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John Boyd Orr
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    (September 23, 1880-June 25, 1971)
    Born in Kilmaurs, Scotland, United Kingdom
    Director of the Rowett Research Institute (1914-45)
    First Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO; 1945-48)
    First President of the World Academy of Art and Science (1960-71)
    Served as President of the National Peace Council, the World Union of Peace Organizations, and the World Movement for World Federal Government
    Wrote ‘Food, Health, and Income’ (1936), ‘Food and the People’ (1943), and ‘Food: The Foundation of World Unity’ (1948)
    Knighted (1935)
    Named Baron of Brechin Mears (1949)
    Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to eliminate malnutrition (1949)
    Sources are inconsistent on whether ‘Boyd Orr’ should be hyphenated or not.
    He said about his fundraising duties, ‘I still look with bitter resentment at having to spend half my time in the humiliating job of hunting for money for the Institute.’
    He resigned from the FAO when his proposal for a World Food Board that would organize the transfer of surplus food from food producers to countries experiencing shortages was rejected by the United States and Great Britain.
    According to his grandchildren, he cheated at croquet.
    When he earned his medical degree from the University of Glasgow, he was awarded the Bellahouston Gold Medal for most distinguished thesis.
    During World War I, he won the Military Cross and the Distinguished Service Order for bravery under fire while serving as a medical officer in a front-line infantry unit.
    He demonstrated a link between inadequate nutrition and poor performance in school.
    He was an advisor to Churchill’s government, helping to formulate food rationing policies during World War II.
    He organized an International Emergency Food Council that prevented the European famine that had been predicted after WWII ended.
    He said, ‘We cannot build peace on empty stomachs.’
    He was married to Elizabeth Callum for 56 years.
    His only son died in combat during WWII.

Credit: C. Fishel

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