Christian Lous Lange

Short biography

Lange, Christian Lous

Teacher, Historian and Organiser in the peace movement. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 1921 Labour

Lange graduated in the humanities 1893, and got a Ph.D. in 1919. He was originally educated as a teacher in language (English and French), history and geography. Primarily because he spoke several languages fluently, he was hired as secretary in the organising committee of the interparliamentary conference which took place in Christiania (Oslo) in 1899. An efficient administrator, he was subsequently offered the position as secretary of the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian Storting. In 1907 he was on the Norwegian delegation to the Second Hague Peace Conference. That year, he was also elected Secretary General of the Interparliamentary Union (IPU). He held that position until 1933, when he decided that he did not want to be reelected. Lange was an efficient administrator and from the headquarters in Brussels he managed to make the IPU a well-functioning internationial organisation before the First World War. After the war, he worked hard to make the IPU resume its activity and moved with its headquarters to Geneva.

Christian Lange was on the Norwegian delegation to the first assembly of the League of Nations in 1920, and subsequently took part in nearly all of the League’s conferences. He was primarily engaged in the discussions on disarmament. He got his Ph.D. on a study of the history of the peace movement, Histoire de l’internationalisme, which was published in 1919. Lange was not closely affiliated with any political party, but he may be described as a socialist intellectual. In 1921 he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the Swedish prime minister, the social democrat Hjalmar Branting. Christian Lous Lange was a member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee from 1934 until he died in 1938.

Back to the list of Norwegian Nobel Committee members 1901-2017

The biographical sketches of the Norwegian Nobel Committee members were written by Sølvi Glendrange and edited by Øyvind Tønnesson. They are based on the following sources:
– Norsk Biografisk Leksikon (Norwegian Biographical Encyclopaedia), Oslo 1923-1983
– Hvem er Hvem? (The Norwegian “Who’s Who”), several editions
– Aschehoug og Gyldendals Store Norske Leksikon (The Norwegian National Encyclopaedia), Kunnskapsforlaget, 2nd and 3rd edition, Oslo 1989/1995-1999
– Kunnskapsforlagets Nettleksikon (the Web Encyclopedia of Kunnskapsforlaget,, Oslo 1999