Born: 20 May 1822, Paris, France
Died: 12 June 1912, Paris, France
Residence at the time of the award: France
Role: Founder and President of first French peace society (since 1889 called Société française pour l'arbitrage entre nations)
Field: humanitarian work, peace movement
Prize share: 1/2
At the turn of the century, everyone agreed that Frédéric Passy was a worthy Laureate. In both age and prominence, he was the "dean" of the international peace movement. Both as an economist and as a politician, he maintained that free trade between independent nations promoted peace. Passy founded the first French Peace Society, which held a congress in Paris during the 1878 World Exhibition. As an independent leftist republican in the French Chamber of Deputies, he opposed France's colonial policy because it did not accord with the ideals of free trade.
Passy was also one of the founders of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, an organization for cooperation between the elected representatives of different countries. Despite his age, Passy kept up his work for peace after 1901. In 1905, when the conflict over the union between Sweden and Norway peaked, Passy declared that a peaceful solution would make him a hundred times happier than when he received the Nobel Prize. And Passy saw his wish fulfilled.