The Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights commemorates the distinguished career in public service of Thomas J. Dodd, who served as Executive Trial Counsel at the Nuremberg Trials, as U.S. Representative from 1953 to 1957, and as Connecticut Senator from 1959 to 1971. Thomas Dodd continually fought against infringement and suppression of human rights in the United States and abroad during his long public career.
The prize is awarded by Dodd Human Rights Impact to a leader or group who has made a significant effort to advance the cause of international justice and global human rights.
The Dodd Prize was established at the University of Connecticut in 2003 thanks to the continued efforts of Senator Christopher J. Dodd and other members of the Dodd Family.
Dodd Prize Endowment
The Dodd Prize would not be possible without the generous support of philanthropist and businessman John W. Kluge. Kluge, who was born in Germany, immigrated to the United States and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from Columbia University and served in U.S. Army Intelligence during World War II. Kluge began developing his business empire by first investing in the food business, then purchasing radio and television stations that ultimately became Metromedia Incorporated, one of the largest communications conglomerates with interests in radio, television, motion pictures, cellular telephones and the travel industry.
Mr. Kluge has a wide range of philanthropic interests that include gifts to support minority students at Columbia University, to the Library of Congress to establish a John W. Kluge Center and support a Kluge Prize in Human Sciences and has donated land and his estate to the University of Virginia.
Mr. Kluge began supporting the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center prior to its completion. He was closely connected with Thomas Dodd because of their common interest in media and television. His initial gift during the capital campaign for the Dodd Center established a fund for the Dodd Prize and Mr. Kluge's additions to the endowment allowed the Center and the University to carry out the first Dodd Prize event in 2003.
Mr. Kluge was the recipient of an honorary degree from the University of Connecticut in May, 2003. He passed away in September, 2010.