Life begins at 91 for oldest PhD

June 21, 1996

The oldest PhD on record received his degree at a ceremony this week at Concordia University, Montreal.

Ninety-one year-old Dagobert Broh finished his doctoral history thesis this year after seven and a half years of work - a bit longer than he expected.

"My pace was not the same as when I was only 70," Dr Broh told the Montreal Gazette. He wrote a 450-page thesis, entitled The History of the Newspaper Aufbau 1934-1948. Aufbau is a New York German-language newspaper that rapidly became a bridge between the old homeland and the new. It was especially valuable to Jews, who, like Dr Broh, had fled Nazi persecution.

Concordia journalism professor Enn Raudsepp, one of Dr Broh's thesis examiners, said: "His thesis is in the old style of scholarship. It piles fact upon fact, and is very meticulous."

Now Dr Broh has to find something else to keep him busy. "When I studied, I knew what I had to do all day," he said. "Now I have to find a new routine."

Since retiring in 1972 as manager of an export company, Dr Broh has hiked in the Rocky Mountains eight times and travelled around Europe and the United States. But his main interest has been his part-time education at Concordia, where he has done a BA in French, an MA in history and now his PhD, a ten-hour-a-day exercise.

He said he might start spending some time exploring the Internet. His advice for those facing retirement - "They should go back to school."

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