Mother Teresa Wins The 1979 Nobel Prize

By | September 16, 2021

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Mother Teresa accompanied by children at her mission in Calcutta, India (Photo by Tim Graham/Corbis via Getty Images)

For an individual to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the nomination must be made by an individual who falls within a select category. After the nominations are received, the Norwegian Nobel committee reviews them to develop a shortlist which consists of twenty to thirty candidates. From there, the advisers review the nominations. This group of advisers is generally comprised of a select group of Norwegian professors who have a couple of months to draw up their reports. Then the committee of five chooses the winner through a majority vote. The Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway (the other Nobels are awarded in Stockholm Sweden. The first Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in 1901. It was divided between Jean Henry Dunant, a Swiss humanitarian who founded the Red Cross, and Frédéric Passy, a French pacifist who founded several peace societies. In 1979, Mother Theresa joined the distinguished ranks of Nobel Laureates in recognition for her work fighting poverty in the world.

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Mother Teresa when she was a Loreto nun in India. Source: (

Her Life Before Becoming Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910 in Macedonia. She felt her first religious calling at 12 and then left home at 18 and joined the joined the Sisters of Loreto in Rathfarnham, Ireland, where she stayed for a year. She then transferred to the same convent in Darjeeling, India. In 1931, she committed to being a nun, taking the name Teresa after Thérèse de Lisieux, the patron saint of missionaries. However, she chose to use the Spanish spelling of her chosen name as a nun in the convent had already chosen the name Theresa. For 15 years, she taught History and Geography at St. Mary’s High School in Kolkata (Calcutta), where she took her solemn vows in 1937; in 1944, she became headmistress of the school. In 1948, she gave up her habit, which she exchanged for a white cotton sari with a blue border. She then began living in the slums so she could work with the poor.