When Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel died in 1896, he left his fortune to create an annual series of prizes for the individuals who confer "the greatest benefit on mankind." The most prestigious of the awards is the Nobel Peace Prize. Historians believe Alfred Nobel wanted to award people who work for peace to compensate for his own role in inventing dynamite. Since its establishment, the prize has gone to many courageous individuals who have fought for peace and human rights around the world.
As a young girl, Malala Yousafzai defied the Taliban in Pakistan and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education. She was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012, but survived. In 2014, she became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
Woodrow Wilson, the 28th U.S. president, led America through World War I and crafted the Versailles Treaty's "Fourteen Points," the last of which was creating a League of Nations to ensure world peace. Wilson also created the Federal Reserve and supported the 19th Amendment, allowing women to vote.
Former secretary-general of the United Nations Kofi Annan has died at age 80 after a short illness. "Kofi Annan was a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world," the Kofi Annan Foundation and Annan family said in a statement.
Mother Teresa was the founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic congregation of women dedicated to helping the poor. Considered one of the 20th Century's greatest humanitarians, she was canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta in 2016.
Mikhail Gorbachev was the first president of the Soviet Union, serving from 1990 to 1991. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for his leadership role in ending the Cold War and promoting peaceful international relations.