Nobel Peace Prize 2017: top 10 most popular winners
The Norwegian Academy will announce today the winner of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. The winner will be selected by a jury appointed by the Norwegian parliament. There are 318 candidates running this year – the second highest since last year, when there were 376.
Since the award’s inception in 1901, 97 awards have been presented, of which only 16 have been awarded to women.
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Here are the most popular Nobel laureates, according to the committee, to date:
1. Martin Luther King jr.
Martin Luther King Jr dedicated his life to fighting racial inequality. Known for his iconic “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, King longed for an America where its people were judged on their personal qualities, not the color of their skin. A follower of Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence, King began his struggle in 1955 to persuade the US government to outlaw the policy of racial discrimination in the southern states. He received the peace prize in 1964. In April 1968 he was assassinated by a white man.
2. Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai, the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize, was born in Swat district, northwest Pakistan, in July 1997. She was attacked by the Taliban in 2012 for claiming the right girls to education. She continues her work in the field and received the Peace Prize in 2014.
3. Mother Teresa – Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Born as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Uksup, Ottoman Empire (now Macedonia) on August 26, 1910, she joined a convent at the age of twelve and was given the name Teresa. She was sent to Calcutta (now Kolkata) to be a teacher. There she founded a new sorority called Missionaries of Charity. Mother Teresa and her organization are credited with building homes for lepers and hospices for the terminally ill in Calcutta. However, she has been criticized for having a conservative view of abortion and for allegedly denying pain relief to dying patients when she herself took advantage of it. She received the Peace Prize in 1979. Here are the likely nominees for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize
4. Jane Addams
The second woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, Addams founded the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in 1919 and is credited with working to get the great powers to disarm and reach peace agreements. She worked to help the poor and to end the use of children as industrial workers in the United States. She also ran Hull House, a center in Chicago that specifically helped immigrants. Addams chaired a Women’s Peace Conference held in The Hague in the Netherlands during World War I and unsuccessfully tried to sue US President Woodrow Wilson to broker peace between the warring countries. Labeled a dangerous radical and a danger to the security of the United States for speaking out against US entry into the war, Addams was awarded the Peace Prize in 1931.
5. Elie Wiesel
Jewish author, philosopher and humanist Elie Wiesel was the world’s foremost spokesperson for the Holocaust. He gave equal importance to the fight against indifference and the “it’s none of my business” attitude. Wiesel viewed the struggle against indifference as a struggle for peace. In his own words, “The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference”. He received the Peace Prize in 1986.
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Nelson Mandela in 1993 for his work on “the peaceful end of the apartheid regime and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa”. The South African, one of the country’s first black lawyers, fought for black rights and against oppression. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for high treason and conspiracy against the state in 1962; he spent 18 years in prison.
7. Rigoberta Menchu Tum
The Guatemalan Indian woman won the award in 1992 “in recognition of her work for social justice and ethnocultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples.” Rigoberta was named by several organizations who wanted to point out that the entry of Europeans into America led to the suppression of indigenous populations. She then became the United Nations Ambassador for the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
8. Juan Manuel Santos
The Colombian president was the only recipient of the peace prize in 2016 for “his resolute efforts to end more than 50 years of civil war in the country”. He orchestrated the negotiations between the government and the FARC guerrillas, which resulted in a ceasefire in 2016.
9. Muhammad Yunous
The 2006 winner from Bangladesh founded the Grameen Bank, which provided small loans — or microloans — to the poor. He won the award for his efforts to “create economic and social development from below”. Yunus, who believes that poverty means being deprived of human worth, conceptualized his project during the Bangladesh famine of 1974.
ten. Theodore Roosevelt
Former US President Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for brokering peace in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. He was also a contributor to several other peace treaties. Roosevelt was the first statesman to receive the award.
Roosevelt’s victory caused controversy as the Norwegian left felt he was a “military mad” imperialist. Swedish media reported the news saying that Alfred Nobel has turned in his grave. The Norwegian committee has also reportedly drawn attention for trying to make friends with the award.