The Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights 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.
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 the Dodd Research Center to a leader or group who has made a significant effort to advance the cause of international justice and global human rights.
For the occasion of the opening of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center in 1996, a short film was produced from archival materials of the Nuremburg Trials and narrated by Walter Cronkite.
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 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 thecapital 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.
We are indebted to artist Hans Weiss for the creation of the portrait of Thomas J. Dodd that has become the face of the Dodd Prize.Hans Weiss was born in Slovakia. At the end of World War II, he and his family escaped from behind the “Iron Curtain” to West Germany and immigrated to the United States, settling in Manchester, Connecticut. After arriving in the United States he took classes at the Hartford Art School and also trained as a tool and machine designer. In 1963, Mr. Weiss began a small manufacturing company, Dynamic Metal Products Company. The company expanded four times within a span of 25 years and made a variety of products for the Apollo space program. At the time he sold the company in 1989, it employed over 500 people.While building his company, Mr. Weiss continued his interest in art. Following the sale of his company, he became a full-time artist. He continued his art education at the Art Students League in New York. In the last ten years he has produced approximately 700 paintings and drawings and has participated in many exhibits and one-man shows in the United States and Europe. In 1995 he created and donated his portrait of Senator Thomas J. Dodd, which now hangs in the Dodd Research Center. In 2007 he donated a pencil drawing of Senator Christopher J. Dodd, which now proudly hangs next to his father’s portrait in the Center.