Nicholas Murray Butler


Nicholas Murray Butler

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Nicholas Murray Butler
The Nobel Peace Prize 1931

Born: 2 April 1862, Elizabeth, NJ, USA

Died: 7 December 1947, New York, NY, USA

Residence at the time of the award: USA

Role: President, Columbia University; Promoter of Briand Kellogg Pact

Prize motivation: “for their assiduous effort to revive the ideal of peace and to rekindle the spirit of peace in their own nation and in the whole of mankind”

Prize share: 1/2

Top-Flight Peace Activist

Nicholas Butler shared the Peace Prize for 1931 with Jane Addams. He received it for his efforts to strengthen international law and the International Court at the Hague.

Butler studied both in France and in Germany. He became a friend of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and later of President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1902 he became President of Columbia University.

Butler participated in peace conferences and established contacts with several Peace Prize Laureates. During World War I he broke off his connections with Germany and was a warm supporter of United States entry into the war. In 1919 he opposed US entry into the new League of Nations, fearing that America's hands would be tied at the expense of national interests.

In 1925, Butler became President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In his opinion, peace could only be achieved by an elite. Butler had close contacts with Europe's leading statesmen, and supported the French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand, enabling the signing of the Briand-Kellogg Pact forbidding wars of aggression in 1928.

To cite this section
MLA style: Nicholas Murray Butler – Facts. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2024. Sun. 23 Jun 2024. <>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Nobel Prizes and laureates

Eleven laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2023, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from effective mRNA vaccines and attosecond physics to fighting against the oppression of women.

See them all presented here.

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.