Norman Borlaug


Norman E. Borlaug

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Norman E. Borlaug
The Nobel Peace Prize 1970

Born: 25 March 1914, Cresco, IA, USA

Died: 12 September 2009, Dallas, TX, USA

Residence at the time of the award: USA

Role: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Mexico City

Prize motivation: "for having given a well-founded hope - the green revolution."

Prize share: 1/1

Father of the Green Revolution

The expression "the green revolution" is permanently linked to Norman Borlaug's name. He obtained a PhD in plant protection at the age of 27, and worked in Mexico in the 1940s and 1950s to make the country self-sufficient in grain. Borlaug recommended improved methods of cultivation, and developed a robust strain of wheat - dwarf wheat - that was adapted to Mexican conditions. By 1956 the country had become self-sufficient in wheat.

Success in Mexico made Borlaug a much sought-after adviser to countries whose food production was not keeping pace with their population growth. In the mid-1960s, he introduced dwarf wheat into India and Pakistan, and production increased enormously. The expression "the green revolution" made Borlaug's name known beyond scientific circles, but he always emphasized that he himself was only part of a team.

Borlaug is a warm adherent of birth control. The object is to strike a balance between population growth and food production.

Copyright © The Norwegian Nobel Institute

To cite this section
MLA style: Norman Borlaug – Facts. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2021. Mon. 27 Sep 2021. <>

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

Explore prizes and laureates

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