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).