Ike Aranne, born Yitzhak Aronowicz, was born in Danzig, Poland in 1923 and moved to Israel at the age of 10.
Aranne was the captain of "Exodus 1947," the famous World War II ship that carried over 4,500 Jewish refugees, most of them Holocaust survivors, bound for British Mandate Palestine. The ship was rammed and boarded by the British who forced it to dock in France. When the passengers refused to disembark, the British sent the ship first to Germany and then to Cyprus, where the passengers were put in detention camps. The story of the Exodus was popularized by Leon Uris's 1958 novel of the same name and its 1960 screen version starring Paul Newman. Though Uris interviewed him in 1956 while researching for the novel, Aranne said the book was fiction and not based on the reality of the situation.
Aranne died in Hadera, Israel on December 23, 2009 after a long illness. His wife, Irene, died in 2001. He is survived by two daughters, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Sources: Jerusalem Post (December 23, 2009) (November 20, 2008)