Nobel Peace Prize Award for 1951 to 1960

About the Nobel Peace Prize Award from 1951 to 1960 including winners Schweitzer and Marshall, their works, and history.


1951 Leon Jouhaux (1879--1954), French

Work: Disarmament; unified international labor movement

1952 Albert Schweitzer (1875--1965), French

Work: Humanitarian activities

Nobel Laureate: A voracious student, Schweitzer was into everything, and from an early age was happiest when helping others. He became a theological scholar and, at the same time, developed into an accomplished concert organist. At 29 he responded to a missionary recruitment ad by enrolling in medical school, and six years later, in 1913, sailing for French Equatorial Africa. Cut off from civilization, he quickly adapted to native custom, only to be arrested as a suspected German spy during W.W. I and shipped off to jail in France. He returned to Africa in 1924 and resided there until his death. He raised funds by giving concerts in European capitals and pumped every available cent into his expanding Lambarene hospital complex, which eventually grew to 70 buildings and 500 beds.

1953 George C. Marshall (1880--1959), American

Work: The Marshall Plan, which rebuilt wartorn Europe

1954 Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees

Work: Resettled and aided W.W. II refugees and other displaced persons

1955 No award

1956 No award

1957 Lester B. Pearson (1897--1972), Canadian

Work: Created a U.N. emergency force to defuse the Suez Crisis of 1956

Nobel Laureate: Born in Toronto of Irish parents, Pearson left the University of Toronto to drive an ambulance on W.W. I battlefields and later transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. After the armistice he resumed his studies, earning a master's degree in history from Oxford. He taught for a bit, but resigned in 1928 to join the Canadian External Affairs Dept. Climbing steadily through its ranks, he was appointed foreign minister in 1948. He also led the Canadian delegation to the U.N. from 1946 to 1956. He was among the first to propose the establishment of NATO and he continued its staunchest supporter. When Egyptian President Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, precipitating an attack from Israeli, British, and French forces, Pearson convinced all parties to unlock horns and submit to the direction of a U.N. peace-keeping force. It was the U.N.'s first solid victory. Six months later, Pearson's Liberal party fell, and he lost his portfolio.

Nobel Lore: The first Canadian recipient, Pearson also was the first peace laureate to admit that men liked war: "We like the excitement of it, its thrill and glamor, its freedom from restraint. . . . And we like taking chances with death. This psychological weakness is a constant menace to peaceful behavior. We need to be protected against this weakness, and against the leaders who capitalize on this weakness."

1958 Father Georges H. Pire (1910--1969), Belgian

Work: Aided refugees from Eastern Europe

1959 Philip J. Noel-Baker (1889- ), British

Work: Lifelong efforts for peace and disarmament through the League of Nations and later the U.N.

1960 Albert J. Luthuli (1899--1967), South African

Work: Led a nonviolent campaign for black civil rights in his country

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