25 People Who Should Have Won The Nobel Peace Prize But Didn’t

The Nobel Peace Prize is the most controversial of the five Nobel Prizes—Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace and Physiology. Not only is this the most coveted, it is also the most significant out of all other awards. It’s awarded to individuals who have done “the best work for the fraternity of nations,” and for the eradication of groups and armies that encumber the massive promotion of peace among people of all nations. Ever since Alfred Nobel chose peace as a category for the Noble Prize, it has been subject to several controversies. “They-should-have-won” claims have been pervasive, and debates as to who is more deserving to win have been ongoing year after year. So, here is a list of the 25 people who should have won the Noble Peace Prize but didn’t.

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Ken Saro-Wiwa

Ken Saro-Wiwa

Known as the Gandhi of Nigeria, Ken Saro-Wiwa was part of the Ogoni people, a minority in Nigeria, and he had always been honest about his grudges towards the government of his own country. Due to the displacement of his people and the exploiting of their resources for the gain of the Nigerian government, he formed an organization to protect the rights of the minority and led non-violent demonstrations on behalf of the persecuted.


Fazle Hasan Abed


Fazle Hasan Abed played a critical role in the rebuilding of Bangladesh after the Indo-Pakistani Wars of Separation. After the war, Bangladesh became an autonomous country but was left severely devastated. To help his nation recover, he created and led BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee), a development organization that aimed to rebuild infrastructure in Bangladesh and help the people of his nation to re-establish their ravaged homes. This organization eventually became one of the largest development organizations in the world with eight countries under its fold, helping more than a hundred million impoverished people worldwide.


Corazon Aquino


Known as the first female president in Asia, Corazon Aquino established a good number of democratic and humanitarian reform programs in the Philippines following the ousting of the former president Ferdinand Marcos. The start of her reign marked the end of the dictatorial rule in the Philippines. She instituted a new constitution that emphasized the democracy of the Filipino people. She is considered today as one of the most influential women in the history of the world.


Irena Sendler

irena sendler

A Polish Roman Catholic nurse/social worker who served in the Polish Underground during World War II, she smuggled some 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto and provided them with false identity documents, saving them from the Holocaust.


Mahatma Gandhi


Although most people know Gandhi, and he would probably be the first person to pop into their head when thinking of peace prizes, he never actually won the Nobel. His influence, however, has been undeniable.

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