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Ralph Bunche
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    (August 7, 1904-December 9, 1971)
    Born in Detroit, Michigan
    Chaired the Political Science Department at Howard University (1928-50)
    Involved in prelimnary planning for the United Nations at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference (1944)
    Helped draft the UN Charter
    UN Mediator in Palestine, Congo, Yemen, Kashmir and Cyprus
    UN Under-Secretary General (1968-71)
    Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1963)
    Won the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating a armistace between Israel and neighboring Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon (1950)
    He was a chain smoker.
    His frequent travels prompted his wife to complain, 'I must realize that as you grow more important, you will be away from us the best part of our lives and I'll always have the responsibility of raising our three children alone.'
    He initially wanted to turn down the Nobel Prize, drafting a letter stating 'peacekeeping at the United Nations was not done for prizes,' but was persuaded by Secretary General Trygvie Lee to accept.
    He was dismissed as irrelevant by later, more militant black leaders, with Malcolm X calling him 'A black man who didn't know his history.'
    Over a period of a few months when he was 13, his father left home to look for work and never returned and his mother died, leaving him to be raised by his grandparents.
    He was valedictorian at both his high school and UCLA.
    He and Eleanor Roosevelt played a key role in the drafting and adoption of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
    A UN colleague said, 'He's usually the first into a dangerous situation and the last out.'
    He was the first black person to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
    He and his son were denied membership in the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, Queens. When the story became news, the club apologized and offered to admit them. He refused on the grounds that the decision was not based on racial equality but was merely an exception due to his fame (1959).
    He participated in the March on Washington (1963) and the Selma to Montgomery voting rights march (1965).

Credit: C. Fishel

    For 2020, as of last week, Out of 2 Votes: 100% Annoying
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