Ralph Bunche

Class of 1927

He proved you don't have to come from privilege to be considered nobel.

American political scientist and diplomat, Ralph Bunche became the first person of color to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. From humble beginnings and the loss of his parents before he was 13, Bunche rose to become a brilliant student and debater. While attending UCLA, he was immersed in an environment that viewed people by their ideas, not the color of their skin. He flourished here-graduating Summa Cum Laude-and competed in track and field. He went on to become a powerful figure in the United Nations-brokering a historic peace accord that led to his Nobel Prize. Rising to Undersecretary General, Bunche continued mediating in other strife-torn regions, including the Congo, Yemen, Kashmir and Cyprus. The epitome of an optimist, when asked why he dedicated his life to such seemingly lost causes, he famously replied, “I believe in the essential goodness of my fellow man, which leads me to believe that no problem of human relations is ever insoluble.”

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Ralph Bunche

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