His main subject at the university level was philosophy and in the course of time, he was to become one of the greatest philosophers and educationists of India. After completing his graduation, Radhakrishnan joined government service (provincial education) in Tamil Nadu.
Thereafter he was associated with several prestigious educational institutions in India as well as abroad. He taught philosophy at as many as five universities. He was appointed as the Vice- Chancellor of Andhra University in 1931 and that of Benaras Hindu University in 1942. He gave lectures on theology and philosophy in Chicago, Manchester, London, Oxford and other universities.
A recipient of at least 105 honorary distinctions and degrees from universities all over the world, Radhakrishnan also held several distinguished cultural posts. He was the leader of the Indian delegation to UNESCO from 1946-50, Chairman (in 1948) and President (1952) of UNESCO’s University Education Commission.
In 1959 he attended the PEN Conference and became the Vice-President of international PEN. In 1962, he represented the Calcutta University at the Congress of Philosophy, Harvard University. A celebrated writer, Radhakrishnan authored several books on philosophy theology, education and other subjects.
A few of his famous works are The Ethics of the Vedanta and its Material Presupposition (1908); The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore (1918); Idealistic View of Life (1932); Eastern Religion and Western Thought; Reign of Philosophy in Contemporary Thought; Kalki on the Future of Civilisation and Indian Philosophy.
Radhakrishnan also held several important political posts. From 1949-52, he was the Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the erstwhile USSR. He was elected the Vice-President of India twice (1952-56 and 1957- 62). He served as President of the nation from 1962 to 1967.
His birthday is celebrated as Teacher’s Day.