George Catlett Marshall
The Nobel Peace Prize 1953
Born: 31 December 1880, Uniontown, PA, USA
Died: 16 October 1959, Washington, D.C., USA
Residence at the time of the award: USA
Role: General President American Red Cross; ex-Secretary of State and of Defense; Delegate U.N.; Originator of Marshall Plan
Prize motivation: “for proposing and supervising the plan for the economic recovery of Europe”
Prize share: 1/1
The Marshall Plan for Peace
George Marshall won the Peace Prize for a plan aimed at the economic recovery of Western Europe after World War II.
Marshall began his military career in the American forces of occupation in the Philippines in 1902. During World War I he trained American troops in Europe. In the inter-war years he served for a number of years in China, until President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him Chief of Staff in 1939.
When the United States entered the war against Japan and Germany in 1941, Marshall was given the main responsibility for planning the US conduct of the war. He was the brains behind the successful invasion of Normandy in 1944, and he gave the orders to use atomic bombs on Japan after President Harry Truman had given the go-ahead.
Truman appointed Marshall Secretary of State in 1947, and between them they planned the economic support for Europe that was to secure stability and prevent the spread of Communism. After fifty years of public service, Marshall wound up his career as Secretary of Defense in 1951.