Fridtjof Nansen Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen (10 October 1861 – 13 May 1930) was a Norwegian explorer, scientist and diplomat.

Nansen was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 for his work as a League of Nations High Commissioner.

Fridtjof Nansen was born at Store Frøen, near Oslo in 1861, the son of a prosperous lawyer. As a young man, he was an expert skater, swimmer and skier, excelling in drawing and sciences at school. He studied Zoology at the University of Oslo. Nansen initially started out as a pioneer sports skier, and soon became interested in Arctic exploration. He led the first crossing of Greenland by ski, and achieved great success with his Arctic expedition aboard Fram. He later became noted as a zoologist and oceanographer, and was a pioneer of the neuron theory. He was also a distinguished diplomat, eventually becoming Commissioner of refugees for the League of Nations. He was married to Eva Nansen (died 1907) and was the father of noted architect and humanist Odd Nansen and the grandfather of Eigil Nansen.

In 1922 at the request of the Greek government and with the approval of the League of Nations, Nansen tried to solve the problem of the Greek refugees who poured into their native land from their homes in Asia Minor after the Greek army had been defeated by the Turks. Nansen arranged an exchange of about 1,250,000 Greeks living on Turkish soil for about 500,000 Turks living in Greece, with appropriate indemnification and provisions for giving them the opportunity for a new start in life.