John Brademas, President Emeritus of New York University, was NYU President from 1981 to 1992. During that time Dr. Brademas led the transition of NYU from a regional commuter school to a national and international residential research university. In 1984 he initiated a fundraising campaign that produced a total of $1 billion in ten years. Said the New York Times, "A Decade and a Billion Dollars Put New York University in [the] First Rank."
Before coming to New York, Dr. Brademas served as United States Representative in Congress from Indiana's Third District for twenty-two years (1959-81), the last four as House Majority Whip. While in Congress he was a member of the Committee on Education and Labor where he played a leading role in writing most of the Federal legislation enacted during that time concerning schools, colleges and universities; services for the elderly and the handicapped; libraries and museums; the arts and humanities.
In 2005 New York University announced the establishment, in its Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, of the John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress. The Center will undertake research, teaching and public outreach activities focused on the role of Congress in making national policy.
From 1994 through 2001, Dr. Brademas served, by appointment of President Clinton, as Chairman of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. He is also Chairman of the American Ditchley Foundation, a Governor of the Ditchley Foundations and is former Chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy.
Co-sponsor of the 1965 legislation creating the National Endowments for the Arts (NEA) and the Humanities (NEH), Dr. Brademas for ten years chaired the Congressional subcommittee with jurisdiction over them. He was chief House sponsor of the Arts, Humanities and Cultural Affairs Act; Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act; Museum Services Act; Library Services and Construction Act; National Commission on Libraries and Information Services Act; Education for All Handicapped Children Act; Alcohol and Drug Abuse Education Act; International Education Act; and Environmental Education Act.
He was also a major co-author of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965; the Higher Education Acts of 1972 and 1976, which focused on student aid; and chief author of the measures creating the National Institute of Education and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
He was chief House author as well of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974, which assured ownership by the Federal government of the tapes and papers of the Nixon Presidency.
In 1990 he co-chaired the bipartisan Independent Commission, mandated by Congress to review the grant-making procedures of the NEA.
Dr. Brademas has served on a number of boards and national commissions on subjects ranging from the arts to higher education, foreign policy, jobs and small business, historic documents and records, and science, technology and government.
In 2004 he was elected to the New York State Board of Regents by the New York State Legislature and served on the Board until 2007.
He is a founding director of the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe, headquartered in Salonika, Greece.
He serves on the boards of the Center for National Policy, The Queen Sofía Spanish Institute, InsurBanc, Comfidex Corporation and the Society for the Preservation of the Greek Heritage and New York University.
He is a member of the Committee on Economic Development, Council on Foreign Relations, Council on the United States and Spain, U.S.-Japan Foundation and the National and International Advisory Councils of Transparency International, the American-European Community Association (USA), Americans for UNESCO and the American Associates of the Saint Catherine Foundation. He is a trustee of the World Conference on Religions for Peace and member of the Mental Illness Prevention Center Advisory Board of the NYU Medical Center.
Former Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Dr. Brademas also served on the boards of Americans for the Arts, The Aspen Institute, Overseers of Harvard, Kos Pharmaceuticals, Loews Corporation, New York Stock Exchange, Rockefeller Foundation, the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA), as well as on the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches and The Trilateral Commission.
Dr. Brademas is a Lifetime Trustee of New York University and the University of Notre Dame.
He is a Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Education (US), the Academy of Athens, National Academy of Education of Argentina and The European Academy of Sciences and Arts.
In 1983, as president of New York University, Dr. Brademas awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree to His Majesty, King Juan Carlos I of Spain.
In 1997, in the presence of His Majesty and Queen Sofía of Spain and the First Lady of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dr. Brademas announced the establishment of the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at New York University. He is President of the Foundation established in Spain to support the Center; His Majesty is Honorary President.
In 1985 Dr. Brademas received the Annual Gold Medal of The Spanish Institute; in 1993 was named a “Friend of Barcelona” by then Mayor Pasqual Maragall; and in 1997 was decorated by the Minister of Education and Culture of Spain,, with the Gran Cruz de la Orden de Alfonso X el Sabio.
Among the other centers established at NYU during Dr. Brademas’ presidency are the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Màrimo, Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and The Center for Japan-U.S. Business & Economic Studies.
In 2006 Dr. Brademas, received The John Gardner Spirit Award from Common Cause/New York for “his unparalleled dedication to public service and a stronger democracy through his work in Congress, at New York University and as one of the nation’s leading champion of the arts and education.”
In 2007 he was decorated, with former United States Senator Paul Sarbanes, by the President of Cyprus, Tassos Papadopoulos, with the Grand Cross of the Order of Makarios III.
A graduate of Harvard, B.A. magna cum laude and of Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar and from which he received his Ph.D., Dr. Brademas has been awarded honorary degrees by 52 colleges and universities, most recently (2003) by Oxford University. He is an Honorary Fellow of Brasenose College, his college at Oxford. He has also received the annual Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
Born in Mishawaka, Indiana, on March 2, 1927, Dr. Brademas graduated from South Bend Central High School in 1945. He served in the US Navy in 1945-46. In 1955-56 he was Executive Assistant to Adlai E. Stevenson in charge of research on issues during the 1956 presidential campaign. Prior to his election to Congress, he was (1957-58) Assistant Professor of Political Science at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana.
Dr. Brademas is author of Anarcosindicalismo y revolución en España, 1930-37, published in Barcelona by Ariel in 1974; of Washington, D.C. to Washington Square (New York, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1986); and, with Lynne P. Brown, of The Politics of Education: Conflict and Consensus on Capitol Hill, published in 1987 by the University of Oklahoma Press.
He is married to Mary Ellen Brademas, a physician in private practice in New York City. Dr. Brademas, a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Medicine, is a member of the Department of Dermatology of the NYU Medical Center and former chief of Dermatology at St. Vincent’s Hospital.