1998 – John Hume, Northern Irish peacemaker

Eloquent, humorous and passionate in his conviction, John Hume became a leading figure in the Irish civil rights movement in the late 1960s, and an independent member of the Northern Ireland Parliament in 1969. The following year, he and his associates founded the...

1998 – David Trimble, Northern Ireland peacemaker

David Trimble was an apparent Protestant “hard liner” when he was elected leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, the mainstream Protestant party in Northern Ireland, in 1995. He surprised both his followers and his opponents when he agreed to meet with John...

1997 – Jody Williams, International Campaign to Ban Landmines

As its founding coordinator, Jody Williams brought the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) from a coalition of six non-governmental organizations in 1992 to include more than 1300 groups from over 85 countries. In September 1997 at a diplomatic conference...

1996 Jose Ramos-Horta, East Timor independence leader

In 1975 Indonesia took control of East Timor, known today as Timor Leste, a small island at the bottom of the Indonesian archipelago that had been a Portuguese colony for 400 years. In the period that followed, a twenty four year reign of terror, approximately...

1996 – Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo, East Timor leader

Beginning at the age of three when his father died as a result of severe wartime beating inflicted by the Japanese, Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo has seen more tragedy than most of us will ever even read about. In 1975, when the Indonesian invasion of East Timor...

1994 – Shimon Peres, architect of the Oslo Accords

Born in Poland in 1923, Shimon Peres immigrated wtih his family to Palestine in 1934. He became an activist while living on a kibbutz as a youth. At age twenty-four, when Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, appointed him head of the new...

1993 – Nelson Mandela, defeated hatred in South Africa

The son of a tribal chief, Nelson Mandela began his opposition to South Africa’s government policies while attending college. He went on to become a lawyer and joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944. For two decades he led the fight against...

1993 – F. W. de Klerk, helped end Apartheid

An attorney who held a number of South African ministerial posts, F.W. de Klerk became both the leader of South Africa’s National Party and the country’s president in 1989. Upon becoming President, de Klerk, a conservative, shocked many when he lifted the...