Humanitarianism is kindness, benevolence/helpfulness, and sympathy toward others. Humanitarians can inspire others for many reasons. Perhaps they shed light on something that needs or deserves more attention. Perhaps they inspire you to do something in your life that is beneficial to others or even that is helpful or productive in your own life. Whatever the outcome, humanitarians can be inspiring. There are humanitarians that are ranked highly historically.
Norman Borlaug was a biologist, professor, author, and humanitarian. He is one of the few people to win the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal. He, also, received the Padma Vibhushan, which is India’s highest civilian honor.
Norman Borlaug was born in 1914 in Cresco, Iowa. He had three younger sisters. He worked on his 106-acre family farm as a child. He graduated Cresco High School and then enrolled at the University of Minnesota in 1933. In 1935, he was a leader in the Civilian Conservation Corps. He went on to receive a masters in science in 1940 and a Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics in 1942.
In 1942, he got a job as a microbiologist at DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware. After the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor his lab was converted to do research for the United States armed forces. In 1944, he became the head of a program as a geneticist and plant pathologist. In 1964, he became head of the International Wheat Improvement Program. He retired in 1979, but remained a consultant. He took up charitable and educational roles. He became a professor at Texas A&M University until his death in 2009.
While working on a wheat production project in Mexico, Borlaug bred a series of high-yield, disease resistant, semi-dwarf wheat. He led the introduction of high- yield varieties and modern agricultural production techniques to Mexico, Pakistan, and India. This improved food security and led to Borlaug’s nicknames of “The Man Who Saved A Billion Lives” and “The Father of the Green Revolution”. After his retirement, he continued to participate in teaching, research, and activism.
Norman Borlaug has been given honors and awards. He has books and lectures. Back while in college he met his then future wife. They had three children. They were married for 69 years before her death in 2007. He was known as agriculture’s greatest spokesperson. Be inspired! Have a bright day!