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Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan: Everything you need to know

An Indian Philosopher, Academic Scholar, and one of our most prestigious Statesman:  Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.

Born on 5th September 1888, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was India’s First Vice President served our nation from 1952 to 1962.

He was also the Second President of India served our country from 1962-1967 after Mr. Rajendra Prasad.

Personal details:

Birth Details: Born as Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnayya on 5th September in Thiruttani, Tamil Nadu, India.

Date and Place of Demise: 17 April 1975 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.


Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born to Sarvepalli Veeraswami (Father) and Sarvepalli Sita (Mother). His family comes from  Sarvepalli village, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh.


Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan completed his primary education at K.V High School, Thiruttani, Government High Secondary SchoolWalajapet, and Hermannsburg Evangelical Lutheran Mission School, Tirupati. 

After that, he joined Voorhees College in Vellore for his high school education. At age of 17  After his First of Arts class, he got admitted to the Madras Christian College and graduated from there in 1906, and after that, he also completed his Masters from the same college.

Due to financial constraints, he selected Philosophy as his academic course because his cousin gave his old books as he also graduated from the same college.

At the age of 20, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishanan published his M.A. degree thesis.

“The Ethics of the Vedanta and its Metaphysical Presuppositions”  was his thesis’s title.

Family Details :

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan family
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan family

At the age of 16, he was married to a distant cousin named Sivakamu, it was an arranged marriage. For over 51 years they were married and his wife died on 26 November 1956.

Then they had 5 daughters and a son.

Academic career: 

At the Madras Presidency College, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was appointed to the Department of Philosophy in April 1909.

Afterward, He joined as  Professor of Philosophy with the University of Mysore in 1918.

He also wrote many articles for journals like The Quest, The International Journal Of Ethics, and Journal Of Philosophy.

Around 1920, he wrote his two books

  1. The Philosophy Of Rabindranath Tagore.
  2. The Reign of Religion in Contemporary Philosophy.

At the University of Calcutta, he joined as Philosophy Professor to occupy The King George V Chair of Mental and Moral Science in 1921.

In June 1926, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan represented the University of Calcutta at the Universities of British Empire.

In September 1926, he represented the International Congress of Philosophy at Harvard University.

He also published another book named “An idealist  View Of Life, which was on an important academic event where he was invited to deliver the Hibbert Lecture at Manchester College, Oxford on the ideals of life.

As post vacated by Principal J. Estlin Carpenter at Manchester College, to occupy that post Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was invited in 1929.

So the opportunity arose to lecture to the students of the University of Oxford on Comparative Religion.

He was also appointed in Andhra University as  Vice-Chancellor from 1931 to 1936.

In 1936 and 1937, He was also nominated for a Noble prize in literature.

He joined as Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) after Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya invited him. There he served till January 1948.


Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan has contributed so much to our nation as a prominent political leader.

In 1928, he supported the idea of renaming the Ceded Districts division of Madras Presidency as Rayalaseema when he attended Andhra Mahasabha.

At UNESCO Dr. Radhakrishnan represented India, in 1947 when India got freedom from Britishers (1946–52).

He served Ambassador of India to the Soviet Union (1949 – 1952).

He was one of the members of the Constituent Assembly of India who wrote our Indian Constitution.

In 1952 Dr. Radhakrishnan became India’s first Vice-President.

He also became the Second President of India (1962 to 1967).


One of the favorite days, we celebrate is Teacher’s day. On this day we celebrate our teachers who all contributed to our lives to build our personalities.

We organize several events to honor our teachers as they are a special and important part of one’s life.

It all started when Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan became President of India in 1962, some of his friends and students wanted to celebrate his birthday but he wanted to celebrate this day as Teacher’s day.

5th September” is celebrated as Teacher’s day from that day.

Awards and honors :

  • The Chamber of the Rajya Sabha is embellished with a portrait of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan.
  • In 1931, He was elected a Knight Bachelor in, However, he stopped using the title “Sir” after India got independence.
  • Five times he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • In 1938, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan got appointed as a Fellow of the British Academy.
  • In 1954, he received the highest civilian award in India i.e. Bharat Ratna.
  • In 1961, he was awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.
  • In 1968, he was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, the highest honor conferred by the Sahitya Akademi on a writer. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was the first person to get this award.
  • In 1975, For advocating non-aggression and conveying “a universal reality of God that embraced love and wisdom for all people” he won the Templeton Prize in 1975.
  • In 1989, scholarships were later named the “Radhakrishnan Chevening Scholarships” in the memory of Radhakrishnan.
  • Sixteen times he was nominated for the Nobel prize in literature, and for the Nobel Peace Prize, he was nominated eleven times.

Some Books by Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan:

  • The Hindu View of Life
  • A Source Book in Indian Philosophy
  • An Idealist View of Life
  • Eastern Religions and Western Thought
  • The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore
  • The Pursuit of Truth
  • Religion, Science and Culture
  • The Heart of Hindusthan
  • Living with a Purpose
  • Faith Renewed

These books will give an insight that how full of wisdom and spiritual person Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was.

The demise of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan happened on 17 April 1975.

One of the most unforgettable things about our humble leader is he accepted only Rs. 2500 out of Rs 10,000 salary when he got appointed as  President of India and every month Donation was made with the remaining amount to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

So let’s celebrate Teacher’s day in honor of this humble man who devoted his entire life to promoting the value of education.

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