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October 9th, 2009
07:38 PM ET

Nobel Prize fast facts

Alfred Nobel's statue in Stockholm. Nobel laid down who should nominate prizewinners in his will.

Alfred Nobel's statue in Stockholm. Nobel laid down who should nominate prizewinners in his will.

Mishan Afsari
AC360°

Did you know...

Alfred Nobel invented dynamite? Yes, the famous scientist mixed nitroglycerine with kieselguhr and voila! The volatile liquid became a paste that was shaped into rods – a material Nobel patented as dynamite in 1867.

Only 12 women have won the Peace Prize? That's 12 women out of 96 individual winners. The first woman given the award was peace activist Bertha von Suttner in 1906, only 5 years after they started giving the award.

Only one recipient has declined the prize? Vietnamese politician Le Duc Tho was given the award jointly with U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in their work on the Vietnam peace accord, but Le Duc Tho declined because of the continued situation in his country.

Two laureates were awarded the prize posthumously? In 1931 and 1961 the prize was awarded to people after their death, but since 1974 the Nobel Foundation changed the rules so that a nominee cannot get the prize posthumously unless they died after the announcement.

Winston Churchill actually won the Nobel Prize in Literature but not the Nobel Peace Prize?
In 1953 Churchill only won the prize for literature, although he was nominated for both prizes.

205 individuals were nominated for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize? That, and 33 organizations.

The youngest laureate was only 32 years old? In 1976 Mairead Corrigan shared the prize with Betty Williams for their accomplishments as founders of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement.

Mahatma Gandhi is considered the “Missing Laureate?” Gandhi was nominated 5 times for the prize for his nonviolent efforts for India’s independence. The last nomination came just days before his assassination in 1948. He never received the Prize, and within the Nobel organization it remains a question as to why.

So, who’s your favorite laureate of all time?

2009 – Barack Obama

2008 – Martti Ahtisaari

2007 – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Al Gore

2006 – Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank

2005 – International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei

2004 – Wangari Maathai

2003 – Shirin Ebadi

2002 – Jimmy Carter

2001 – United Nations, Kofi Annan

2000 – Kim Dae-jung

1999 – Médecins Sans Frontières

1998 – John Hume, David Trimble

1997 – International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Jody Williams

1996 – Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, José Ramos-Horta

1995 – Joseph Rotblat, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs

1994 – Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin

1993 – Nelson Mandela, F.W. de Klerk

1992 – Rigoberta Menchú Tum

1991 – Aung San Suu Kyi

1990 – Mikhail Gorbachev

1989 – The 14th Dalai Lama

1988 – United Nations Peacekeeping Forces

1987 – Oscar Arias Sánchez

1986 – Elie Wiesel

1985 – International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

1984 – Desmond Tutu

1983 – Lech Walesa

1982 – Alva Myrdal, Alfonso García Robles

1981 – Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

1980 – Adolfo Pérez Esquivel

1979 – Mother Teresa

1978 – Anwar al-Sadat, Menachem Begin

1977 – Amnesty International

1976 – Betty Williams, Mairead Corrigan

1975 – Andrei Sakharov

1974 – Seán MacBride, Eisaku Sato

1973 – Henry Kissinger, Le Duc Tho

1972 – The prize money for 1972 was allocated to the Main Fund

1971 – Willy Brandt

1970 – Norman Borlaug

1969 – International Labour Organization

1968 – René Cassin

1967 – The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section

1966 – The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section

1965 – United Nations Children's Fund

1964 – Martin Luther King Jr.

1963 – International Committee of the Red Cross, League of Red Cross Societies

1962 – Linus Pauling

1961 – Dag Hammarskjöld

1960 – Albert Lutuli

1959 – Philip Noel-Baker

1958 – Georges Pire

1957 – Lester Bowles Pearson

1956 – The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section

1955 – The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section

1954 – Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

1953 – George C. Marshall

1952 – Albert Schweitzer

1951 – Léon Jouhaux

1950 – Ralph Bunche

1949 – Lord Boyd Orr

1948 – The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section

1947 – Friends Service Council, American Friends Service Committee

1946 – Emily Greene Balch, John R. Mott

1945 – Cordell Hull

1944 – International Committee of the Red Cross

1943 – The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section

1942 – The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section

1941 – The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section

1940 – The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section

1939 – The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section

1938 – Nansen International Office for Refugees

1937 – Robert Cecil

1936 – Carlos Saavedra Lamas

1935 – Carl von Ossietzky

1934 – Arthur Henderson

1933 – Sir Norman Angell

1932 – The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section

1931 – Jane Addams, Nicholas Murray Butler

1930 – Nathan Söderblom

1929 – Frank B. Kellogg

1928 – The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section

1927 – Ferdinand Buisson, Ludwig Quidde

1926 – Aristide Briand, Gustav Stresemann

1925 – Sir Austen Chamberlain, Charles G. Dawes

1924 – The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section

1923 – The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section

1922 – Fridtjof Nansen

1921 – Hjalmar Branting, Christian Lange

1920 – Léon Bourgeois

1919 – Woodrow Wilson

1918 – The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section

1917 – International Committee of the Red Cross

1916 – The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section

1915 – The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section

1914 – The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section

1913 – Henri La Fontaine

1912 – Elihu Root

1911 – Tobias Asser, Alfred Fried

1910 – Permanent International Peace Bureau

1909 – Auguste Beernaert, Paul Henri d'Estournelles de Constant

1908 – Klas Pontus Arnoldson, Fredrik Bajer

1907 – Ernesto Teodoro Moneta, Louis Renault

1906 – Theodore Roosevelt

1905 – Bertha von Suttner

1904 – Institute of International Law

1903 – Randal Cremer

1902 – Élie Ducommun, Albert Gobat

1901 – Henry Dunant, Frédéric Passy


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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Kathy

    I think the people of the US are missing the point of the prize. Barrack Obama in a very short time was able to convince many world leaders that the US wants to work with them not against them. The man is an amazing communicator who personally delivered his message of hope to the world as soon as he took office. He campaigned on a beleif in diplomacy, he delivered diplomacy and he has now won a prize for an outstanding display of diplomacy. Wake up America and smell the roses, this is a good thing.

    October 9, 2009 at 8:28 pm |
  2. Jesse Rogers

    Successful Beer Sumit = Nobel Peace Prize

    Wonder if he went and pitched himself for the Peace Prize like he did for the olympics?

    Way To Go Barack, you are my hero!

    October 9, 2009 at 8:00 pm |