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HT THIS DAY: October 18, 1979 — Nobel Peace Prize for Mother Teresa

Giving the grounds for the Nobel Peace Prize to Mother Teresa, chairman of the five-member committee said she left her position as a teacher to dedicate her life to the destitute of Calcutta.
A screengrab of the Hindustan Times on October 18, 1979.
Published on Oct 17, 2021 10:37 PM IST

Oslo –The 1979 Nobel Peace Prize was today awarded to Mother Teresa, an Albanian-born nun, dedicating her life to the destitutes of Calcutta.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced its decision to award the coveted prize to the 69-year old nun after considering 56 candidates, among them President Jimmy Carter of the United States, President Urho Kekkonen of Finland and Polish Cardinal Stefan Wyszynsky.

Last year, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Israel Prime Minister Menachem begin shared the peace prize. President Carter was also proposed then, but the nomination was made after the February 1 deadline.

The Nobel Peace Prize insignia, a gold medal and a diploma is presented at a ceremony in the Oslo University hall on Dec. 10 the day of the death of Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite.

The prize money, amounting to 800,000 Swedish crowns ($191,400), is handed over in private.

Giving the grounds for the award to Mother Teresa, Mr John, chairman of the five member committee said she left her position as a teacher to dedicate her life to the destitute of Calcutta.


In her later years she extended her operation to other cities and countries and the committee decided to award her the Nobel Peace Prize for her work for humanity.

The Committee said “The Roman Catholic order of which she is now the head has in recent years extended its activities to include a number of other Indians cities and other parts of the world.

“In making the award the Norwegian Nobel Committee has expressed its recognition of Mother Teresa’s work in bringing help to suffering humanity. This year, the world has turned its attention to the plight of children and refugees, and these are precisely the categories for whom Mother Teresa has for many years worked as selflessly.”

The committee placed special emphasis on “the spirit that has inspired her activities and which is the tangible expression of her personal attitude and human qualities”.

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