25 People Who Should Have Won The Nobel Peace Prize But Didn’t

The Nobel Peace Prize is the most controversial of the five Nobel Prizes—Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace and Physiology. Not only is this the most coveted, it is also the most significant out of all other awards. It’s awarded to individuals who have done “the best work for the fraternity of nations,” and for the eradication of groups and armies that encumber the massive promotion of peace among people of all nations. Ever since Alfred Nobel chose peace as a category for the Noble Prize, it has been subject to several controversies. “They-should-have-won” claims have been pervasive, and debates as to who is more deserving to win have been ongoing year after year. So, here is a list of the 25 people who should have won the Noble Peace Prize but didn’t.

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Vaclav Havel


As a Czech playwright, essayist, poet, dissident and politician, Vaclav Havel was the last president of Czechoslovakia and the first president of the Czech Republic. During his time, he was widely acclaimed for his human rights work across Eastern Europe and has been named one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.


Sari Nusseibeh


Rather than support attacks on Israel, the way some of his fellow countrymen did, this Palestinian philosophy professor decided to focus on proactively helping his people in the midst of the bloodshed. His supporters believed that his passive “Ghandi-like” struggle was what warranted him the Noble Peace Prize.


Eleanor Roosevelt

eleanor roosevelt

More than just the first lady of a former U.S. president, Eleanor Roosevelt was as politically active as her husband. In fact, she was the one who led the first mission of the United States to the United Nations, allowing the U.S. to recognize how significant the UN was. As the woman behind the UN Commission on Human Rights as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the influence of Eleanor Roosevelt in the lives of many people remains today.


Pope John Paul II

john paul II

John Paul II was acclaimed as one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century. He is credited with helping to end Communist rule in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe.


Dorothy Day

dorothy day

One of the most significant personalities during the Great Depression, Dorothy Day organized the Catholic Worker Movement, a pacifist movement during the Second World War. Her mission was to help families rebuild their lives and promote peace by means of communal living and distributed wealth. Her movements eventually spread to both Canada and Europe and are still active today.

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