for his unparalleled contribution to the organization of peaceful internationalism
Henri La Fontaine
(1854 - 1943)
Socialist, Lawyer, Parliamentarian
Henri La Fontaine was the first socialist to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He held a doctorate in law, and in the Belgian parliament took a special interest in social policy and foreign affairs. But La Fontaine's greatest work was as an activist in the international peace movement. He was a strong champion of internationalism. He set up an institute which collected documentation from all over the world on international matters. In 1910 he also organized a world conference for international organizations. Its purpose was to create “an intellectual parliament” for humanity.
La Fontaine held high positions of trust in the peace movement. He was president of the International Peace Bureau from 1907 until his death. When he was awarded the Peace Prize in 1913, he was the effective leader of the peace movement in Europe.