Famous 20th Century Peace Activists

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 1 
Thich Nhat Hanh
(Buddhist monk and peace activist who has founded dozens of schools and universities and has published over 100 books.)
Thich Nhat Hanh
4
Birthdate: October 11, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Huế, Thừa Thiên-Huế Province, French Indochina
 2 
Phan Thi Kim Phuc
(Napalm Girl Depicted in the Pulitzer Prize–Winning Photograph Titled 'The Terror of War')
Phan Thi Kim Phuc
4
Birthdate: April 6, 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Trảng Bàng, Vietnam

Phan Thi Kim Phuc is a South Vietnamese-born Canadian woman. As a nine-year-old child, she was captured in a photograph taken during the Vietnam War, in which she is shown running naked on a road following a napalm attack. It took her a long time to recover from her injuries. As an adult, she is a peace activist.  

 3 
Samantha Smith
(American Peace Activist and Child Actress Who Became Famous for Her Anti-War Outreaches During the Cold War)
Samantha Smith
3
Birthdate: June 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Houlton, Maine, United States
Died: August 25, 1985

Samantha Smith was an American schoolgirl, child actress, and peace activist. She achieved popularity during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States of America; she visited the Soviet Union as a goodwill ambassador which attracted extensive media attention. She also took part in peacemaking activities in Japan before dying in an airplane crash at age 13.

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 4 
Yoko Ono
(Artist and Musician Who Was an Influential Practitioner of Conceptual & Performance Art)
Yoko Ono
0
Birthdate: February 18, 1933
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

Yoko Ono is a Japanese multimedia artist, peace activist, and singer-songwriter. She came into prominence after marrying John Lennon of the Beatles. She is widely criticized for her unquestionable influence over John Lennon and his music. She is also often blamed for the disbandment of The Beatles. Despite all these criticisms, Yoko Ono continues to go on her merry way.

 5 
Wangari Maathai
(The First African Woman to Receive 'Nobel Peace Prize')
Wangari Maathai
3
Birthdate: April 1, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ihithe, Kenya
Died: September 25, 2011

Wangari Maathai was a Kenyan environmental, social, and political activist. She achieved popularity after becoming the first African woman to be honored with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize. She is credited with founding a non-governmental organization called The Green Belt Movement (GBM), which focuses on women's rights and environmental conservation.

 6 
Ron Kovic
(Anti-War Activist)
Ron Kovic
3
Birthdate: July 4, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ladysmith, Wisconsin, United States
 7 
Rachel Corrie
(American Activist and Diarist)
Rachel Corrie
3
Birthdate: April 10, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Olympia, Washington, United States
Died: March 16, 2003

Crushed to death in Gaza by an Israeli armored bulldozer, peace activist Rachel Corrie was also a member of pro-Palestine International Solidarity Movement. Born and raised in USA, she had gone there as part of her college assignment and met her death while trying to stop the demolition of Palestinian houses by Israeli forces, causing international furore.

 8 
Daniel Berrigan
(Peace activist, Theologian, Writer, University teacher)
Daniel Berrigan
3
Birthdate: May 9, 1921
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Virginia
Died: April 30, 2016

Daniel Berrigan was an American anti-war activist, Jesuit priest, Christian pacifist, author, poet, and playwright. Berrigan gained national attention for his protest against the Vietnam War, which landed him on the FBI's most-wanted list. He remained a popular anti-war activist throughout his life, co-founding an anti-nuclear weapons movement called the Plowshares movement in 1980.

 9 
Martti Ahtisaari
(Former President of Finland)
Martti Ahtisaari
3
Birthdate: June 23, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Viipuri, Finland (now Vyborg, Russia)

Martti Ahtisaari is a Finnish politician who served as the tenth president of Finland; he was in office from 1994 to 2000. In 2008, he was honored with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for playing an important role in resolving long-lasting and serious conflicts, such as the ones in Namibia and Iraq. In 2008, he was also awarded the Delta Prize for Global Understanding.

 10 
Clara Zetkin
(German Communist Leader and Feminist Activist)
Clara Zetkin
3
Birthdate: July 5, 1857
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Königshain-Wiederau, Germany
Died: June 20, 1933

German feminist, Marxist theorist, and Communist activist Clara Zetkin had a prominent role in the Communist Party of Germany and Comintern following World War I. Initially trained to be a teacher, she gradually gravitated towards women’s and labor movements. She later became closely associated with Lenin.

 11 
Leymah Gbowee
(Liberian Peace Activist and Winner of 2011 Nobel Peace Prize)
Leymah Gbowee
2
Birthdate: February 1, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Monrovia, Liberia

Leymah Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist who played an important role in leading the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, a nonviolent peace movement. The movement played a significant role in ending the Second Liberian Civil War. In 2011, Gbowee shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Tawakkul Karman and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for her work concerning women's rights.

 12 
Carl von Ossietzky
(German Journalist, Pacifist and Winner of 1935 Nobel Peace Prize)
Carl von Ossietzky
2
Birthdate: October 3, 1889
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: May 4, 1938
German journalist Carl von Ossietzky was part of the army during World War I. Later, through a series of articles in his magazine Weltbühne, he exposed the Reichswehr leaders’ secret rearmament plans. He was later tortured in a camp and forbidden to leave Germany to collect his Nobel Peace Prize.
 13 
Cindy Sheehan
(American Anti-war Activist)
Cindy Sheehan
2
Birthdate: July 10, 1957
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Inglewood, California, United States

Cindy Sheehan is an anti-war activist. Her son, US Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed by enemy action during the Iraq War in 2004. Following his death, she became a passionate anti-war activist and held an extended anti-war protest outside President George W. Bush's Texas ranch. She is a member of the Peace and Freedom Party.  

 14 
Peace Pilgrim
(Peace activist)
Peace Pilgrim
2
Birthdate: July 18, 1908
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Egg Harbor City
Died: July 7, 1981

Peace Pilgrim was a spiritual teacher, mystic, pacifist, and peace activist. Born as Mildred Lisette Norman, she adopted the name  "Peace Pilgrim" and walked across USA for 28 years, spreading the message of peace. She has few possessions and no organizational backing. She was killed in an automobile accident while on her seventh cross-country journey.  

 15 
Betty Williams
(Activists)
Betty Williams
2
Birthdate: May 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Belfast
Died: March 17, 2020

Betty Williams was a peace activist from Northern Ireland. She was the president of the World Centre of Compassion for Children International and headed the Global Children's Foundation. She and Mairead Corrigan were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976. She traveled the world and lectured on topics of peace, education, anti-extremism, inter-cultural and inter-faith understanding, and children's rights. 

 16 
Michael Culver
(English Theatre, TV, and Film Actor)
Michael Culver
2
Birthdate: June 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hampstead

Michael Culver is an English actor who has played iconic roles across various entertainment mediums, such as theatre, TV, radio, and film. He is perhaps best known for playing important roles in many of William Shakespeare's plays, such as The Tragedy of King Lear, Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Twelfth Night.

 17 
Philip Berrigan
(American Peace Activist and Catholic Priest)
Philip Berrigan
2
Birthdate: October 5, 1923
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Two Harbors, Minnesota, United States
Died: December 6, 2002

Philip Berrigan was a peace activist and Catholic priest. He was active in the peace and nuclear disarmament movement and advocated for peaceful and nonviolent protests. He was affiliated with the Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart. He was married to a former nun and peace activist Elizabeth McAlister. The couple founded Jonah House, a faith-based community. 

 18 
Jody Williams
(Political & Peace Activist)
Jody Williams
2
Birthdate: October 9, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rutland, Vermont, United States

Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist Jody Williams is known for his contribution to the formation of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. She has received 15 honorary degrees and was also named the Glamour magazine’s Woman of the Year. She has also penned books such as After the Guns Fall Silent.

 19 
Mairead Maguire
(Peace Activist)
Mairead Maguire
2
Birthdate: January 27, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Belfast

Mairead Maguire is a peace activist from Northern Ireland. Along with Betty Williams and Ciaran McKeown, she co-founded the Women for Peace (now known as Community for Peace People). Maguire and Williams received the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize. More recently, she was involved in discussions around the Rohingya crisis. She has also called for the abolition of all armies.

The Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Jr.
2
Birthdate: June 1, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: April 12, 2006

The Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr. was a Christian clergyman and peace activist. A multi-talented person, Coffin took part in peace movements and the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s and 1970s. He was also a talented pianist, athlete, and CIA officer during his younger days. He was honored with prestigious awards, such as World War II Victory Medal. 

 21 
Leyla Zana
(Politician)
Leyla Zana
1
Birthdate: May 3, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Silvan, Diyarbakır
 22 
Alec Reid
(Irish Catholic Priest Known for His Facilitator Role in the Northern Ireland Peace Process)
Alec Reid
1
Birthdate: August 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland
Died: November 22, 2013

Also known as Padre of Peace, Catholic priest Alec Reid played a major role in the Northern Ireland peace process. He made headlines after being photographed performing the last rites of 2 British soldiers murdered by the IRA. Years later, it was discovered, he was then carrying papers for an ongoing peace settlement.

 23 
Toyohiko Kagawa
(Japanese Protestant Christian Pacifist, Christian Reformer, and Labour Activist)
Toyohiko Kagawa
1
Birthdate: July 10, 1888
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kobe, Hyogo, Japan
Died: April 23, 1960

A Japanese Christian social reformer, Toyohiko Kagawa was educated at the Princeton Theological Seminary in the US and later spearheaded the Friends of Jesus band in Japan, encouraging compassion for the poor and women’s suffrage. His written work is preserved in the 24-volume Kagawa Toyohiko Zenshu.

 24 
Fenner Brockway
(British Labour Politician and Socialist)
Fenner Brockway
1
Birthdate: November 1, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Calcutta, India
Died: April 28, 1988

British politician and socialist Fenner Brockway is remembered for his devotion to causes such as world peace and anticolonialism. Born to British missionaries in Calcutta, he initially worked as a journalist and later led the Independent Labour Party. Imprisoned multiple times for his political activities, he also wrote extensively on social issues.

 25 
Eugen Drewermann
(German Theologian, Peace Activist, Church Critic, and Former Catholic Priest)
Eugen Drewermann
1
Birthdate: June 20, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berghamen, Germany

Eugen Drewermann is a German theologian, peace activist, church critic, and former Catholic priest. Drewermann's work is considered important and has been translated into over 12 languages. Over the years, Eugen Drewermann has received several prestigious awards such as the Herbert-Haag-Prize, Erich Fromm Prize, and International Albert Schweitzer-Prize.

 26 
Kushal Konwar
(Rebel, Activist)
Kushal Konwar
0
Birthdate: March 21, 1905
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sarupathar, Golaghat, Assam, India
Died: June 15, 1943
 27 
Salah Choudhury
(The editor of The Weekly Blitz)
Salah Choudhury
0
Birthdate: January 12, 1965
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sylhet
 28 
Zahra' Langhi
(Peace Activist)
Zahra' Langhi
0
Birthdate: January 28, 1975
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Libya
 29 
Fuki Kushida
(Activist)
Fuki Kushida
0
Birthdate: February 17, 1899
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Yamaguchi, Japan
Died: February 5, 2001

Fuki Kushida was a Japanese women's rights activist who served as the first Secretary General of the Women's Democratic Club. She is also known for her association with the Federation of Japanese Women's Organizations where she served as the president. Also a peace activist, Kushida is remembered for leading protests against the establishment of the US military bases in Japan.