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Muhammad Yunus
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    (June 28, 1940- )
    Born in Chittagong, Bangladesh
    Founded Grameen Bank to provide microcredit loans to poor people with no collateral (1983)
    Removed as chair of Grameen on the grounds of being 11 years past the legal retirement age (2011)
    Wrote 'Banker to the Poor' (1998), 'Creating a World Without Poverty' (2008) and 'Building Social Business' (2010)
    Won the Nobel Peace Prize (2006) and Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009)
    In a Wall Street Journal article, Daniel Pearl claimed Grameen's performance had not 'lived up to the bank's own hype.'
    'The Economist' wrote about his Nobel Prize, 'It is a stretch to call him or the Grameen Bank peacekeepers.'
    He considered launching a new political party, but dropped the idea after a few months (2007).
    Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed accused him of playing 'a trick' to evade taxes by transferring funds between different Grameen entities (2010).
    He had to appear in court for a fraud case involving Grameen Phone and a food adulteration case involving Grameen Danone (2011).
    While serving as the head of the economics department at Chittagong University, he made his first microloan, lending $27 from his own pocket to a group of 42 craftswomen making bamboo furniture (1976).
    Before Grameen Bank, poor people in Bangladesh needing to borrow money had to go to loan sharks.
    He said, 'The poor themselves can create a poverty-free world. All we have to do is free them from the chains that we have put around them.'
    He used money from his Nobel Prize to establish an eye hospital for the poor in Bangladesh.
    A government review of Grameen Bank activities concluded no laws had been broken.
    Most foreign observers believed that the allegations against him were politically motivated.

Credit: C. Fishel

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