Lord (John) Boyd Orr of Brechin
Born: 23 September 1880, Kilmaurs, Scotland
Died: 25 June 1971, Edzell, Scotland
Residence at the time of the award: United Kingdom
Role: President, National Peace Council and World Union of Peace Organizations, Prominent organizer and Director, General Food and Agricultural Organization, Alimentary Politician, Physician
Field: humanitarian work, world organizing
Prize share: 1/1
The Scottish physician and biologist John Boyd Orr emerged in the inter-war years as one of Britain's leading experts on nutrition. He maintained that many Britons were malnourished because their incomes were too low. Boyd Orr participated in the efforts in the League of Nations to achieve an international policy on nutrition. During the Second World War, he proposed the idea of a "world food plan" to President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the USA. In 1945 he was elected Director-General of the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), the first of the specialized organizations established under the United Nations. Food and prosperity for all people on earth led to peace, Boyd Orr argued.
Boyd Orr was an ardent adherent of world organization as a means of securing peace, and argued for a world government ruling according to rules of international law. The nations of the world were now so dependent on each other that they had to give up some of their sovereignty. Boyd Orr was elevated to the peerage for his national and international commitment.