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Charlie Chaplin to Receive Oxford Doctorate

May 8, 1962 - Oxford University confirmed today the nomination of Charlie Chaplin (pictured in 1931’s “City Lights”) as an honorary Doctor of Letters. The degree will be bestowed June 27. Mr. Chaplin’s nomination became controversial when Hugh Trevor-Roper, Regius Professor of Modern History, expressed disagreement with the nomination. “I have great admiration for Charlie Chaplin as a comedian,” he said, “but I think honorary degrees should be a reward for service in academic or public life. A comedian, however good, wouldn’t qualify.” Convocation approval of nominations has been unanimous except for that of former President Harry S. Truman. In May 1956, his honorary doctorate of civil law was carried over the opposition of Miss Gertrude Anscombe, a Professor of Philosophy, who disapproved of Mr. Truman’s decision to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

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