John Raleigh Mott
The Nobel Peace Prize 1946
Born: 25 May 1865, Livingston Manor, NY, USA
Died: 31 January 1955, USA
Residence at the time of the award: USA
Role: Chairman, International Missionary Council, President, World Alliance of Young Men's Christian Associations
Prize motivation: “for his contribution to the creation of a peace-promoting religious brotherhood across national boundaries”
Prize share: 1/2
Friendship among Christians Brings Peace
The Peace Prize for 1946 was awarded to the head of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), the American John Raleigh Mott, who according to the Nobel Committee had contributed to the creation of a peace-promoting religious brotherhood across national boundaries.
Mott grew up in a settler family in Iowa, strongly influenced by Puritan ideals, and took a bachelor's degree in history at Cornell University. As a student Mott received a religious call to spread the Gospel, after which he devoted most of his life to the YMCA, to missionary activities, and ecumenical work.
As general-secretary of the International Committee of the YMCA and president of YMCA's World Committee, Mott sought to advance understanding and reconciliation. He organized youth exchanges, set up study groups, and arranged international youth camps. Mott was at the same time a leading figure in the field of international Christian student and missionary cooperation, and took part during both World Wars in relief work for prisoners of war. He criticised the oppression of colonial peoples and was a pioneer in the struggle against racial discrimination.
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