Who was the philosopher President of India?

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan (13 May 1962 – 13 May 1967)

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, legendary teacher and philosopher, was India’s second president. He served in office from 1962-1967. He was also the first vice president of India. It was after serving two terms as vice president that he was elected as the president. He was one of India’s most distinguished twentieth-century scholars of comparative religion and philosophy.

He was born in Tiruttani in Tamil Nadu on 5th September 1888 into a poor brahmin family. It was difficult for his father to educate him. Radhakrishnan was awarded scholarships throughout his academic life. He completed his BA and MA in philosophy from Madras Christian College. He later worked as a professor in many of the prestigious universities such as the University of Mysore and Banaras Hindu University. He was very popular among his students.

He entered his political career rather late. In 1931, he was nominated to the League of Nations Committee for Intellectual Cooperation. When India became independent in 1947, he represented the nation at the UNESCO from 1946 to 1952 and was later Ambassador of India to the Soviet Union, from 1949 to 1952.

Dr. Radhakrishnan was elected as the first vice president of India in 1952, and elected as the second president of India in 1962.

He authored many books. Some among his major philosophical works were Indian Philosophy, The Hindu View of Life and An Idealist View of Life. His birthday, which falls on 5th September, is celebrated as Teacher’s Day in India since 1962. He was honoured with the Bharat Ratna in 1954.

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