for his altruism, reverence for life, and tireless humanitarian work which has helped making the idea of brotherhood between men and nations a living one
(1875 - 1965)
Doctor, Missionary, Philosopher and Musician
The expression “reverence for life” is the key to Albert Schweitzer's personal philosophy. No person must ever harm or destroy life unless absolutely necessary. This attitude permeated everything he did.
Schweitzer was born in Alsace in the then German Empire. He studied theology and became a priest, but that was not enough. He wanted to alleviate suffering, and accordingly studied medicine. Together with his wife, who was a nurse, he built and ran a hospital at the mission station Lambarene in Gabon, a French colony at the time. This effort became an example to others.
In 1957, Schweitzer spoke on the radio to people all over the world. The respect of the Nobel Prize Laureate for all life made him issue his warning against nuclear tests and the dangers from radioactive fall-out.
Albert Schweitzer was also a gifted musician and interpreter of Bach. He gave numerous organ concerts in Europe to finance the hospital in Africa.