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NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

Alfred Nobel
Alfred Nobel was born the son of a Swedish construction worker in
Stockholm, 1833. His father, Immanuel, often built bridges, and so was
interested in finding different ways to blast away unwanted rock formations. In
the year of Alfreds birth however, the construction business went bankrupt.
Seeing nothing left for him in Sweden, Immanuel and his family moved to St.
Petersburg in Russia, where a factory was set up, making mines out of
gunpowder, for use by the Russian Army during the Crimean War. The
demand for this product was high, the business was booming and Alfred
Nobel and the other children received an excellent private education whilst in
Russia. His father also insisted that he travel the world during his education,
and by the age of seventeen, he was fluent in five different languages.
Having been educated in chemical engineering, Alfred Nobel returned to St.
Petersburg to try and develop a safe way of handling the highly volatile liquid
nitro-glycerine, which had recently been invented. The family were forced to
return to Stockholm though before any real progress was made the end of
the Crimean War also meant the end of the mine making business.
Back in Sweden, an explosion involving nitro-glycerine resulted in the death of
his brother, convincing Alfred that a safer alternative must be developed.
Eventually, he discovered that by mixing nitro-glycerine with silica, the end
product could be moulded into cylinder shapes, and was not greatly affected
by minor fluctuations in temperature and pressure. In 1867 he patented the
product, calling it dynamite. It was five times more powerful than ordinary
gunpowder, and so very quickly became a sought after commodity in the
world of mining and construction. Dynamite was used the world over, for work
such as blasting the Alpine Tunnel on the St. Gotthard rail line and cutting the
Corinth Canal in Greece.

Within a few years, Alfred Nobel had increased the production of dynamite
from his factories dramatically, and showed his supreme skill as a
businessman by being able to sell it all over the world. Although to a certain
extent the product sold itself due to its effectiveness, the organisation shown

in the production and distribution of huge amounts of dynamite are a credit to


his entrepreneurial efforts.
Although he worked for the majority of his life developing explosives, Nobel
was essentially a pacifist. When, in his later years he drew up a will, he stated
that he wished the majority of his nine million dollar fortune to be used to
fund awards in different fields of study (Physics, Chemistry, Literature,
Physiology and Medicine, Peace). He stated that the awards should be given
to those who have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind.
It was five years after his death that the first Nobel awards were handed out,
in 1901. The Nobel foundation had been set up to organise and structure the
awards. Since their inception the Nobel prizes have come to be recognised as
the highest honour a person can recieve in a particular area of study.
Although Alfred Nobel made an important discovery as a scientist, that of
dynamite, and used his powers as an industrialist to produce and then sell the
product, he should be best remembered for his legacy. Through his will,
outstanding artists, scientists and humanitarians alike have been able to push
through their invaluable work for the good of humankind.

The Nobel Prizes


Every year since 1901 the Nobel Prize has been awarded for achievements in physics,
chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for peace. The Nobel Prize is an
international award administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden. In
1968, Sveriges Riksbank established The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic
Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize. Each prize consists of a
medal, personal diploma, and a cash award

Peace medal

President BARACK OBAMA, Nobel Peace Prize winner


-2009-

BARACK OBAMA

2009 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and
cooperation between peoples
Background

Born: August 4, 1961


Place of birth: Hawaii, United States
Nationality: United States
Biographical highlights:
o 1983 Graduates from Columbia University, Political
Science, BA
o 1991 Graduates from Harvard Law School, Juris Doctor
(J.D.)
o 1992 Marries Michelle Obama
o 1997-2004 Illinois State Senator
o 2005-2008 U.S. Senator
o 2008 Elected 44th President of the United States
o 2009 Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize

MARTTI AHTISAARI

2008 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three
decades, to resolve international conflicts.
Background

Born: June 23, 1937


Place of birth: Viipuri, Finland
Nationality: Finland
Biographical highlights:
o 1965 Joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
in its Bureau for International Development Aid
o 1968 Married Eeva Irmeli Hyvarinen
o 1973-1977 Finland's ambassador to Tanzania, Zambia,
Somalia and Mozambique
o 1977-1981 United Nations Commissioner for Namibia
o 1984-1986 Under-Secretary of State in charge of
International Development Cooperation in the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs of Finland
o 1987-1991 United Nations' Under-Secretary-General for
Administration and Management
o 1989 UN Special Representative heading the United Nations
Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG)
o 1989 Received OR Tambo award for "his outstanding
achievement as a diplomat and commitment to the cause of
freedom in Africa and peace in the world"
o 1994-2000 President of Finland
o 2000 Founded Crisis Management Initiative, an
independent, non-profit organisation that innovatively
promotes and works for sustainable security
o 2000 Inspector of the IRA's arms' dumps
o 2003-2005 UN Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa
o 2005 Facilitated the peace process between the Government
of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement in 2005
o 2005-2008 Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the
United Nations for the future status process for Kosovo
(UNOSEK)
o 2008 Recipient of the UNESCO Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace
Prize
o 2008 Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize

INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE (IPCC)

2007 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about manmade climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are
needed to counteract such change.
Background

Founded: 1988
Address:
o Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
c/o WMO
7 bis, Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
o Tel: +41 22 730 8208/8254/8284
o Fax: +41 22 730 8025/8013

ALBERT ARNOLD ( AL) GORE JR.

2007 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about manmade climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are
needed to counteract such change.
Background

Born: March 31, 1948


Place of birth: Washington DC, United States
Nationality: United States
Education:
o Harvard University, BA in Government, 1969
o Vanderbilt University Graduate School of Religion 1971 1972
o Vanderbilt University Law School 1974-6
Biographical highlights:
o 1969-71 Serves in Vietnam as an army journalist
o 1971-6 Investigative journalist and editor on The
Tennessean
o 1977-85 US House of Representative for the state of
Tennessee
o 1985-93 US Senator for the state of Tennessee
o 1993-2000 Vice President of the United States
o 2000 Democratic nominee for President in the
controversial 2000 election that was resolved by the US
Supreme Court in favor of George W. Bush
o 2004 Founds Current TV
o 2007 Wins Academy Award for An Inconvenient Truth
o 2007 Wins Emmy for Current TV
o 2007 Wins Nobel Peace Prize
Quotes
o The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go
to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene

here, you don't say, 'Well, I read a science fiction


novel that told me it's not a problem.' If the crib's on
fire, you don't speculate that the baby is flame
retardant. You take action.
The scientists are virtually screaming from the rooftops
now. The debate is over! There's no longer any debate in
the scientific community about this. But the political
systems around the world have held this at arm's length
because it's an inconvenient truth, because they don't
want to accept that it's a moral imperative.

MUHAMMAD YUNUS
2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
for their efforts to create economic and social development from below
Background

Born: June 28, 1940


Place of birth: Chittagong, Bangladesh
Nationality: Bangladesh
Education:
o Dhaka University, Bangladesh, BA (Economics), 1960
o Dhaka University, Bangladesh, MA (Economics), 1961
o Vanderbilt University PhD (Economics), 1969
Biographical highlights:
o 1972 Returns to Bangladesh as Professor of Economics at
the University of Chittagong
o 1974 Pioneered the idea of Gram Sarker (village
government)
o 1975-1989 Director of the Rural Economics Program
o 1976 Founded Grameen Bank
o 1978 Received the President's award for Tebhaga Khamar (a
system of cooperative three-share farming)
o 1994 Recipient of the World Food Prize
o 1995 Recipient of the Freedom Prize
Quotes
o One day our grandchildren will go to museums to see what
poverty was like. (5 May 1996, The Independent)

GRAMEEN BANK
2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
for their efforts to create economic and social development from below
Background

Founded: 1940
Address:
o Grameen Bank Bhavan
Mirpur-1, Dhaka-1216
Bangladesh.
o Telephone: (+88 02) 9005257-69

INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY


2005 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military
purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in
the safest possible way.
Background

Founded: 1957
Address:
o Headquarters Offices
International Atomic Energy Agency
P.O. Box 100
Wagramer Strasse 5
A-1400 Vienna, Austria
o Telephone: (+431) 2600-0
o Fax: (+431) 2600-7

MOHAMED ELBARADEI

2005 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military
purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in
the safest possible way.
Background

Born: June 17, 1942


Place of birth: Cairo, Egypt
Nationality: Egypt
Education:
o University of Cairo, B.S. Law, 1962
o New York University of Law, PhD International Law, 1974
Biographical highlights:
o 1964 Began career in Egyptian Diplomatic Service

1974-78 Special assistant to the Foreign Minister of


Egypt
o 1980 Senior Fellow in charge of the Internaional Law
Program at the United Nations Institute for Training and
Research
o 1981-87 Adjunct Professor of Internatinal Law at NYU
School of Law
o 1997-Present Director General of the IAEA
Quotes
o If the world does not change course, we risk selfdestruction. (12 Feb 2004, New York Times Op Ed
Contribution)
o We need to bite the bullet and see how we can move beyond
nuclear weapons deterrence, and I think that we have not
done that yet. (21 October 2003, Arms Control Today
Interview)

WANGARI MAATHAI

2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace
Background

Born: April 1, 1940


Place of birth: Nyeri, Kenya, Africa
Nationality: Kenyan
Education:
o Mount St. Scholastica College, Kansas, B.S. Biological
Sciences, 1964
o University of Pittsburgh, M.S. Biological Sciences, 1966
o University of Nairobi, PhD Anatomy, 1971
Biographical highlights:
o 1971 First East and Central African Woman to earn a PhD
o 1973-80 Director, Kenya Red Cross
o 1976 First Female Chair of Dept of Veterinary Anatomy at
University of Nairobi
o 1977 First Female Associate Professor of Dept of
Veterinary Anatomy at University of Nairobi
o 1977 Founded The Green Belt Movement
o 1981-7 Chairman of the National Council of Women of Kenya
o 1997 Ran for Presidency of Kenya

o
o
o
o

1998 Launched Kenya Jubilee 2000 coalition


2002 Elected to Parliament with 98% of the vote, Tetu
Constituency
2003 Appointed Assistant Minister of Environment, Natural
Resources & Wildlife
2004 First Female African to be awarded Nobel Peace Prize

SHIRIN EBADI

2003 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


for her efforts for democracy and human rights
Background

Born: June 2, 1947


Alternate Spellings of Name: Shirin Ibadi, Chirine Ebadi
Biographical highlights:
o 1969 Graduated from Faculty of Law, Tehran University
o 1975-1979 First Female Iranian Judge
o 1979 Iranian Revolution, forced to resign and start work
as an attorney
o 1994 Help found Society for Protecting the Child's Rights
in Iran
o 1996 Awarded plate by Human Rights Watch
o 2000 Attorney for families of writers and intellectuals
who were victims of "serial murders" in 1998-1999
o 2000 Arrested and imprisoned for "disturbing public
opinion" in relation to "serial murders" case
o 2001 Awarded Rafto Prize, Human Rights Prize in Norway

JIMMY CARTER JR.

2002 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


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
Background

Born: October 1,1924


Place of Birth: Plains, GA, USA
Former President of the United States of America

UNITED NATIONS

2001 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


Background

Founded 24 October 1945


Location: New York, NY, USA

KOFI ANNAN

2001 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


United Nations Secretary General
Background

Born: April 8, 1938


Place of birth: Kumasi, Ghana

KIM DAE JUNG

2000 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


for his work for democracy and human rights in South Korea and in East Asia
in general, and for peace and reconciliation with North Korea in particular.
Background

Born: Dec. 3, 1925


Place of birth: Mokp'o, Korea (now in South Korea)

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