The Latest Google Doodle Celebrates An Advocate For Refugees

Google today is celebrating the 156th birthday of the pioneering Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen

Born in Oslo, Norway in 1861, Nansen was gripped by a sense of adventure from a young age and in 1888, he became the first person to lead an expedition across the snow-capped interior of Greenland. Fridtjof Nansen was a Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. He explored the world's unknown terrain and broke new ground as an global humanitarian. Nansen reportedly learned to cross-country ski as many as 50 miles in one day. He was an exemplary skier and ice skater as well. Nansen won Nobel prizes and acclaim after he created a record by reaching the northern latitude of 86°14′ during his North Pole expedition between 1893-96. Fridtjof Nansen spoke out for separation of Norway from Sweden and convinced prince Carl of Denmark to accept the throne of the newly independent state of Norway.

He started another chapter in his life in 1914, when World War I started. By 1920, his interests shifted from understanding the landscape of the world to influencing the global political climate. After his death, the league established the Nansen International Office for Refugees to mark and to continue his work. Nansen succeeded in his task brilliantly, and repatriated 450,000 prisoners in the next year and a half, despite restricted funds.

Fridtjof Nansen studied Zoology and later worked at the Bergen Museum where he earned a doctorate by doing research on central nervous system of lower marine creatures that helped establish modern neurology theories. He was also League's first High Commissioner for Refugees from 1920-1930. And then in 1922, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his extraordinary work on the behalf of the refugees who were the victims of the First World War and related conflicts.

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