Dr. Sarvepali Radhakrishnan was born on 5th september1888 in Tiruttani near Madras. He graduated as B.A. in Philosophy and postgraduate as M.A. in Philosophy in 1908. He married Sivakamuamma in 1904 and had five daughters and a son. He started teaching the subject in Madras Presidency College in 1909. Nine years later, in 1918 he joined the University of Mysore and served there till 1921. In 1921, he was offered professorship at the University of Calcutta where he held the King George V Chair of Mental and Moral Science. In 1931, he became Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University. In 1936, he taught eastern religions and ethics at Oxford university. From there in 1938 he became the first indian to become Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University till 1952. After that in 1938 only, he was elected as a fellow member of all souls college.
In 1946, he represented India at the United Nations Educational Cultural and Scientific Organisation (Unesco) from 1946 to 1952. He was also India’s envoy to the erstwhile Soviet Union from 1949 to 1952. On his return to India in 1952, he was elected the vice president and also from 1953 to 1962 he was the chancellor of the University of Delhi. From 1962 to 1967, he was the President of India after Dr. Rajendra Prasad. He retired from politics in 1967. Radhakrishnan’s written books include:
- Indian Philosophy, 2 vol. (1923–27),
- The Philosophy of the Upanishads (1924),
- An Idealist View of Life (1932),
- Eastern Religions and Western Thought (1939), and
- East and West: Some Reflections (1955).
- In 1954, he was honoured with Bharat Ratna.
- In 1968, he became the first person to be awarded the Sahitya Akademi fellowship (the highest honour conferred by the Sahitya Akademi on a writer).
- Shortly before his death in 1975, he was bestowed with the Templeton Prize for advocating non-aggression and conveying “a universal reality of God that embraced love and wisdom for all people.”
- He was nominated sixteen times for the Nobel prize in literature, and eleven times for the Nobel Peace prize.