Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld is Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld was a Swedish diplomat and author and was the second Secretary-General of the United Nations.

He served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. He is the only person to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize posthumously. Hammarskjöld remains the only U.N. Secretary-General to die in office.

U.S. President John F. Kennedy called Hammarskjöld “the greatest statesman of our century.”

Dag Hammarskjöld was born in Jönköping, Sweden, but he lived most of his childhood in Uppsala. He was the fourth and youngest son of Hjalmar Hammarskjöld, prime minister of Sweden from 1914 to 1917, and Agnes Hammarskjöld (nee Almquist). His ancestors had served the Swedish Crown since the 17th century. He studied first at Katedralskolan and then at Uppsala University where he graduated with a Master's degree in Political Economy and a Bachelor of Law degree. He then moved to Stockholm.

From 1930 to 1934, he was a secretary of a governmental committee on unemployment. He also wrote his economics thesis, Konjunkturspridningen (The Spread of the Business Cycle), and received his doctorate from Stockholm University in 1933. In 1936, Hammarskjöld became a secretary at the Bank of Sweden, and soon he was an undersecretary of finance. From 1941 to 1948, he served as chairman of the Bank of Sweden.

In the Middle East his efforts to ease the situation in Palestine and to resolve its problems continued throughout his stay in office. During the Suez Canal crisis of 1956, he exercised his own personal diplomacy with the nations involved; worked with many others in the UN to get the UN to nullify the use of force by Israel, France, and Great Britain following Nasser's commandeering of the Canal; and under the UN's mandate, commissioned the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) - the first ever mobilized by an international organization. In 1958 he suggested to the Assembly a solution to the crises in Lebanon and Jordan and subsequently directed the establishment of the UN Observation Group in Lebanon and the UN Office in Jordan, bringing about the withdrawal of the American and British troops which had been sent there. In 1959 he sent a personal representative to Southeast Asia when Cambodia and Thailand broke off diplomatic relations, and another to Laos when problems arose there.