Heinrich Sternbach (later Amos Elon) was born in Vienna. He immigrated to Mandate Palestine in 1933. He studied law and history in Israel and England. He was married to Beth Elon, a New York-born literary agent, with whom he had one daughter, Danae. In the 1990s, Elon began to spend much of his time in Italy. In 2004 he moved there permanently, citing disillusionment with developments in Israel since 1967. Elon died on May 25, 2009 in Borgo Buggiano in Tuscany, Italy, aged 82. In 2005, his daughter Danae produced a biographical film about him, entitled Another Road Home.
Beginning in the 1950s, Elon served as a correspondent on European and American affairs for the newspaper Haaretz. He took a leave of absence from Haaretz in 1971 and resumed in 1978. Elon retired from Haaretz in 2001. Elon was an early advocate for the creation of a Palestinian state and withdrawal from the territories occupied by Israel in 1967. He was a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and The New York Times Magazine. For many years, he was widely regarded as one of Israel's leading journalists.
Elon was the author of nine books. He rose to international fame in the early 1970s after publishing The Israelis: Founders and Sons, described as "an affectionate but unsparing portrait of the early Zionists".
- Journey Through a Haunted Land—the new Germany
- The Israelis, Founders and Sons
- Herzl, a Biography
- Flight into Egypt
- Jerusalem: City of Mirrors (Little, Brown, 1990)
- Timetable, a novel
- Jerusalem, Battleground of Memory
- A Blood-dimmed Tide—Dispatches from the Middle East
- Founder, the first Rothschild
- The Pity of It All: A Portrait of Jews In Germany 1743–1933
- Amos Elon's Bio Archived February 27, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- David B. Green (3 July 2009). "To cut or not to cut". Haaretz. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- theguardian.com: "Amos Elon", 4 Jun 2009
- "Amos Elon". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Ethan Bronner (25 May 2009). "Amos Elon, Israeli Author, Dies at 82". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- latimes.com: "Hub of Ages : JERUSALEM: City of Mirrors by Amos Elon (Little, Brown: $19.95; 304 pp.)"