Ralph Johnson Bunche


Ralph Johnson Bunche was born in Detroit in 1903. He grew up surrounded by a supportive extended family that included his parents, his aunts and uncles and his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Lucy Taylor Johnson, the matriarch of the family. A barber's son, Ralph Bunche was born in Detroit, Michigan, on August 7, 1904. His parents died when he was 13, and his maternal grandmother took Ralph and his young sister to live in Los Angeles. While going to school Ralph helped support the family by working as a janitor, carpet-layer, and seaman. His grandmother's indomitable will and her wisdom had a lasting influence on him. Bunche attended the University of California at Los Angeles on scholarships and graduated in 1927. He earned a master's degree at Harvard University in 1928 and a doctorate in government and international relations at Harvard in 1934. His doctoral dissertation won the Tappan Prize as the best one in the social sciences that year. Later he did advanced work in anthropology at Northwestern In 1949, Ralph Johnson Bunche (1903-1971) successfully negotiated armistice agreements between Israel and four neighboring Arab nations. For this outstanding feat, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The global reach of his work can be seen today in the peacekeeping strategies and operations which he created as United Nations Under-Secretary General. Bunche' s living legacy also includes major contributions to world decolonization, conflict resolution and advancements in human and civil rights at home and abroad.








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