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Kingman Brewster, Jr, 1919 - 1988

portrait of Kingman Brewster, Jr
TIME magazine cover (23 June 1967)

Born: 17 June 1919, Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Died: 8 November 1988, Oxford, England, UK

Brewster was born into an old New England family, directly descended from two who came over on the Mayflower, including the leader of the Pilgrim colony. He attended Belmont Hill School outside Boston, then entered Yale College, graduating summa cum laude in 1941. He was one of the rare Elis who was offered entrance into Skull and Bones and declined. He helped organize the America First Committee, opposing US entry in World War II, but worked briefly at Washington City and enrolled in the Navy. He flew submarine-patrol missions over the Atlantic. After the war he earned his law degree at Harvard (magna cum laude 1948), having been treasurer and note editor at the law review. He was an assistant professor at Harvard Law from 1950 to 1953, then full professor through 1960 when he was offered a position at Yale Law School. He was provost when the president of Yale died, acting president for five "very itchy" months, and president of Yale from 1963 to 1977. He maintained relative peace on campus through the Vietnam protest era and oversaw an increase in admission for minorities and the first admissions for women, a position that put him in conflict with alumni who wanted to see their offspring more easily enter their alma mater. He was well regarded by students and faculty, apparently embarrassed by having a president with a law degree from Harvard, an honorary Doctor of Laws degree was bestowed on him in a surprise move during the 1973 commencement ceremonies. President Gerald Carter asked him to become Ambassador to the Court of Saint James in 1977, a post he held for four years. He then served as the resident partner in London for a New York law firm, and in 1986 he was named master of University College, Oxford. He suffered a brain hemorrhage and died in an Oxford hospital.

Biography from Wikipedia and New York Times obituary

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