Nobel Peace Prize Award for 1936 - 1950

About the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize from 1936 to 1950 including the International Red Cross, Cordell Hull, and Bunche, as well as behind the scenes information on the decision.

1936 Carlos Saavedra Lamas (1880-1959), Argentinian. Work: Presided over the League of Nations, and in Buenos Aires helped end the long Chaco War.

1937 Edgar A. R. Cecil 1864-1958), British. Work: Active in the League of Nations.

Behind the Award--Secretary of State Cordell Hull as well as the Foreign Minister of Cuba nominated President Franklin D. Roosevelt, but he was voted down.

1938 Nansen International Office for Refugees. Work: Relief for refugees.

Behind the Award--Franklin Delano Roosevelt nominated Cordell Hull for his work in lowering trade barriers.

1939 No Award

Behind the No Award--Roosevelt again nominated Cordell Hull, this time for his work in formulating the Good Neighbor Policy.

1940 No Award

1941 No Award

1942 No Award

1943 No Award

1944 International Red Cross. Work: Humanitarian efforts on behalf of prisoners and Jews in W.W. II.

1945 Cordell Hull (1871-1955), American.

Work: Good Neighbor Policy.

Behind the Award--At last, Cordell Hull won the Peace Prize. Right after W.W. II began, he started to work on the foundations of the United Nations and managed to talk Roosevelt and Churchill into using it, rather than regional agreements, to settle issues created by the war. However, when it came time to set up the United Nations, he was too ill to participate.

1946 John R. Mott (1865-1955), American. Work: Methodist pacifist.

Emily Balch (1867-1961), American. Work: Quaker pacifist.

Behind the Award--Finland had nominated 77-year-old Madame Alexandra Killontoy of Russia, the world's 1st female ambassador, friend of Stalin, author of Free Love, who had mediated the end of the Finnish-Russian War. When she was defeated for the Peace Prize, the Russians were furious.

1947 Friends Service Council (Great Britain).

American Friends Service Committee (U.S.). Work: Pacifism and relief work.

Behind the Award--When Henry J. Cadbury, chairman of the American Friends Service Committee, came to Oslo to accept the prize, he refused the hotel room that had been reserved for him, saying, "We find it possible to cancel the rooms reserved for us at a very stylish hotel and to live in a private house, thus conforming to the simplicity of our Quaker tradition." The suit he wore to the Nobel dinner came from a pile of second-hand clothing destined to be sent to refugees overseas. His group decided to use the prize money "in an effort to improve Russian-American relations."

1948 No Award

1949 John Boyd Orr (1880-1971), British. Work: Founded Food and Agriculture Organization.

Behind the Award--Up for the award were Eleanor Roosevelt, Eva and Juan Peron, Drew Pearson, the International Red Cross, and CARE.

1950 Ralph J. Bunche (1904-1971), American. Work: Settled Arab-Israeli dispute.

Behind the Award--At the last minute, Bunche was called in to pinch-hit for Count Folke Bernadotte, who was murdered by an Israeli terrorist, to negotiate a truce in the Palestine dispute. He performed admirably. It was he who suggested that the Security Council order the Jews and Arabs to end hostilities and complete the armistice settlement, a bold stroke that worked. Bunche was the 1st black to win a Peace Prize.

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