Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.
Born: 14 January 1875, Kaysersberg, Germany (now France)
Died: 4 September 1965, Lambaréné, Gabon
Role: Founder of Lambaréné (République de Gabon), Missionary surgeon
Albert Schweitzer received his Nobel Prize one year later, in 1953.
Prize share: 1/1
Doctor, Missionary, Philosopher and Musician
The expression "reverence for life" is the key to Albert Schweitzer's personal philosophy. No person must ever harm or destroy life unless absolutely necessary. This attitude permeated everything he did.
Schweitzer was born in Alsace in the then German Empire. He studied theology and became a priest, but that was not enough. He wanted to alleviate suffering, and accordingly studied medicine. Together with his wife, who was a nurse, he built and ran a hospital at the mission station Lambarene in Gabon, a French colony at the time. This effort became an example to others.
In 1957, Schweitzer spoke on the radio to people all over the world. The respect of the Nobel Prize Laureate for all life made him issue his warning against nuclear tests and the dangers from radioactive fall-out.
Albert Schweitzer was also a gifted musician and interpreter of Bach. He gave numerous organ concerts in Europe to finance the hospital in Africa.
See the list of all Nobel Prizes, awarded for "the greatest benefit to mankind."
In his will, Alfred Nobel left 31 million SEK to found the Nobel Prizes.
Medicine Laureate Shinya Yamanaka talks about the importance of taking risks.