Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Centenarian Among The Oldest Ever To Earn A Ph.D.


Last week, a woman named Ingeborg Rapoport finally got a chance to defend her doctoral dissertation 77 years after writing it. Did I mention she's 102 years old? Ms. Rapoport was a 25-year-old PhD student at the University of Hamburg in 1938 when the Nazis derailed her studies because although she was raised Protestant, her mother was Jewish. She made it to the U.S. where she eventually graduated from medical school. After the war when her leftist politics got her into trouble in this in this country, she returned to Germany with her family. There, she founded the country's first neonatology clinic. According to The Wall Street Journal, a few months back, Ms. Rapoport got the notion to try to earn the doctorate the Nazis denied her. Her original thesis was long gone. But with research help from the Internet and friends with better eyesight, last week, she wowed her committee. On June 9, Ingeborg Rapoport will be awarded her degree, likely the oldest person ever to receive a doctorate. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.