Sarvepalli Gopal

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Sarvepalli Gopal
File:Sarvepalli Gopal.jpg
Born (1923-04-23)23 April 1923
Madras, India
Died 20 April 2002(2002-04-20) (aged 78)
Chennai [formerly Madras], India
Occupation Historian
Nationality India
Period British India
Subject Indian History
Spouse Kaveri/Indira Ramaswami (1949)

Sarvepalli Gopal (23 April 1923 – 20 April 2002)[1] was a well-known Indian historian.[2] He is the author of Radhakrishnan: A Biography and Jawaharlal Nehru: A Biography.

Background and education

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.[1]

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.[1]


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.[3]

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.




  • History of Humanity: Scientific and Cultural Development, Vol. 7: The Twentieth Century, (Paris: UNESCO, Routledge, 2008) (co-author Tichvinskii, Sergei Leonidovich)
  • Jawaharlal Nehru: A Biography, (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004)
  • The Essential Writings of Jawaharlal Nehru, (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003) (co-author Uma Iyengar)
  • Anatomy of Confrontation: The Babri Masjid Ramjanmabhumi Issue, (New Delhi: Viking, 1991)
  • Radhakrishnan: A Biography, (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1992)
  • Economy, Society and Development:Essays and Reflections in Honour of Malcolm Adesheshiah, (New Delhi: Sage, 1991) (co-authors Kurien, C.T., E.R. Prabhakar)
  • Jawaharlal Nehru: An Anthology, (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1983)
  • Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, (New Delhi: Orient Longman, 1972–82) (co-authors Chalapatti Rau, M., Sharada Prasad, H.Y., Nanda, B.R.)
  • British Policy in India, 1858-1905, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965)
  • Modern India, (London: Historical Association, 1967)
  • The Viceroyalty of Lord Irwin, 1926-1931, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957)
  • The Viceroyalty of Lord Ripon, 1880-1884, (London: Oxford University Press, 1957)
  • The Permanent Settlement in Bengal and its Result, (London, G.Allen and Unwin, 1949)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Raychaudhuri, Tapan (Oct 2008). "Gopal, Sarvepalli (1923–2002)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. Retrieved 25 November 2015.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. Ramachandra Guha (April 27, 2003). "Remembering Sarvepalli Gopal". The Hindu. Retrieved 2006-11-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. K. N. Panikkar (April 27 – May 12, 2002). "A great historian: Sarvepalli Gopal, 1923-2002". Frontline. 19 (9). Retrieved 2006-11-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Ministry of Home Affairs—Civilian Awards announced on January 26, 1999". Archived from the original on 2006-09-08. Retrieved 2006-11-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>