1970 Nobel Peace Prize
Norman Borlaug
"for having given a well-founded hope – the green revolution."
  • 21 October 1970
  • 10 December 1970
LocationOslo, Norway
Presented byNorwegian Nobel Committee
First awarded1901
WebsiteOfficial website
← 1969 · Nobel Peace Prize · 1971 →

The 1970 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the American agronomist Norman Borlaug (1914–2009) "for having given a well-founded hope - the green revolution."[1][2] He is the thirteenth American recipient of the Peace Prize.[2]


Norman Borlaug

Main articles: Norman Borlaug and green revolution

In 1937, Norman Ernest Borlaug receive his B.S. degree in forestry and Ph.D in plant pathology and genetics at the University of Minnesota in 1942. He became a researcher at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico where he recommended improved methods of cultivation and developed semi-dwarf, high-yield, disease-resistant wheat varieties, making the make the country self-sufficient in grain from the 1950s onwards. His success in Mexico made him a much sought-after adviser to countries whose food production was not keeping pace with their population grow. During the mid-20th century, Borlaug led the introduction of these methods and researches combined with modern agricultural production techniques to Pakistan and India. The increasing success of wheat productions earned him the title "father of the Green Revolution" and is often credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation.[2] In recognition of his contributions to world peace through increasing food supply, he was given the Nobel Peace Prize by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.[3][4]



Borlaug received five nominations before he was awarded the peace prize. His first nomination came in 1968 by Roscoe L. Barrel of the United States as a joint nominee with The Rockefeller Foundation. In 1970, he earned two nominations from 14 members of the Swedish parliament and two Norwegian politicians.[5]

In total, the Norwegian Nobel Committee received 70 nominations for 28 individuals and 11 organizations such as Abbé Pierre, Vinoba Bhave, Danilo Dolci, Clarence Streit, Elie Wiesel, UNESCO, the Amnesty International (awarded in 1977) and the Universal Esperanto Association. Twelve were newly nominated such as François Duvalier, Hélder Câmara, Eugene Carson Blake, Isaac Lewin, the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). The most nominated was the Brazilian archbishop Hélder Câmara with nine nominations. There were only two female nominees and both were Swedish: Alva Myrdal (awarded in 1982) and Britta Holmström. Notable figures like Archibald Baxter, Doris Blackburn, Vera Brittain, Charles de Gaulle, Ammon Hennacy, Richard Hofstadter, Edmond Michelet, H. James Shea Jr. and Helene Stähelin died in 1970 without having been nominated for the peace prize.[6]

Official list of nominees and their nominators for the prize
No. Nominee Country/
Motivations Nominator(s)
1 Abbé Pierre, OFMCap
 France "for his great contribution as an individual to the cause of peace and for his accomplishments astounding the youths all over the world and driving them to action." Lars Roar Langslet
2 Vinoba Bhave
 India "as a representative of non-violent mentality and for his efforts to socially liberate the Indian people." Erling Wikborg
3 Eugene Carson Blake
 United States "for having taken great steps in trying to bring world peace." Jerome Waldie
4 Charles K. Bliss
 Soviet Union
( Ukraine)
"[with Chisholm] for creating a most valuable tool for peace through their literary works." Doug Everingham
5 Norman Borlaug
 United States "for his work to promote global food supply, an act that contributes greatly to peace." 14 members of the Swedish Parliament
"for his important work to diminish hunger as a contributing factor to maintain and secure peace."
6 Hélder Câmara
 Brazil "for his work to promote development as a foundation for peace and his belief that progress must be made in a non-violent way." Brendan Corish
14 members of the Irish Parliament
"in recognition of his important contributions to peace and social justice." 3 members of the Swedish Parliament
"for his work for economic and social development for the poor in Brazil." members of the French Parliament and professors
"for his peaceful struggle for the improvement of the human living conditions." René Cassin
No motivation included. Liam Cosgrave
Bram van der Lek
Everhardus Hubertus Kraaijvanger
6 members of the Dutch Parliament
7 Sanjib Chaudhuri (?)  India "for his authorship of treaties important to the world order and his services to humanity." Devaprasad P. Chaudhuri (?)
8 Brock Chisholm
 Canada "[with Bliss] for creating a most valuable tool for peace through their literary works." Doug Everingham
9 John Collins
 United Kingdom "for his devoted and selfless work towards peace through the promotion of communication and friendship between groups that harbor animosity towards each other." Sven Nyman
"for work in the field of race relations and his courage and resolution in pursuing what he believes to be right." Jock Campbell
No motivation included. Harold Collison
L. A. Pavitt (?)
10 Mehr Chand Davar
 India "for working ceaselessly and devotedly for the cause of national and international peace and promoting Hindu–Muslim unity." Harcharan Singh Dugal
"for his efforts to create peace, lift the spirits of men, and establish divine socialism." Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir
"for his efforts towards word peace and international amity, and his endeavors to create an atmosphere for Indo-Pakistani friendship." Lalit Sen
"for his ceaseless efforts for prevent the partition of India, and his devotion towards Hindu–Muslim unity, unity of mankind and world peace." Randhir Singh
"for his earnest struggles towards Hindu-Muslim unity, Indo-Pakistani friendship, understanding and world peace." Syed Badrudduja
11 Josué de Castro
 Brazil "for his active part in all organizations working for world peace." John Boyd Orr
12 Danilo Dolci
 Italy "for his work ethics, methods and results which have contributed to peace in larger and smaller contexts." Viola Sandell
13 François Duvalier
 Haiti "for his philosophy and his work for the poor masses of his country." Clovis C. Kernisan
14 Raoul Follereau
 France "for his exemplary devotion to the cause of the lepers, with a decisive influence on the outcome of the battle against leprosy." Gaston Thorn
15 Alfonso García Robles
 Mexico "for his support of disarmament in Latin-America and almost making it a non-nuclear zone." Philip Noel-Baker
16 Paul G. Hoffman
 United States "for his impressive work as administrator of the United Nations Development Programme." Edvard Hambro
"for his work as a pioneer of multilateral development and his admirable contribution to peace in the field of international co-operation." Hugh Foot, Baron Caradon
17 Britta Holmström
 Sweden "for her pioneering work with refugees, initiating Praghjälpen (Prague Aid) and contributing greatly to the possibility of world peace." 4 members of the Swedish Parliament
Sture Petrén
No motivation included. members of the Norwegian Parliament
18 Marc Joux (?)  France "for bringing forth ideas that may create a movement to facilitate a broad and solid international understanding in a climate of détente and security." Auguste Billiemaz
19 Spurgeon Milton Keeny
 United States "for his pioneering work in development operations and his dedicated service to humanity." Chester Jarvis
20 Isaac Lewin
 United States "for his literary works and his fight against discrimination and for the promotion of human rights." Leonard Farbstein
21 Gunnar Myrdal
 Sweden "for their many services to the international community and their promotion of international understanding." Laurence Naish
22 Alva Reimer–Myrdal
23 Kathiresu Ramachandra
 Sri Lanka "for his selfless dedication and contribution to the mission of universal love and peace." Shirley Corea
24 Clarence Streit
 United States "in recognition of the thirty years he has devoted to advancing peace through federal union." Lee Metcalf
25 Alfred Verdroß-Droßberg
 Austria "for his works, teachings, and efforts to strengthen solidarity between peoples and establish a world order that promotes the well-being of mankind." Josef Klaus
26 Paul Dudley White
 United States "for his extraordinary merit for peaceful understanding and friendly cooperation between cardiologists all over the world." Oldrich Starý
27 Elie Wiesel
 United States
"for being a messenger of peace and brotherhood, fighting in for the cause of human rights and building bridges between generations through his literary works." Jean Halpérin
"on the grounds of his powerful and uniquely influential portrait in his literary work The Jews of Silence and his candor, fairness, and clear trust in mankind despite all that has happened in our time." Maurice S. Friedman
"for his courageous and profoundly intelligent efforts to hinder separation of peoples and promote true human connection." Jean Ziegler
(b. 1934)
"for his literary works and their ability to communicate to a younger generation how to speak without hatred, even after witnessing man's inhumanity towards other men." Walter Kaufmann
28 Quincy Wright
 United States "for his work as an international jurist, social scientist, and pioneer of peace research." 5 professors from American universities
29 Amnesty International
(founded in 1961)
London "for their tireless efforts to better the conditions of political prisoners." Rudolf Sieverts
No motivation included. Johan Vogt
30 American Fellowship of Reconciliation
(founded in 1915)
New York City "for their service to peace, humanity, and reconciliation." Bronson P. Clark (1918–2004)
31 International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR)
(founded in 1914)
32 International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)
(founded in 1958)
London "for its publications which are a great contribution to securing peace." Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker
33 International Union for Land Value Taxation and Free Trade (The IU)
(founded in 1926)
London No motivation included. Francis Douglas
34 Islands of Peace
(founded in 1958)
Huy No motivation included. Raymond Vander Elst
35 Joint Church Aid (JCA)
(founded in 1967)
New York City "for its efforts to provide relief to civilian victims of the Nigerian-Biafran War and for the example they provide for alleviating the crises which will probably occur in the future."
"for its efforts to provide relief to civilian victims of the Nigerian-Biafran War and effectively reducing the rate of starvation in Biafra." Roderick Firth
36 Shop Stewards of the Belfast Shipyards Belfast "for their devoted efforts to prevent sectarian violence breaking out in the shipyards and contributing to inter-communal peace." members of the Irish Parliament
37 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
(founded in 1945)
Paris "for its contribution to develop a spirit of harmony and brotherhood through education." Saroite Okacha (?)
"for its work in the field of international understanding and facilitating the acquisition of knowledge, as it is a necessary condition for peace." Daya Krishna
"for its devotion to peace and its desire to spread education, science and culture by whatever means are within its reach." 9 members of the Mexican Senate
No motivation included.
38 Universal Esperanto Association (UEA)
(founded in 1908)
Rotterdam "for its long-standing work for international understanding and peace." Harold Davies
John Forrester
"for its long-standing work for international understanding and world peace through its efforts to solve the world language problem." Eric Moonman
"for its outstanding contribution to the UN's International Co-operation Year and the International Year for Human Rights." Robert Cant
"for its great idealistic and practical work, and in recognition of its contribution to peaceful co-operation through the utilization of an international language." Kristen Helveg Petersen
"for its outstanding contribution to the UN's International Co-operation Year and the International Year for Human Rights, as well as their fight against discrimination of the languages of small countries." Hans Hammond Rossbach
No motivation included. members of the Danish Parliament
39 Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
(founded in 1915)
Geneva No motivation included. Marie Lous Mohr

Norwegian Nobel Committee

The following members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee appointed by the Storting were responsible for the selection of the 1970 Nobel laureate in accordance with the will of Alfred Nobel:[7]

1970 Norwegian Nobel Committee
Picture Name Position Political Party Other posts
Aase Lionæs
Chairwoman Labour Vice President of the Lagting (1965–1973)
Bernt Ingvaldsen
Member Conservative President of the Storting (1965–1972)
Helge Refsum
Member Centre former Judge at the Gulating Court (1922–1949)
Helge Rognlien
Member Liberal Minister of Local Government (1970–1971)
John Sanness
Member Labour Director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs


  1. ^ The Nobel Peace Prize 1970 nobelprize.org
  2. ^ a b c Bernard Weinraur (21 October 1970). "U.S Agronomist Gets Nobel Peace Prize". New York Times.
  3. ^ Norman Borlaug nobelprize.org
  4. ^ "Norman Ernest Borlaug". Encyclopedia Britannica. 7 July 2023.
  5. ^ Nomination archive – Norman Ernest Borlaug
  6. ^ Nomination archive – Peace 1970 nobelprize.org
  7. ^ The Norwegian Nobel Committee 1901-2017 nobelprize.org