Lord Weidenfeld (1919 – 2016)
We at the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust were very saddened to hear the news of Lord Weidenfeld’s death. We have lost a great supporter of international education and debate. Through great personal effort, he gave the scholars from across the world a unique opportunity to study in a world class institution at Oxford through the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholarships and Leadership Programme and thereby changed their lives. Their contributions, both to Oxford and to the countries they live in, will provide a lasting legacy of dialogue, discussion and, above all, peace. He was extremely proud of all of the scholars he supported, and we look forward to continuing to provide these opportunities in his memory. The work has only just begun in securing the future of his remarkable and far-reaching plans.
Among many other projects, Lord Weidenfeld devised the Humanitas Programme of Visiting Professorships to Oxford and Cambridge. Through his incredible network of friends and contacts, he gave the universities unparalleled access to the most interesting names in the field of Humanities – all have given generously of their time to lecture, take part in conversation and share their expertise with audiences in both universities and, now, online communities across the world.
Brilliant and gregarious publisher. His exceptionally large circle of friends and acquaintances extended from politics to the arts, academia and business. In the latter stages of his life, his many friends enabled him to bring together a wide range of influential personalities to address major issues confronting western society in the 21st century.
He had the manners and polish of a Habsburg literary aristocrat: he was fluent in four languages and could read for pleasure in another three. But that was civilisation, not anachronism. The future enthralled him just as much as the past... he was just as interested in new people and ideas as in old ones. His hospitality and vigour were legendary to the end of his life.
Tributes to Lord Weidenfeld from scholars past and present