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.
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