Cumrun Vafa was born in Tehran, Iran in 1960. He graduated from Alborz Boys School and went to the US in 1977. He got his undergraduate degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a double major in physics and mathematics. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1985 under the supervision of Edward Witten. He then became a junior fellow at Harvard, where he later got a junior faculty position. In 1989 he was offered a senior faculty position, and he has been there ever since. Currently, he is the Donner Professor of Science at Harvard University.