The World Food Prize Foundation

Curriculum Vitae

Short Biography |  Extended Biography  |  National Academy of Sciences Bio by Ron Phillips


General Information:

March 25, 1914 - September 12, 2009

Cresco, Iowa, USA

Wife: Margaret Gibson (deceased 7/3/2007)
Children: Norma Jean (Laube) and William G.

B.S. Forestry, University of Minnesota, 1937
M.S. Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, 1940
Ph.D. Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, 1942

The U. S. Forest Service, 1935-38

Instructor, University of Minnesota, 1941

Microbiologist, E. I. DuPont de Nemours, 1942-44

Research Scientist in charge Wheat Improvement in Cooperative Mexican Agricultural Program (O.E.E.), a joint dependency of Mexican Ministry of Agriculture and Rockefeller Foundation, 1944-1960

Associate Director, Rockefeller Foundation, assigned to Inter-American Food Crop Program, 1960-63; to CIMMYT, 1964-1982

Consultant and collaborator to Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agricolas (I.N.I.A.), Mexican Ministry of Agriculture, 1960-64

Consultant Food and Agriculture Organization of U.N. (F.A.O.) in North Africa and Asia, 1960

Director of Wheat Research and Production Program, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, (CIMMYT), 1964-79; Acting Director, 1981

Ex-Officio Consultant on Wheat Research and Production Problems to many Governments in Latin America, Africa and Asia, 1960-Senior Consultant to CIMMYT, 1979 -Honorary Visiting Professor of the University of Minnesota (USA), 1980The A. D. White Professor-at-Large Distinguished Professorship, Cornell University (USA), 1983-85

Distinguished Professor of International Agriculture, Department of Soil & Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas (USA), 1984-2009

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia (USA), 1991-1992

President of Sasakawa Africa Association, 1986-

Senior Consultant to Director General of CIMMYT 1980-2009

Member - Alpha Zeta, Xi Sigma Pi, Sigma Xi

Doctor of Science:
Punjab Agricultural University (India), 1969
Royal Norwegian Agricultural College (Norway), 1970
Luther College (USA), 1970
Kanpur University (India), 1970
Uttar Pradesh Agricultural University (India), 1971
Michigan State University (USA), 1971
Universidad de la Plata (Argentina), 1971
University of Arizona (USA), 1972
University of Florida (USA), 1973
Universidad Católica de Chile (Chile), 1974
Universität Hohenheim (Germany), 1976
Punjab Agricultural University, (Pakistan), 1978
Columbia University, (USA), 1980
Ohio State University (USA), 1981
University of Minnesota (USA), 1982
University of Notre Dame (USA), 1987
Oregon State University (USA), 1988
University of Tulsa (USA), 1991
Washington State University (USA) 1995
Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University (India), 1996
Indian Agricultural Research Institute (India), 1996
De Montfort University, (United Kingdom), 1997
Emory University, (USA) 1999
University of the Philippines, 1999
University of Missouri, (USA), 2002
Williams College, (USA), 2002
Wartburg College (USA), 2003
Dartmouth College (USA), 2005
North Dakota, Weslyan (USA), 2008

Doctor of Agricultural Sciences:
University of Agricultural Sciences (Godollo, Hungary), 1980
Tokyo University of Agriculture (Japan), 1981
Doctor en Ciencias Agropecuarias Honoris Causa, Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Turena, República Dominicana, 1983
Doctor en Ciencias, Honoris Causa Universidad Central del Este de la República Dominicana, 1983

Doctor Humane Letters:
Gustavus Adolphus College (USA), 1971
Iowa State University (USA), 1992
Cape Coast University (Ghana), 2000
Texas A&M University (USA), 2007

Doctor of Law:
New Mexico State University (USA), 1973

Doctor of Agriculture:
Tufts University (USA), 1982
Doctor Honoris Causa:
Universidad Mayor de San Simón (Bolivia), 1983
Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina), 1983
Universidad de Cordoba (Spain), 1986
Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain), 1986
Colegio de Postgraduados (Montecillo, Mexico), 1990
Universitá degli Studi di Bologna (Italy), 1991
Warsaw Agricultural University (Poland), 1993
Bangladesh Agricultural University, 1998
Universidad LaSalle-Noroeste (Mexico), 1999
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, (Spain), 2000
Universidad de las Américas Puebla (Mexico), 2000
Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (Mexico), 2001
Universidad Autónoma de Chapingo (Mexico), 2001
University Chandra Shekhar Azad Krishi Evam Prodyoogic Vishwavid Yalaya
(Kanpur, India), 2001
Texas A&M University’s First Lifetime Achievement Award, (USA), 2004 (awarded to university professors in lieu of an honorary degree)
Universidad de Granada (Spain), 2005


  • The Outstanding Achievement Award, University of Minnesota (USA), 1959
  • Elvin Charles Stakman Award, University of Minnesota (USA), 1961
  • University of Minnesota "M" (Athletic) Club Outstanding Achievement Award (USA), 1971
  • Award as Founding Member, the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrícolas, Secretaría de Agricultura y Ganadería (México) 1964
  • Recognition Award of Agricultural Institute of Canada, 1966
  • Recognition Award, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria de Marcos Juárez (Argentina), 1968
  • Honorary Fellow, Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding (India), 1968
  • First International Service Award in Agronomy, American Society of Agronomy (U.S.A), 1968
  • Meritorious Service Award and Honorary Life Membership, American Association of Cereal Chemists (USA), 1969
  • Uncle of Paul Bunyan (Forestry), University of Minnesota (USA), 1969
  • Scientific Service Award, El Colegio de Ingenieros Agrónomos de México (México), 1970
  • Diploma de Mérito, El Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (México), 1971
  • Medalla y Diploma de Mérito "Antonio Narro" de la Escuela Superior de Agricultura de la Universidad de Coahuila (México), 1971
  • Diploma as Distinguished Geneticist, Sociedad Mexicana de Fitogenética (México), 1971
  • First Honorary Life Membership, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science (USA), 1971
  • Honorary Member, Sociedad de Agronomía do Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), 1971
  • Merit Award, Associacao dos Engenheiros Agronomos do Distrito Federal do Brasil (Brazil), 1971
  • Recognition Award, Punjab Agricultural Research Institute (Pakistan), 1971
  • Medal, Consultor Emeritos, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (Argentina), 1971
  • Diploma de Mérito, Escuela Superior de Agricultura "Hermanos Escobar" (México), 1973
  • Centennial Foreign Fellow, American Chemical Society (USA), 1976
  • Lecturer, American Graduate School of International Management (USA), 1977, 1979, 1991
  • First Honorary Life Membership, Bangladesh Botanical Society, 1978
  • First Honorary Membership, Bangladesh Association for the Advancement of Science (Bangladesh), 1978
  • Jefferson Award, American Institute for Public Service (USA), 1980
  • Agricultural Hall of Fame and Distinguished Service Award, Oregon State University, (USA), 1981
  • Honorary Member, Japan Society Promotion of Science (Japan), 1981
  • Fellow, Crop Science Society of America, 1985
  • Presidential Award, Crop Science Society of America, 1997
  • Honorary Professor, China Agricultural University, 1999
  • Appointed As Foreign Expert on Science and Technology to China National Center for Biotechnology Development (CNCBD), 1999
  • Honorary Member, Ingenieros Agrónomos del Centro y Canarias (Spain), 1999
  • National Award for Service to American and World Agriculture, National Association of County Agricultural Agents (USA), 1999
  • Mazorca de Oro (Golden Ear of Maize), Escuela Nacional de Agricultura Roberto Quiñones, (El Salvador), 1999
  • Public Welfare Medal, National Academy of Sciences, (USA), 2002
  • The Philip Hauge Abelson Prize, American Association for the Advancement of Science, ((USA), 2002
  • State of Iowa Established October 16th as Dr. Norman E. Borlaug World Food Prize Day, 2002
  • Award for Distinguished Achievements to Science and Medicine, American Council of Science and Health, (USA), 2003
  • New York Athletic Club Fila Life-Time Achievement Award (Fila-International Federation of Associated Wrestling), (USA), 2003
  • John P. McGovern Award and Lectureship (Sigma Xi), (USA), 2003
  • Wittenberg Award, Luther Institute, USA 2004
  • State of Minnesota Designated October 16th as Dr. Norman E. Borlaug World Food Prize Day, 2004
  • U.S. Senate Resolution Making October 16th World Food Prize Day in America in honor of Dr Norman E. Borlaug, (USA), 2004
  • Establishment of Norman E. Borlaug International Science and Technology Fellows Program (USDA and US AID sponsored), 2004
  • Presented Inaugural George C. Marshall Lecture (sponsored by US AID)
  • The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—International Brotherhood Award, from Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), 2005
  • Honorary Fellow,American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, 2005
  • Danforth Award for Plant Science, (Donald Danforth Plance Science Center (USA), 2005


  • Distinguished Service Awards, Producer Associations and State Governments from the Mexican States of Guanajuato, Querétaro, Sonora, Tlaxcala and Zacatecas (México), 1954-60
  • First "Golden Spike of Wheat Award" (Sonora, México), 1962
  • Distinguished Citizen Award, Cresco, Iowa (USA), Cresco Centennial Committee, 1966
  • The 1967 National Distinguished Service Award, American Agricultural Editors Association (USA)
  • Sitara-I-Imtiaz (Star of Distinction), Government of Pakistan, 1968
  • The 1968 Genetics and Plant Breeding Award, National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders (USA)
  • Citation and street named in his honor by Citizens of the State of Sonora, and City and Rotary Club of Ciudad Obregón, Sonora (México), 1968
  • Distinguished Service Award by Wheat Farmers of the States of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh (India), 1969
  • The 1969 Man of the Year, Independent Television of Britain (UK)
  • Nobel Prize for Peace, 1970
  • Cresco's Norman Borlaug Recognition Day, Chamber of Commerce of Cresco, Iowa, 1970
  • Iowan of the Year, Iowa Broadcasters Association, 1970
  • Aztec Eagle, Government of México, 1970
  • Governor's Distinguished Service Award, State of Iowa, 1970
  • Professional Achievement Award, Sons of Norway (USA), 1970
  • Outstanding Services Award and Proclamation of Norman E. Borlaug Day, State of Minnesota Governor's March 2, 1971
  • Honorary Citizen of Minneapolis (USA), 1971
  • Service Award, Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association (USA), 1971
  • Dedication of a Sequoia gigantea in the Rotary Club Peace Grove, Berkeley, California (USA), 1971
  • The 1971 Gold Plate Award, American Academy of Achievement (USA), 1971
  • Service Award, by Farmers, Ejidatarios and Scientists of Coahuila and Durango (México), 1971
  • Honorary Membership in Rotary Clubs in Ciudad Obregón (México), Balcarce and Marcos Juárez (Argentina), 1971
  • Borlaug Statue Dedicated Beadle Park, Chamber of Commerce, Cresco, Iowa, (USA), 1971
  • Dedication Primary School "Norman E. Borlaug", Secretaría de Educación Pública (México), 1971
  • Award for Service to Agriculture, American Farm Bureau Federation, 1971 (USA)
  • Outstanding Agricultural Achievement Award,World Farm Foundation (USA), 1971
  • Medal of Merit, Fiesta Nacional de Trigo (Argentina), 1971
  • Service Medal, Bolsa de Cereales de Buenos Aires (Argentina), 1971
  • Service Medal and Golden Spike, San Gerónimo (Argentina), 1971
  • Medal of Merit, State of Santa Fe (Argentina), 1971
  • Medal of Merit, Citizens and Government of Balcarce (Argentina), 1971
  • Medal of Merit, Faculty of Agronomy, Universidad de la Plata (Argentina), 1971
  • Honorary American Farmer Degree and Key, Future Farmers of America,
  • (USA), 1971
  • Honorary Consultant to Punjab Agricultural University of Lyallpur
  • (Pakistan), 1971
  • Outstanding Achievement Award, Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce
  •  (USA), 1971
  • Achievement Award for Contribution to World Wheat Production, National Association of Wheat Growers of USA, 1971
  • The 1971 World Citizenship Award, by Des Moines Chamber of
  • Commerce, (USA)
  • Outstanding Professional Achievement Award, Gopher Peavy of College Forestry, University of Minnesota, (USA), 1971
  • Medal of Merit, Italian Wheat Scientists, 1971
  • Achievement Award and Honorary Citizen of Cedar Falls, Iowa (USA), 1972
  • Service Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Alleviation of World Hunger,  Eighth Latin American Food Production Conference (Brazil), 1972
  • Medal of Merit, Gremial Nacional de Trigueros de Guatemala, 1973
  • Recipient First Medical Medal of Merit and Bestowal of Knighthood, by Knights of Malta (USA), 1973
  • Award Bernardo O'Higgins bestowed by Government of Chile, 1974
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom (USA), 1977
  • America's Third Century Achievers Award in the Field of Agriculture, Samsonite Corporation (USA), 1977
  • The Iowa Award, (The Eight Recipient), State of Iowa (USA), 1978
  • The 11th Fanny Harris Hartman Fellow, The Hockaday School, Texas
  •  (USA), 1978
  • The Hilal-I-Imtiaz Award (The Crescent of Distinction), Government of
  • Pakistan, 1978
  • Achievement Award for Contributions to World Food Production, International Association Phosphate Industries (I.S.M.A.) and Association of Fertilizer Industries of Latin American (A.D.I.F.A.L.) (México), 1978
  • V Premio Internazionale, Associazione Nazionale Stampa Agricola (Italy), 1978"
  • Adventures in Agricultural Science Award of Distinction, The IX International Congress of Plant Protection and United States Department of Agriculture (USA), 1979
  • Appreciation Award for Thirty-Five Years of Dedicated Effective Service to International Agriculture and the Well-Being of Mankind Throughout the World.  The Trustees and Staff of the Rockefeller Foundation (USA), 1983
  • Recognition for Sustained Service to Humanity Through Outstanding Contributions in Plant Breeding Award, Governors Conference on Agriculture Innovations, Little Rock, Arkansas (USA), 1984
  • Henry G. Bennet Distinguished Service Award, Oklahoma State University, (USA), 1984
  • Paul Harris Fellow, by Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, 1985
  • Premio de Servicio Orden de Cristo, (Portugal), 1986
  • President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) (USA), 1990-1993.
  • Honorary Rector of the University of Dubuque (USA), 1992-93
  • Department of State’s Certificate of Appreciation, (USA), 1997
  • The Sowers Award, Rural Ministers of Evangelican Lutheran Church in America, 1999
  • Recognition Award for Contributions to World Wheat and Maize Research and Production, Republic of El Salvador, 1999
  • Dedication Norman E. Borlaug Center for Southern Crop Improvement, Texas A&M University, 1999
  • Memorial Centennial Medal of the N. I. Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry (Russia) 2000
  • The Prometheus Award for Human Achievement from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, 2004
  • Inaugural Lecture of The George C. Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series on International Development, sponsored by US Agency for International Development (USAID), 2004
  • F.T. Achievement Award for Courageous Leadership in Introducing High Yield Agricultural Technology to Feed People in Many Developing Countries, from F.T. Pesquiza e Sementes, Parana, Brazil, 2004
  • Recognition Award-Contributions to Triticultura, Parana, ENSE, Brazil, 2004
  • Norman E. Borlaug International Science and Technology Fellows Program—sponsored by US Department of Agriculture to support technological progress in the Developing World, March 29, 2004
  • National Medal of Science, USA, 2005
  • Padma Vibhushan, Government of India, 2006
  • International Quality of Life Award, Auburn University (USA), 2006
  • Congressional Gold Medal, USA, 2006


  • National Academy of Sciences of USA, 1968
  • Foreign Member, The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, 1971
  • Honorary Academician, Academia Nacional de Agronomía y Veterinaria de Argentina, 1971
  • Honorary Foreign Academician of N. I. Vavilov Academy of Agricultural Sciences of the Lenin Order (USSR), 1971
  • Foreign Member, Indian National Science Academy (India), 1973
  • Distinguished Fellow, Iowa Academy of Sciences (USA), 1975
  • Fellow, The American Academy of Arts & Sciences (USA), 1976-
  • Honorary Member, Royal Society of Edinburgh (UK), 1976
  • Honorary Member, Royal Agricultural Society of England (UK), 1976
  • Foreign Member, Bangladesh Academy of Sciences (Bangladesh), 1978
  • Honorary Member, Hungarian Academy of Science (Hungary), 1980
  • Foreign Honorary Member, Pakistan Academy of Sciences (Pakistan), 1984
  • Member, Third World Academy of Sciences, 1985
  • Foreign Member, Royal Society (London), 1987
  • Foreign Member, Polish Academy of Sciences, 1988
  • Honorary Member, The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, 1988
  • Honorary Professor, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 1994
  • Honorary Member, Mexican Academy of Sciences, 1994
  • Honorary Member, Agricultural and Forestry Sciences “Gheorghe Ionescu-Sisesti”, (Romania), 1994
  • Foreign Member, Chinese Academy of Engineering, 1996
  • Honored Professor, Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 1998
  • Full Member (Academician), Academy of Agricultural Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 1998
  • Honorary Member, Brazilian Academy of Sciences, 2003
  • Honorary Member, Romanian Academy, 2009


  • Director, Population Crisis Committee, (USA), 1971-
  • Asesor Especial, Fundación para Estudios de La Población, A. C. (México), 1971
  • Member, Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) (USA), 1973-
  • Member, Advisory Council of Renewable Natural Resources Foundation
  • (USA), 1973
  • Member, Citizen's Commission on Science, Law and Food Supply (USA), 1973-74
  • Member, Commission on Critical Choices for Americans (USA), 1973-74
  • Board of Trustees, International Food Policy Research Institute (I.F.P.R.I.) (USA), 1976-82
  • Member, Presidential Commission on World Hunger (USA), 1978-79
  • Board of Directors, American Council on Science and Health (USA), 1978-
  • Advisor, The Population Institute (USA), 1978
  • Board of Trustees, Winrock International (U.S.A.), 1982-1990
  • Director, Population Communications International (USA), 1985-94
  • Founder and Chairman of the Selection Committee, The World Food Prize 1986-
  • President, Council of The Foundation for the Development of Polish Agriculture, 1988-1993
  • Board of Trustees , Pan-American School of Agriculture "Zamorano" (Honduras), 1992-1997
  • International Advisory Counsel, Population Communications International, 1995


  • Inaugural Lecturer, Leonard Klinck Memorial Lecture (Canada), 1965
  • McDougal Memorial Lecturer (F.A.O.), 1971
  • Rockefeller Foundation Appreciation Award for 35 Years of Tireless Service as Plant Breeder and Ambassador Extraordinary to the Wellbeing of Mankind Throughout the World-From Trustees and Staff of the Rockefeller Foundation, December, 1979
  • Inaugural Lecturer and Medal Recipient of the Dr. Sterling B. Hendrick's Memorial Lectureship (USA), 1981
  • National Award for Agricultural Excellence (in Science) National Agri-Marketing Association (USA), 1982
  • Distinguished Achievement Award in Food and Agricultural Sciences, Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, (USA), 1982
  • Honorary Citizen of the State of Sonora (Mexico), 1983
  • The A.D. White Professor-at-Large Distinguished Professor, Cornell University, (USA), 1983-85
  • Life Fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation (USA), 1983
  • Profesor Honorario, Facultad de Ciencias Agronómicas y Veterinarias, Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (República Dominicana), 1983
  • Chief Guest, Awards Ceremonies of the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation (Bombay, India), 1983
  • Inauguration of the Norman E. Borlaug Centro de Capacitación y Formación de Agricultores, Corporación Gestora del Proyecto "Abapó-Izozog", Santa Cruz (Bolivia), 1983
  • Appointment as "Miembro Corresponsal", Consejo Argentino para las Relaciones Internacionales, 1983
  • Honorary Member of the National Agricultural Hall of Fame, Bonner Springs, Kansas (USA), 1984
  • Elected Charter Member to the WCCO Minneapolis TV/Radio - Honor Role of Distinguished Good Neighbors, (USA), 1984
  • First Golden Harvest Award, International Minerals and Chemicals Corporation (USA), 1984
  • Dedication Agricultural Science Building—Borlaug Hall—on the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota, (USA), 1985
  • Inaugural Lecturer of The E. T. York Distinguished Lecture Series, University of Florida (USA), 1985
  • The Presidential World Without Hunger Award: Category Educator/Scientist (USA), 1985
  • Elected to Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame (USA), 1986
  • Dedication Borlaug Building at International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) Headquarters (El Batán, México), 1986
  • Lord Medal (Category Basic Need), Lord Corporation (USA), 1987
  • The 1988 Americas Award, The Americas Foundation (USA)
  • First Recipient of The Norman E. Borlaug Award, Iowa Biotechnology Consortium (USA), 1988
  • First Recipient of The Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Award for Outstanding Service in International Educational Endeavors sponsored by Alpha ETA Chapter of Phi Beta Delta, Texas A&M University (USA), 1988
  • Member President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) (USA), 1990-1993.
  • National Collegiate Wrestling Hall of Fame (USA), 1992
  • University of Minnesota Athletic Hall of Fame, Lifetime M Club Achievement Award, (USA), 1994
  • The Big Ten (Athletic) Conference’s Centennial Scholar-Athlete Medal 1995, University of Minnesota (USA)
  • Inauguration of the Norman Borlaug Institute for Plant Science Research, De Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom, 1997
  • Jefferson Lifetime Achievement Award, (USA), 1997
  • Achievement Award, Facultad de Estudios Superiores (Zaragoza), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Mexico), 1997
  • Lifetime Service Award Towards Lessening Pains of Hunger, Awarded Jointly by Texas A&M University, University of Minnesota, Iowa State University and Cornell University, (USA), 1998
  • Dependence-to-Abundance Award, All India Coordinated Wheat Program, 1998
  • Altruistic Green Revolution Award, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, (India), 1998
  • The Variety Clubs International Humanitarian Award (Canada), 1998
  • The Vannevar Bush Award (USA), 2000
  • The 2002 Rotary International Award for World Understanding & Peace, Barcelona, SpainService Award: For Substantive and Continuing Contributions to the Preservation of the Earth and for the General Welfare of All Humankind—The Jefferson Council International Society for Rational Solutions, 2004
  • Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame, 2004
  • National Medal of Science (NSF-USA)
  • Auburn University-- International Quality of Life Award, 2006 (USA)
  • Congressional Gold Medal, 2007 (USA)
  • Commander of the National Order of Mali
  • Millennium Gold Medal, Ethiopian Government, 2010
  • Agricola Medal, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, 2010
  • George Brown Award, CRDF Global, 2010
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