John Christian Munthe Sanness took his M.A. in 1940 and his Ph.D. in history in 1959. He was editor of the foreign affairs section of Arbeiderbladet, the organ of the Labour Party in 1946-1950. In 1960 he became Director of Norsk Utenrikspolitisk Institutt (The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs) and held this position until 1983. He was professor at the University of Oslo in 1966-1983. Sanness was a member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee in 1970-1981, its chairman in 1979-1981.
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, www.kunnskapsforlaget.no), Oslo 1999