The World Food Prize Foundation

Dr. Norman Borlaug to celebrate 95th birthday on March 25


Dr. Norman E. Borlaug to celebrate 95th birthday













Dr. Norman E. Borlaug to celebrate 95th birthday

March 4, 2009 - - Dr. Norman E. Borlaug - founder of the World Food Prize, "Father of the Green Revolution," and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate - will celebrate his 95th birthday at his Dallas home on March 25.


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Norman Ernest Borlaug was born in the small northeast Iowa town of Cresco on March 25, 1914. (READ DR. BORLAUG'S DETAILED HISTORY HERE) After earning a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Minnesota, he joined the Rockefeller Foundation in Mexico. There, he developed a “miracle wheat” that tripled grain output and moved the country to self-sufficiency. Dr. Borlaug then took his high-yield, disease-resistant wheat to Pakistan and India, averting the mass famine and starvation that had been widely predicted.

It is estimated that Dr. Borlaug saved more than a billion lives through his breakthrough work in agriculture. He won the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for averting worldwide famine by starting the “Green Revolution,” the greatest period of food production in human history. This was the only time in the history of the Nobel that the award was given for achievements in agriculture.

Dismayed that there was no international award for significant breakthroughs in food and agriculture, Dr. Borlaug set out to create an award of his own. In 1986, Dr. Borlaug founded the World Food Prize to recognize life-saving achievements that increase the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.

Dr. Borlaug continues to work for the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico and is also working on extending the Green Revolution to Africa through the Sasakawa Global 2000 program. He was also the first scientist to identify the danger posed by Ug99, a severe strain of the rust fungus that decimates wheat crops. At his urging, the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative was established in 2007 to reduce the world’s vulnerability to wheat disease.

Throughout his career, Dr. Borlaug has received more than 150 international honors. In 2007, Dr. Borlaug was presented the Congressional Gold Medal, America's highest civilian honor. With this award, he became one of only five people in all of history to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal. The other four are Nelson Mandela, Elie Wiesel, Mother Teresa and Dr. Martin Luther King.

From his friends and admirers at the World Food Prize Foundation, we wish Dr. Borlaug a very happy 95th birthday!


Norman Borlaug Quotes

“The first essential component of social justice is adequate food for all mankind.”

“I am but one member of a vast team made up of many organizations, officials, thousands of scientists, and millions of farmers - mostly small and humble - who for many years have been fighting a quiet, oftentimes losing war on the food production front.”

“Food is the moral right of all who are born into this world.”

“My philosophy is that we should invest in high-yielding technology for both plants and animals on the land best suited for agriculture and leave the unsuitable land out of production (thus leaving habitat for wildlife and plant diversity).”

“They say, ‘Oh, you can’t fertilize there, you’re destroying the environment.’ An environment of poverty and misery is something that needs to be destroyed.”

"We need better and more technology, for hunger and poverty and misery are very fertile soils into which to plant all kinds of ‘isms, including terrorism."



Dr. Borlaug detailed history
Dr. Borlaug CV

Iowa Senate votes 50-0 to place Borlaug statue in US Capitol (February 25, 2010)
World Food Prize dedicates $29.8 million Hall of Laureates in honor of Norman Borlaug (October 14, 2009)
Norman Borlaug discusses famine's persistence with WSJ in one of his final interviews (September 22, 2009)
Tributes to Norman Borlaug from around the world (September 13, 2009)
World Food Prize Founder and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug dies at age 95 (September 12, 2009)
Iowa Senators introduce legislation to declare Borlaug home a National Historic Site
(August 4, 2009)
Borlaug in Wall Street Journal: Farmers Can Feed the World
(July 30, 2009)
Borlaug/Lugar: A new green revolution
(April 5, 2009)
Borlaug: Start initiative to feed hungry worldwide
(March 16, 2009)
Dr. Borlaug to celebrate 95th birthday
(March 4, 2009)
Borlaug Honored with butter sculpture at Iowa State Fair (August 6, 2008)
President Bush, others present Dr. Borlaug with Congressional Gold Medal
(July 18, 2007)
Dr. Borlaug to receive Congressional Gold Medal
(December 6, 2006)
U.S. Senate votes to honor Borlaug with Congressional Gold Medal (September 28, 2006)
Penn, minus Teller, interviews Borlaug (August 15, 2006)
Norman Borlaug returns home to statehouse honors
(March 16, 2006)
Dr. Norman Borlaug recieves National Medal of Science
(February 14, 2006)
Dr. Norman E. Borlaug honored with Padma Vibhushan in India
(January 25, 2006)
'Food for Thought'
(published in the Wall Street Journal on October 14, 2005)
"My 60 Years of Fighting Hunger" a retrospective on the life of Dr. Norman Borlaug released from the First Annual Governor's Lecture
(PDF file, October 25, 2004)
Dr. Norman Borlaug throws ceremonial first pitch at Boston's Fenway Park
(June 9, 2004)


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