Lord Weidenfeld †
Born in Vienna in 1919, George Weidenfeld left Austria for England in 1938. During World War II he worked with the BBC Overseas Service and in 1948 founded the publishing firm, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, with Nigel Nicolson. In 1949 he became Political Advisor and Chef de Cabinet in Israel to President Weizmann, and spent a year in this capacity. A British citizen since 1946, Lord Weidenfeld was awarded a peerage in 1976.
From 1992 to 1994, he was Vice-Chairman of the University of Oxford Campaign and since 1994 Vice-President of the Oxford University Development Programme. He is involved with the Europaeum network of postgraduate Institutes of European Affairs. He has several honorary degrees from universities across Europe including the Diplomatic College Vienna and the University of Exeter. He is an Honorary Fellow of St. Anne's College and St. Peter's Colleges, Oxford and of King’s College London. He was made an Honorary Senator of Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn (1996), and Magister, Diplomatic College Vienna (1999). He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, by Oxford University (2010). Lord Weidenfeld received the Charlemagne Medal for European Media in Aachen (Germany, 2000) and the London Book Fair/Trilogy Lifetime Achievement Award for International Publishing in 2007. He holds the German Knights Commanders Cross (Badge & Star) of the Order of Merit (1991), the Austrian Cross of Honour First Class for Arts and Science (2002), the Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the County of Vienna (2003) and the Italian Grand Officer of the Order of Merit (2005). Lord Weidenfeld was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) in 2011.
Among other appointments he was Chairman of Weidenfeld & Nicolson; President of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue; Honorary Chairman, Board of Governors, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; and columnist for Die Welt, Welt am Sonntag, Bild am Sonntag and Huffington Post. Lord Weidenfeld died on January 20, 2016.