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Facts and Numbers of the Nobel Peace Prize

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Compiled from the Nobel Foundation
Friday, October 9, 2009; 6:50 AM

Facts on the Nobel Peace Prize

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On 27 November 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament, giving the largest share of his fortune to a series of prizes, the Nobel Prizes. As described in Nobel's will, one part was dedicated to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

Number of Nobel Peace Prize

89 Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded since 1901. It was not awarded on 19 occasions: in 1914-1918, 1923, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1939- 1943, 1948, 1955-1956, 1966-1967 and 1972.

According to the statutes of the Nobel Foundation: "If none of the works under consideration is found to be of the importance indicated in the first paragraph, the prize money shall be reserved until the following year. If, even then, the prize cannot be awarded, the amount shall be added to the Foundation's restricted funds." During World War I and II, no prizes were awarded.

Number of nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009

Every year, the Norwegian Nobel Committee sends out thousands of letters inviting a qualified and select number of people to submit their nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. The names of the nominees cannot be revealed until 50 years later, but the Nobel Peace Prize committee does reveal the number of nominees each year.

205 names were submitted for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, 33 of which are organizations.

U.S. Presidents amd Foreign Leaders

Theodore Roosevelt, 1906, U.S.

Woodrow Wilson, 1919, U.S.

Hjalmar Branting, 1921, Sweden

Willy Brandt, 1971, Germany

Eisaku Sato, 1974, Japan

Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat, 1978, Egypt

Menachem Begin, 1978, Israel

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, 1990, Russia

Yasser Arafat, 1994, Palestine

Yitzhak Rabin, 1994, Israel

Shimon Peres, 1994, Israel

Jimmy Carter, 2002, U.S.

Barack Obama, 2009, U.S.

Youngest and Oldest

To date, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize Laureate is Mairead Corrigan, founder of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement, who was 32 years old when she was awarded the Prize in 1976.

The oldest Nobel Peace Prize Laureate to date is Joseph Rotblat, who was 87 years old when he was awarded the Prize in 1995 for his efforts to diminish the part played by nuclear arms in international politics.

Women Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

Of the 96 individuals awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, 12 are women. The first Nobel Peace Prize in 1901 was awarded to a woman, Bertha von Suttner.

1905 - Bertha von Suttner

1931 - Jane Addams

1946 - Emily Greene Balch

1976 - Betty Williams

1976 - Mairead Corrigan

1979 - Mother Teresa

1982 - Alva Myrdal

1991 - Aung San Suu Kyi

1992 - Rigoberta Menchú Tum

1997 - Jody Williams

2003 - Shirin Ebadi

2004 - Wangari Maathai

Nobel Trivia

Many believe that Winston Churchill was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but he was actually awarded the 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature. In fact, Churchill was nominated both for the Literature and for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mahatma Gandhi, one of the strongest symbols of non-violence in the 20th century, was nominated in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and, finally, shortly before he was assassinated in January 1948. Although Gandhi was not awarded the Prize (a posthumous award is not allowed by the statutes), the Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to make no award that year on the grounds that "there was no suitable living candidate".


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