Who is Salman Rushdie?

Salman Rushdie presents his book "Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights" in Aviles, Spain in 2015. (Jl Cereijido/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Salman Rushdie, one of the most famous writers in the world, was brutally attacked just as he was about to speak to an audience at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York on Friday. Rushdie was taken by helicopter to a hospital, according to New York State Police, where he is undergoing surgery.

Salman Rushdie hospitalized after attack onstage in New York state

Hadi Matar, 24, of New Jersey, is in custody, according to New York State Trooper James O’Callaghan.

Rushdie, 75, has contended with death threats since 1988 when he published his fourth novel, “The Satanic Verses.”

Magical realism author Salman Rushdie has received death threats since 1988. (Video: The Washington Post)