The Nobel Prize is a set of international awards given for a number of categories by Scandinavian committees for scientific and cultural endeavors. It has been named after Alfred Nobel who was a Swedish engineer, chemist, innovator and manufacturer most widely known for the invention of the dynamite. The Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway while the other prizes are given away in Stockholm, Sweden. There have been notable politicians who have been graced with the prestigious honor. Here is the list of the top 10 politicians who won the Nobel Prize.
Albert Arnold Gore popularly known as Al Gore, served as the 45th Vice President under President Bill Clinton from 1993-2001. Currently an author and environmental activist, Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on mobilizing public awareness on Global Warming despite his work receiving serious criticism. There has always been some contention on whether or not his work in the area of Global Warming has served the stated purpose of the prize.
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The 28th President of the United States will be best remembered for being instrumental in the formation of the League of Nations following the World War I (1914-1918). Woodrow Wilson initially kept America out of the war but had to eventually give in. Although US participated in the last two years of the war, Wilson was in control of negotiations with Germany at the time. In 1919 he was involved in the shaping of the Treaty of Versailles and formation of the League of Nations. The same year he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the latter.
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Yasser Arafat was a Palestinian leader who served as the Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and as the President of the Palestinian National Authority. In 1994 he won the Nobel Peace Prize along with Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin at Oslo for their joint efforts in creating peace and restoring normalcy in the Middle East. After his victory, a Nobel Committee member stepped down in protest at the awarding of the prize to him, whom he labeled as a “terrorist”.
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The 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize and was only the second to have achieved this feat after leaving office. He won the prize for his untiring efforts to ensure peaceful solutions to international conflicts, advocating for democracy and human rights and the promotion of economic and social development. Throughout his life, Jimmy Carter had traveled extensively to conduct peaceful negotiations and was instrumental in devising plans to combat terror and eradicate diseases worldwide.
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In 2009, the Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the 44th and the current United States President, Barack Obama for his efforts to “strengthen international diplomacy and foster cooperation between peoples”. Due importance was given to Obama’s vision of a world without nuclear weapons. Obama’s presidential reign ushered in an era of peaceful negotiations and amicable settlement of issues, which played a huge part in him winning the prestigious honor.
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One of the most epoch making world events was the outbreak of war between Japan and Russia in 1905. In the same year, the 26th President of America, Theodore Roosevelt acted as a mediator between the two nations as the harbinger of peace. Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt advocated the settlement of disputes between both the countries and negotiated the conditions that would ensure peace between them. For the same, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906. He later arbitrated a dispute between France and Germany over the distribution of Morocco.
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A notable politician behind propagating communism, Mikhail Gorbachev was the last head of State of the Soviet Union before its dissolution in 1991. He held office for a period of 3 years from 1988-1991. The 1990 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to him for his pioneering role in the peace process which assumed characteristics that form an important part of the international peace community. His contributions were instrumental in promoting international trust. Gorbachev’s ideas opens up new vistas for the world community to solve issues based on ideological, historical and cultural divides.
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Rarely does one come across a political personality bestowed with a flair for writing and creative genius. Winston Churchill happened to be one of those statesmen who were also great writers. Churchill served two terms as the British Prime Minister. He is the only British Prime Minister to have received a Nobel Prize for Literature. The Swedish Academy conferred the prize upon him when they surprised the world with their decision.
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Aung San Suu Kyi is a Burmese opposition politician and chairperson of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar. She remained under house arrest for a period of 15 years before her release in 2010. While under house arrest she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her non-violent struggle for human rights demanding democracy. Her sons Alexander and Kim accepted the prize on their mother’s behalf. The ceremony was also attended by her husband Michael Aris. She only accepted it in 2012 when she delivered her Nobel acceptance speech two decades later in which she mentioned that the prize had given the Burmese people a new ray of hope.
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Nelson Mandela brought South Africa out of its misery when he revolted against the policy of apartheid that racially segregated the inhabitants of South Africa. He was the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 after serving 27 years in prison. After his release he and his party led to the establishment of democracy in the county. In 1993, Mandela along with F.W. de Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa”.
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