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Shah Rukh to receive highest Yale honour

Last updated on: April 03, 2012 10:54 IST
Shah Rukh KhanBollywood actor and producer Shah Rukh Khan will join the likes of former Presidents George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter when he delivers a lecture at Yale University as a Chubb Fellow on April 12.

The Chubb Fellowship, bestowed upon the Bollywood actor this year, is among Yale's highest honors and was started in 1949.

Besides heads of states, Nobel Prize winners and leaders from other fields who've inspired Yale students through the years, the past fellows included authors Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes and Toni Morrison; filmmaker Sofia Coppola; architect Frank Gehry; choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov; and journalist Walter Cronkite.

The Chubb Fellowship noted that through his films and his philanthropy, Khan has been among his generation's most important examples of the power of art to promote higher human ideals and aspirations.

Established in 1936, through the generosity of Hendon Chubb (Yale College Class of 1895), the program is based in Timothy Dwight College, one of Yale's residential colleges.

Each year, three or four distinguished men and women are appointed as visiting Chubb Fellows. Chubb Fellows spend their time at Yale in close, informal contact with students and deliver a public lecture.

Khan has acted in over seventy Hindi films and has won as many as 14
Filmfare Awards from thirty nominations for his work. In 2005, the Indian Government honored him with the Padma Shri for his contributions towards Indian Cinema.

The official website for the Fellowship says about SRK's achievements, "After graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Delhi, Khan started his career appearing in theater and several television serials in the late 1980s. Early in his career, he was recognized for his unconventional choice of negative roles in films such as Darr (1993), Baazigar (1993) and Anjaam (1994). Since then, he has played leading roles in a wide variety of film genres, including romantic films, comedies, thrillers, action sports, and historical dramas.

"Eleven of the films he has acted in have accumulated worldwide gross earnings of over US$1 billion. Khan's films such as Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995), Kuch Kuch Hata Hai (1998), Devdas (2002), Chak De! India (2007), Om Shanti Om (2007) and Ra.One (2011) remain some of Bollywood's biggest hits, while films like My Name is Khan (2010) and Don 2 (2011) have been top-grossing Indian productions in the overseas markets, thus making him one of the most successful leading actors of India.

"In 2008, Newsweek had named him one of the "Fifty Most Powerful People in the World."
Suman Mozumdar in New York