Dr. Edward Hirsch Levi became the first Jew to head a major American university, with his election Thursday as president of the University of Chicago.
Dr. Levi, 56, is the grandson of Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch, one of the founders of American Reform Judaism and also one of the first members of the faculty of the University of Chicago. A native of that city. Dr. Levi attended classes from kindergarten in the laboratory schools through law school at the university.
As provost, Dr. Levi has been the university’s chief academic officer since 1962. Last year, he was named to the board of trustees. The new president-elect joined the faculty in 1936, as an instructor in the law school, whose dean he was from 1950 to 1962. During a leave from the law school, he held a number of posts in the office of the United States Attorney General and with the Department of Justice.
Dr. George Beadle, present head of the university, whom Dr. Levi will succeed in 1968, said that he was "so clearly and obviously the right person to serve as president that it has been difficult to think seriously about other possibilities."
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