Sarvepalli Gopal

23 Apr 1923
20 Apr 2002
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Sarvepalli Gopal (23 April 1923 – 20 April 2002) was a well-known Indian historian. He is the author of Radhakrishnan: A Biography and Jawaharlal Nehru: A Biography..

Sarvepalli Gopal was born in Madras, India, on 23 April 1923 into a Telugu family. He was the only son of S. Radhakrishnan (who would later become independent India’s first vice-president and second president) and Sivakamu. Besides him, the couple had five daughters.

Gopal was educated at Mill Hill School in London and at the Madras Christian College. He was also a student at Balliol College, Oxford where he won the Curzon Prize and took a third class degree in history. He continued at Balliol earning his DPhil in 1951 on the vice-royalty of Lord Ripon

Subsequently, he was a Reader in Indian History at St Antony’s College, Oxford. When the new Jawaharlal Nehru University was founded by then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, he was appointed as a Professor of History at the Centre for Historical Studies, which he helped in setting up.

He was a Director in the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, and worked closely with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in the 1950s. He was also Chairman of the National Book Trust, New Delhi in the 1970s.

Padma Vibhushan 1999 (for his contributions to Indian history)

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