where he published hundreds of works on Theravada Buddhism in English.

He died in Sri Lanka on October 19, 1994 on the last day of his 58th rains.

~ Adapted from his Wikipedia article