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Who are Some Nobel Peace Prize Winners?

By Phil Shepley
Updated May 23, 2024
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The Nobel Peace Prize is an award given annually to the person that is thought to have done the best work towards fraternity between nations, towards the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for holding and promotion of peace congresses. It was established in the will of Alfred Nobel, who was a wealthy Norwegian inventor and industrialist. The winner receives a medal, a cash award, and worldwide recognition.

There have been many notable Nobel Peace Prize winners, and the first ones were awarded to two men in 1901. They were Frédéric Passy, founder and President of first French peace society, and Henry Dunant, founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Soon after that in 1905, the first woman would receive a Nobel Peace Prize. She was Bertha von Suttner, who received the prize for being a leading figure in the peace movements of the day.

U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt was bestowed the honor the following year for peace treaty collaborations which brokered the Treaty of Portsmouth and ended the Russo-Japanese War. Two other U.S. Presidents would also eventually win the Nobel Peace Prize. They were Woodrow Wilson in 1919, who was a major promoter of the League of Nations, and Jimmy Carter, who received the honor in 2002 "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."

Also among the notable Nobel Peace Prize winners stands Ralph Bunch, who received the award in 1950 for mediations in Palestine and was the first person of color to win the award. Eventually in 1964 the prize would be awarded to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most important and famous proponents for civil rights of all time. Nelson Mandela would eventually also join the list of Peace Prize winners along with Frederik Willem de Klerk for their work in South Africa. They were responsible for helping to terminate the apartheid regime and lay the groundwork for a new democratic South Africa.

One of the most famous Nobel Peace Prize winners throughout its history and throughout the world was Mother Teresa. She founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India in 1950 and helped many orphans, poor, dying and sick people in India and in other countries for forty-five years after that. Missing from the list of winners of the Nobel Peace Prize was Mohandas Gandhi, another of the most famous peacekeepers throughout history. He was nominated several times, but was assassinated in 1948, the year that he probably would have received the esteemed award. Several more Nobel Peace Prize winners of note are Lech Walesa (1983), Elie Wiesel (1986) and Yasser Arafat (1994).

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Discussion Comments
By Ubiquitous — On Oct 20, 2010

I think people to put too much hype into what it is that the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony creates. It is obvious to me that these awards are grossly an outrageously overvalued. It also obvious to me that because the results are so subjective that the qualifications obviously change from year to year.

Will I grant the fact that our definition of what a peace prize recipient should be should change over time, I do think that there should be a baseline of standards for how they have affected culture, society and general citizens of the entire planet.

Only when we create and develop an understandable basis for what Nobel Peace Prize winter should qualify asked can we put more weight behind the validity of the label than peace recipients now receive.

By sammyG — On Oct 20, 2010

Why do not have a specific example I did not always agree with the choice of peace prize winners of the Nobel Prize commission gives. Sometimes I do think is interesting however to watch the price speech that happens candidly with the person first finds out. This doesn't always happen but sometimes the peace prizes are dignified people in a public setting where you can get each group can did reaction from the winner.

If they seem too surprised you have to wonder, did they really deserve it. It is possible that many people deserve the peace prize, I think to truly earn such as prestigious award from the timeless organization, the stringent standards should be strictly enforced. Hopefully these kind of prestigious awards are not further damaged by the awarding of non-deserving parties.

By NightChef — On Oct 20, 2010

The thing that intrigues me about the way the Nobel Peace Prize process happens is how it actually gets chosen. It seems to be so subjective in the choices of the candidates for the award. I've been interested to look through Nobel Peace Prize winners wiki that is available on the Internet. This is a detailed resource that can tell you a lot about present, past and future possible winners.

One interesting thing about keeping up on who was winning the Nobel Peace Prize is that you can identify where there are true areas of strife in the world. Usually the Nobel Prize committee does an excellent job at identifying who is truly influencing peace related and civil rights related issues in our international arena. Nobel Prize peace winners are incredible and I hope people look up to their absolute ability to inspire generations to come.

By FootballKing — On Oct 20, 2010

While there have been some incredible Nobel peace winners in the past I think one of the most amazing ones in recent history has been Barack Obama. His ability to go ahead and get a Nobel peace prize within a relative short time of taking office is absolutely amazing and I also think justified.

Many people came up it up for the event and I think that they are not clearly thinking about the influence that having Barack Obama has the president has made. Obviously he is bring me to office has created a new hope and spirit for not only the American people the people abroad who see what can happen to someone who is coming from the roots of other places to America and develops into an educated world leader.

Who knows who will be the next Barack Obama but I hope that they look at him as an inspiration. I know I certainly do.

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