The university professor, resistance fighter and former Minister of Education Konstantinos Despotopoulos passed away at the of 103 on Sunday, a day before his birthday. Despotopoulos was born in Smyrna in 1913, but was forced to relocate to Athens after the Asia Minor Catastrophe in 1922. There, he completed his school and university studies in Law.

During the German Occupation he became a leading member of the EAM resistance group and in 1945 he became president of the Greek-Soviet Youth Association. As a result, during the white terror and civil war that followed, he was exiled to Makronisos, between 1947 and 1950. In his youth Despotopoulos became friends with Panagiotis Kanellopoulos, Konstantinos Tsatsos and Georgios Kartalis.

Aside from a teaching career at the universities in Athens and Nancy in France, Despotopoulos wrote over 30 books, including the “Philosophy of Law”, which is considered his most important work. He was also active in politics and was appointed Minister of Education in the Grivas (1989) and Zolotas (1990) cabinets. He was a candidate for the Presidency in 1990, where he received 21 votes, while in 1993 he was elected president of Academy of Athens.