Professor Cesarani was Research Professor of History at Royal Holloway University of London. Earlier in his career he held positions at the University of Leeds, Queen Mary University of London, the Wiener Library in London and the University of Southampton. In 2005, Queen Elizabeth II appointed him to the Order of the British Empire for his work on creating Holocaust Memorial Day in his native Britain.
Professor Cesarani passed away in October 2015, shortly after he had been chosen as the inaugural Sara and Asa Shapiro Annual Holocaust Testimony Scholar and had accepted this award, but before his selection was made public. The USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research hosted a symposium to honor him. The symposium featured renowned international scholars discussing Cesarani’s work, his impact on Holocaust studies, and the connections between their own work and his contributions to the field.
A prolific researcher and author, Cesarani’s books include Eichmann: His Life and Crimes; Arthur Koestler: The Homeless Mind; Justice Delayed: How Britain Became a Refuge for Nazi War Criminals; Major Farran's Hat: Murder, Scandal and Britain's War Against Jewish Terrorism 1945-1948; Disraeli: The Novel Politician (Jewish Lives); and Final Solution: The Fate of the Jews 1933–1949.