Who Won the First Ever Nobel Peace Prize?

Henry Dunant and Frédéric Passy won the first-ever Nobel Peace Prize in 1901. As a result of their achievements, Dunant and Passy are the first-ever Nobel Laureates.

man sitting on a wooden chair, stroking his beard
Albert Nobel, founder of Nobel’s Prize
By Gösta Florman (1831–1900) / The Royal Library – Sweden.se credits image to www.imagebank.sweden.se, Gösta Florman / The Royal Library, Public Domain

Who Founded The Nobel Peace Prize?

Alfred Nobel created the Nobel Peace Prize to design a legacy and honour significant philanthropical success. Alfred Nobel was a successful Swedish businessman. On top of doing business, Nobel was also an inventor, engineer, and philanthropist.

Therefore, Nobel allocated almost all of his fortune in his last will. As a result, five different Nobel Prizes exist and are awarded annually.

The First Ever Nobel Prize Winners

Henry Dunant was a Swiss activist and a founder of Red Cross, an international movement to protect human life and health. His contributions to the wellbeing of people across the world contributed to his title as the first-ever Nobel Prize laureate.

He shared his award with Frédéric Passy, a French economist and co-founder of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Also, Passy was the initiator for the first Universal Peace Congress.

Nobel Peace Prize Categories

Apart from the Nobel Prize for Peace, there are four other types of Prizes. Those are the prizes for outstanding contributions in literature, chemistry, medicine, and physics.

The Meaning Of Nobel Prizes

Nobel Prizes are the most prestigious prizes in literature, chemistry, medicine, and physics. It is because of their noble cause. Additionally, Nobel Peace Prizes celebrate humanity and human achievements. Furthermore, the Nobel Peace Prize has a century-long legacy.

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Where Does The Prize Money Come From?

94% of Nobel’s assets first funded the Nobel prizes, all of which he left in his testament. An organization called the Nobel Foundation manages the funds from 1900 up until now.

The first Nobel Prize awards ceremony had to wait almost six years before taking place in Sweden and in Norway. It has since been a subject to many controversies. For example, the Peace Prize, according to some, is now politicized, contrary to Alfred Nobel’s will.

Some Historical Controversies

Also, Vietnamese diplomat and politician Lê Đức Thọ refused the prize, while Henry Kissinger, an American political scientist, and diplomat, gave away the Prize money to charity.

According to Foreign Policy, an American news publishing agency, there’s a list of people who should’ve won the Nobel Prize. A most notable person from the list is Mahatma Gandhi. He was an Indian activist and leader of the movement against the British colonial rule.

two people sitting on a stage, Desmond Tutu and Dalai Lama
Image showing the 14th Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
By Carey Linde – who took the photo in Vancouver, Canada, 2004 – From the private collection of my friend, Carey Linde, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Lastly, Nobel Prizes are definitely the most acclaimed awards in the world. Forthwith, if you wondered about other similar prizes, take a look at who won the first Academy Awards ever.