John Wolfenden (1906-1985)

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John Frederick Wolfenden, Baron Wolfenden, CBE (26 February 1906, Swindon, Wiltshire – 18 January 1985, Guildford, Surrey) was a British educationalist probably best remembered for chairing the Wolfenden Committee whose report recommending the decriminalisation of homosexuality, was published in 1957. He was the son of George Wolfenden and Emily Hannah Gaukroger. both born in Halifax, Yorkshire. George Wolfenden became an official of the West Riding Education Authority based in Wakefield, Yorkshire, where John Frederick Wolfenden attended Queen Elizabeth Grammar School. He won a scholarship to Oxford and became a don at Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1929. John Wolfenden was the headmaster of Uppingham School (1934–1944) and Shrewsbury School (1944) and chairman of various government committees which mostly focused on education and problems with youth. He become Vice-Chancellor of University of Reading in 1950 and during this period wrote two books, Family Affair and The Steele Age, both part of the series of 'Take Home Books'.Wolfenden was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1942, and was knighted in 1956.Wolfenden chaired an independent committee initiated by the Central Council of Physical Recreation in 1957, which investigated the role of various statutory and voluntary groups in sport in the UK. The committee published its report in 1960 and it remains an influential work in its field.In 1969, he was appointed as director of the British Museum, a post that he left in 1973. In 1974, he was made a life peer as Baron Wolfenden, of Westcott in Surrey.He was the father of Jeremy Wolfenden, foreign correspondent for the Daily Telegraph and British spy.

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