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From Roosevelt to Obama: famous Americans who won the Nobel Peace Prize

On October 9, the Nobel Committee will announce the name of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. This year 318 nominees will compete for the most prestigious award, including 211 people and 107 organizations. This figure is the fourth most nominated in the history of the award; the 2016 record, when 376 people nominated for the Peace Prize, is still unbeaten, writes "Voice of America".

Photo: Shutterstock


According to the rules of the Nobel Committee, the list of nominees is not published in the public domain, and the members of the committee themselves have no right to confirm or deny whether this or that person was nominated for the prize.

However, the most resonant nominations, as a rule, become known even before the award ceremony in Oslo. This year, several nominees, mostly politicians, have received close press attention.

One of the nominees for the award is US President Donald Trump. Back in 2019, he announced that he was a suitable candidate for the award, which he, however, is skeptical about: “I think I could have received the Nobel Peace Prize for many things. If, of course, it was awarded honestly, but this is not happening. "

Trump's rival in the race was also nominated for the award. One of the British parliamentarians, Chris Bryant, nominated for the Joe Biden Award, noting that he "advocated that the best power is the power of persuasion, while others have resorted to cruelty."

The nominees also include Russian President Vladimir Putin, who received a nomination amid the scandal with the poisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. By the way, Navalny was also nominated for the 2020 award.

Other notable contenders include New Zealand Prime Minister Yasinda Ardern, eco-activist Greta Thunberg and, according to many, one of the top favorites this year is the World Health Organization.

This sometimes contradictory spread of candidates is explained by the fact that a fairly wide range of people can propose a nominee to the Nobel Committee. As emphasized on the website of the award, the nomination does not imply special honor or support from the Nobel Committee.

Thus, the committee asks not to associate itself with the nominees, whose reputations are sometimes extremely contradictory. For example, Joseph Stalin was nominated twice - in 1945 and 1948. The Italian dictator Benito Mussolini also nominated for the Peace Prize, whose nomination was submitted by professors from Germany and France.

In 1939, Adolf Hitler was nominated for the prize. It was submitted by an adherent of anti-fascist views, Swedish parliamentarian Eric Brandt, who did not think that the nomination would be considered seriously and later withdrew the application. World War II broke out that year and no one received the Peace Prize.

Many Americans received the Peace Prize: 18 men and 3 women. The award was received by American politicians, presidents and vice presidents of the United States, secretaries of state, scientists and public figures. Among them:

Theodore Roosevelt, 1906

The first American to receive the award in 1906 was the 25th President of the United States. There were two reasons for the nomination: Roosevelt resolved the dispute with Mexico, deciding to use the services of mediators, and at one time he himself was a mediator in the negotiations. In particular, it was he who suggested a place for the meeting of the delegations of Russia and Japan during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. (As a result, the Peace of Portsmouth was concluded on the territory of the United States, which we talked about in detail earlier).

Roosevelt's candidacy was the first in the history of the award, which caused a fierce debate. A number of Norwegian politicians believed that the prize should not be given, as they believed, to an "imperialist" under whom the Philippines became a dependent territory of the United States. There was also an opinion that Roosevelt's victory was an attempt by the Norwegian authorities to appease the United States after the recent collapse of the Swedish-Norwegian union.

Elihu Ruth, 1912

Elihu Ruth is a professor of mathematics, a lawyer, a freemason, secretary of state under President Roosevelt, a senator from New York and, most importantly for the Nobel Committee, a mediator in international conflicts.

Ruth participated in the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was he who represented the United States at the Washington Maritime Conference, during which the parties tried to agree on a post-war balance of forces in Asia and the Pacific.

On his peacekeeping account - mediation between more than twenty countries. It was he who convinced a number of Latin American states to join the Second Hague Peace Conference (where international conventions on the laws and customs of war were adopted), and also helped the United States and Great Britain to resolve the dispute over coastal fishing zones in the Atlantic.

Woodrow Wilson, 1919

After the bloody First World War, an organization appeared on the international arena that became the prototype of the UN - the League of Nations. Designed to prevent a new large-scale conflict, this organization might not have appeared in its original form, if not for the 28th President of the United States Woodrow Wilson.

The idea of ​​the League of Nations figured in Wilson's famous Fourteen Points. This was the name of the draft peace treaty that was supposed to end the First World War.

And although the League of Nations ultimately failed to prevent a new world war, the American president won the 1919 Peace Prize. Ironically, the United States itself never joined the League of Nations - the US Senate refused to ratify the relevant treaty: senators feared to give up sovereignty.

Charles Dawes, 1925

The consequences of the First World War, which forever changed the idea of ​​mankind about war and peace, influenced the theme of the Nobel Prize for many years.

In 1925, US Vice President Charles Dawes developed a German reparations plan (the "Dawes Plan"). The new plan allowed Germany to pay reparations, relying on its economic capabilities (and, including international loans). The Dawes initiative helped to soften tensions between Germany and France, the victorious countries - to wait for payments from economically drained Germany, and also gave a new impetus to relations between the United States and Europe.

Dawes shared the 1925 prize with British Foreign Minister Joseph Chamberlain.

Frank Kellogg, 1929

The wounds that have not yet healed after the world war have once again prompted the world community to reaffirm its commitment to peace. American Senator and Head of the State Department Frank Kellogg went down in history as the author of the Paris Pact (also known as the Briand-Kellogg Pact).

The pact implied the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy and was signed in 1928 by 15 states. Later, all the existing countries joined it. And although the pact did not save the world from the largest war in history, which broke out in the next decade, the document became an important milestone on the way to creating a system of collective security in Europe.

Nicholas Butler, 1931

This man was so respected in American society that The New York Times published his Christmas greetings to Americans every year. Columbia University President Nicholas Butler received an award in 1931 for his efforts to maintain peace: he actively advocated the implementation of the aforementioned Briand-Kellogg Pact and became a key person in the formation of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

At the same time, he advocated the participation of the United States in the First World War, and subsequently - against the accession of Washington to the League of Nations.

On the subject: Insidious 'affectionate killer': for which they gave the Nobel Prize in medicine

Jane Addams, 1931

1931 was a busy year for the United States in terms of Nobel laureates. Nicholas Butler was accompanied by Jane Addams, a social activist who became the first American and the second woman in history to receive the Nobel Prize.

She opened the well-known Hull House charity center in Chicago, where immigrants from Europe could receive help. She made history as a co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union and president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

Ironically, her views on U.S. involvement in World War I were at odds with that of another award winner that same year. Unlike Butler, Addams opposed the entry of the United States into the conflict, and also warned that the harsh restrictions in which the German economy found itself could cause another conflict.

Cordell Hull, 1945

Cordell Hull served as US Secretary of State for a record 11 years, but this is not what he remembered. He is often called the "Father of the United Nations" for his contribution to the creation of the UN.

In addition to his work on the United Nations, Hull played a huge role in American foreign policy during an extremely busy time - from 1933 to 1944. President Roosevelt trusted Hull's opinion: it was the Secretary of State who recommended the head of the White House to recognize the Soviet Union and establish diplomatic relations with it.

It was Hull that the US President, busy with problems in Europe, instructed him to negotiate with Japan and China.

It is Hull who, in many respects, is responsible for establishing strong economic relations between the United States and Latin America (which is explained by his adherence to the so-called Monroe Doctrine - a strategy designed to achieve US dominance on both American continents).

John Mott, 1946

Even people far from religion have at least once heard of the YMCA organization (or at least are familiar with the Village People disco hit of the same name). The Youth Christian Organization is known for its numerous children's camps and mass events, and has more than tens of millions of supporters around the world.

The American theologian John Mott, who received the Nobel Prize for "promoting peace through the idea of ​​religious brotherhood throughout the world," made a huge contribution to the formation of the YMCA. He also led the World Association of Christian Students and is remembered as one of the most influential figures in Protestantism at the turn of the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries.

Emily Bolch, 1946

As in 1931, the American laureate shared the triumph of the award with his compatriot. In 1946, Professor of History and Sociology Emily Bolch also received the Peace Prize. Honorary President of the International Women's League for Peace and Freedom, Bolch dedicated her life to the peace movement and the promotion of pacifism. She received the award at the age of 79, however, due to health conditions, she could not accept it personally.

As a sociologist, she studied the lives of the poorest people in the United States, which ultimately prompted her to become a socialist.

Emily Bolch and the aforementioned Jane Addams have been linked by many years of joint work: the International Women's League for Peace and Freedom, which Bolch leads, is partly an Addams initiative.

Ralph Bunch, 1950

Harvard professor Ralph Bunch became the first black Nobel laureate, as well as the first African American to hold a high position in the US Department of State.

In 1948, Bunch was involved in negotiations that (albeit temporarily) ended the bloodshed in the Middle East that began shortly after the establishment of the State of Israel.

Initially, he was appointed only as assistant to the UN mediator in the Middle East, Folke Bernadotte. However, Bernadotte was assassinated in 1948 and the negotiations were entrusted to Bunch. He was able to achieve a ceasefire, and later became an intermediary in the signing of a peace treaty.

George Marshall, 1953

Despite the economic disaster that ended in World War II, European countries were able to rebuild their economies in a relatively short time. This is partly attributed to the implementation of the "Marshall Plan" - a large-scale American initiative to restore European economies, proposed by General George Marshall.

At various times, Marshall has served as Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and President of the American Red Cross. His plan to rebuild Europe was a success: the industries of European countries were modernized, many industries were able to get back on their feet, and trade relations between the countries acquired an unprecedented scale.

An important result of the Marshall Plan was the strengthening of US influence in the world. The "old" European powers - in particular, Great Britain - finally faded into the background, and the influence of the main ideological enemy of the United States - the communists - in Western Europe was minimized.

Linus Pauling, 1962

It is possible that Linus Pauling experienced a feeling he was already familiar with when he was awarded the 1962 Peace Prize. After all, a professor at the California Institute of Technology and author of the book "No More Wars!" Linus Pauling had already received the Nobel Prize - albeit in chemistry - in 1954.

After the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Linus Pauling, who already at that time had a reputation as an influential scientist, became interested in the problem of control over nuclear weapons. He wrote numerous letters to the authorities, spoke from the tribunes of human rights, scientific and pacifist organizations, trying to convey the idea of ​​the inadmissibility of using weapons of mass destruction.

Martin Luther King, 1964

The figure of Martin Luther King in the context of the human rights movement needs no introduction. King is the most prominent figure in the history of African American civil rights struggles in the United States.

Leader of the Southern Conference of Christian Leaders, Baptist preacher, author of the famous speech "I Have a Dream", initiator of the thousands of march to Washington in support of civil rights and supporter of the philosophy of nonviolence of Mahatma Gandhi ... King became an "icon" of the human rights movement and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate 1964 year. King was killed four years after receiving the award.

Norman Borlog, 1970

By the seventies, new threats began to be added to the topic of avoiding world conflict on the global agenda. Norman Borlog, a member of the International Program for the Improvement of Corn and Wheat, tried to fight one of them - the food problem.

He became one of the few American agronomists to have received such an impressive number of high awards. In addition to the Nobel Peace Prize, he has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Science Medal, and the Congressional Gold Medal.

He is often referred to as the "Father of the Green Revolution". Borlog advised the governments of countries whose populations suffered from food shortages and worked to develop new varieties of crops that could feed the population.

Thanks to Borlog's efforts, grain yields in India and Pakistan doubled in just five years, and by the 1950s Mexico was able to independently meet the country's grain needs.

Henry Kissinger, 1973

The works and activities of this person are studied by everyone who would like to get closer to the world of professional diplomacy. US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is responsible for many works that have become classics of the theory of international politics, and among his career achievements are the beginning of the policy of detente between the US and the USSR and the warming of US-China relations in the 1970s.

However, he gained recognition among the members of the Nobel Committee for his role in ending the Vietnam War. The Paris Peace Agreement, which ended the conflict in Southeast Asia, became possible, among other things, thanks to the efforts of Kissinger, as well as the North Vietnamese diplomat Le Duc Tho, who shared the peace prize with his American counterpart.

Elie Wiesel, 1986

The 1986 Prize was awarded to the writer Elie Wiesel "for his commitment to the theme of the suffering of the Jewish people, the victims of Nazism." During World War II, Wiesel and his family were deported to the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Having survived the horrors of the Holocaust, Wiesel devoted his life to spreading the idea that such tragedies are inadmissible in the future.

Wiesel is known as the head of the Presidential Commission on the Holocaust; Through his efforts, a memorial museum was created in Washington, dedicated to the catastrophe of the Jewish people.

On account of Wiesel - 57 books, including his most famous work - the autobiography "Night", in which he described his memories of the horrors of life in concentration camps.

On the subject: Trump nominated for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for the third time

Jody Williams, 1997

Jody Williams is one of four women Nobel laureates recognized as "Woman of the Year" by Glamor magazine. However, despite the honor from the women's magazine, her main achievement has nothing to do with the world of glamor, fashion and beauty.

Williams has spent much of her career fighting anti-personnel mines. As the founder of the International Movement to Ban Anti-Personnel Mines, she actively promoted the idea of ​​banning these weapons. Its activities were successful: in 1997, the Ottawa Convention "On the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and on Their Destruction" was adopted.

More than a hundred countries have ratified the convention. Despite the fact that anti-personnel mines are still found in war zones, the efforts of Williams and her organization have been able to attract international attention to the problem.

Jimmy Carter, 2002

The 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, has repeatedly acted as a mediator in the settlement of international conflicts. The most famous example is the 1978 Camp David talks, when the American president participated in a seemingly impossible event - the signing of a peace treaty between an Arab country, Egypt, and Israel.

After leaving the presidency, Carter continued his activities as a negotiator and mediator. In 1994, he accepted President Clinton's offer to become an ambassador for upcoming talks with North Korean leader Kim Il Sung. As Carter himself recalls, later he also offered the Donald Trump administration the services of a mediator with the North Korean side.

He was awarded the 2002 Peace Prize for his longstanding peacekeeping activities and for the work of the Carter Center, which he founded to advance the defense of human rights. It is believed that one of the reasons for this decision was the response of the Nobel Committee to the policies of George W. Bush: at that time, the US President was actively promoting the idea of ​​invading Iraq, while Carter criticized Bush's policies.

Al Gore, 2007

Al Gore Jr. (also known as Al Gore) served as vice president in the Bill Clinton administration. Subsequently, he tried to enter American history as president of the country, but lost the election to Republican Bush Jr.

However, he still managed to get into the history of the Nobel Prize. In 2007, the Nobel Committee recognized his contribution to the fight against climate change and awarded him the Peace Prize. The committee felt that with his policies and rhetoric, Gore was able to raise awareness of the American public about environmental issues and made the topic of climate an integral part of the country's political agenda.

Gore's publications and his documentaries played an important role in this. So, his painting "An Inconvenient Truth" about the impact of man on the climate received two Oscars.

He shared his award with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Barack Obama, 2009

In 2009, the decision of the Nobel Committee surprised many: Barack Obama, the winner of the Peace Prize, was in the presidency of the United States for only eight months. Critics of the decision felt that the award was undeserved; this was subsequently stated by his successor as president, Donald Trump.

However, the Nobel Committee did not agree with them. The committee said in a statement that "few people have succeeded to the same extent as Obama in attracting the attention of the whole world and giving people hope for a bright future." The committee appreciated Obama's work on racial and ethnic politics in the United States, religious freedom and his vision of a world free of nuclear weapons.

Obama's desire to renew relations between the West and Muslim countries, as well as his plans to withdraw American troops from Iraq, were not ignored.

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