Peace Activists

A peace activist may refer to any person who believes and advocates non-violent, diplomatic, non-military forms of resolution to political problems and disputes. A person who strongly opposes the notion of war and any kind of violent military action can be defined as a peace activist. One of the main objectives of peace activists is to create awareness about the harmful effect of violence in the society and promote peace and end all kinds of wars. A peace activist will promote diplomatic resolutions, non-violent resistance, pacifism, boycotts, moral purchasing, peace camps and other forms of peaceful campaigns to end any kind of violence. The idea of peace activism originated after many countries suffered the devastating effects of the World War II, after which many of these countries included peace in their constitutions, during the post war period. Some of the peace movements include, anti-nuclear movements, anti-weapons movement, anti-war campaigns, non-violence movements and campaigns, among many others. Peace activists aim to highlight to the world the illogicality of violent conflicts and spread awareness about peace and harmony. Learn more fascinating and enlightening facts, continue to read on about some of the famous peace activists, with their biographies that include trivia, interesting facts, timeline and life history.
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This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Mike Farrell

Mike Farrell
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 6, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Paul, Minnesota

Mike Farrell is an American actor known for playing, Captain B.J. Hunnicutt, in the popular war comedy-drama TV series, M*A*S*H. Farrell's journey from being born into a working-class family to becoming a famous Hollywood actor is quite inspiring. Also a political and social activist, Farrell has worked on several activist campaigns. In 2001, he was honored with PETA's Humanitarian Award.

 2 Julie Christie

Julie Christie
Famous As: Film actress
Birthdate: April 14, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chabua, Assam, British India

 3 Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh
Famous As: Buddhist monk and peace activist who has founded dozens of schools and universities and has published over 100 books.
Birthdate: October 11, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Huế, Thừa Thiên-Huế Province, French Indochina

 4 George McGovern

George McGovern
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 19, 1922
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Avon, South Dakota, United States
Died: October 21, 2012

Historian George McGovern had been the U.S. senator from South Dakota. He held important positions related to food, agriculture, and nutrition, too, and was named a World Food Prize laureate for his efforts in reducing world hunger. He had also advocated for the end of the Vietnam War.

 5 Alexandra Paul

Alexandra Paul
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 29, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York

As a budding model, Alexandra Paul decided to reject an offer from Stanford University to focus on a career in acting. She is best known to fans for her 5-year-long stint as Lt. Stephanie Holden in the internationally renowned series Baywatch. She is also a marathon runner and an avid swimmer.

 6 David Dellinger

David Dellinger
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: August 22, 1915
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wakefield, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 25, 2004

David Dellinger was a pacifist and an activist who campaigned for nonviolent social change. Born into a wealthy family, he studied at Yale University and Oxford University. However, he ditched his privileged life and chose to live with poverty-stricken workers during the Great Depression. He was a conscientious objector during World War II and was imprisoned for his activities. 

 7 Samantha Smith

Samantha Smith
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Houlton, Maine, U.S.
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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 8 Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai
Famous As: Political Activist
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.

 9 Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono
Famous As: Artist
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.

 10 Dick Cusack

Dick Cusack
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 29, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York
Died: June 2, 2003

Dick Cusack was an American actor, humorist, and filmmaker who won an Emmy Award for making a documentary titled The Committee in 1971. In addition to directing and acting, Cusack also owned a production company that produced many films. Dick Cusack is also credited with inspiring his children—John, Joan, and Ann Cusack—to establish themselves in the American film industry.

 11 Rachel Corrie

Rachel Corrie
Famous As: Author
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.

 12 Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys
Famous As: Sculptor, Choreographer, Painter, University teacher
Birthdate: May 12, 1921
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Krefeld
Died: January 23, 1986

It is believed Joseph Beuys was rescued by Tartars when his air force plane broke down in Crimea during World War II. He later gained fame as an avant-garde sculptor and artist and part of the group Fluxus. His works used unconventional media, with some even including staged actions.

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 13 Samantha Smith

Samantha Smith
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 4, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States

Samantha Smith is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Mary Winchester in the dark fantasy drama TV series Supernatural. Thanks to her performance in Supernatural, Smith has been landing important roles in paranormal and science fiction films like Transformers and Stephanie.

 14 Bertha von Suttner

Bertha von Suttner
Famous As: Pacifist, First Woman to Receive the Nobel Peace Prize
Birthdate: June 9, 1843
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: June 21, 1914

Once a governess of the four daughters of the affluent Suttner family, Bertha von Suttner later married the sisters’ elder brother, Baron Arthur Gundaccar von Suttner. The Austrian novelist was known for her peace activism, which made her the first female to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

 15 Daniel Berrigan

Daniel Berrigan
Famous As: Peace activist, Theologian, Writer, University teacher
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.

 16 E. P. Thompson

E. P. Thompson
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: February 3, 1924
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Died: August 28, 1993

British historian E. P. Thompson is best remembered for his iconic works such as The Making of the English Working Class. He was also a poet, a novelist, and a biographer. An anti-nuclear activist, too, he played a significant role in the formation of the New Left.  

 17 Martti Ahtisaari

Martti Ahtisaari
Famous As: Former President of Finland
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.

 18 Clara Zetkin

Clara Zetkin
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: July 5, 1857
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Königshain-Wiederau, Germany
Died: June 20, 1933

 19 Leymah Gbowee

Leymah Gbowee
Famous As: Peace activist
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.

 20 Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: July 10, 1957
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Inglewood, California, U.S

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.  

 21 Carl von Ossietzky

Carl von Ossietzky
Famous As: Journalist & Pacifist
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.

 22 Peace Pilgrim

Peace Pilgrim
Famous As: Peace activist
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.  

 23 Betty Williams

Betty Williams
Famous As: Activists
Birthdate: May 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Belfast

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. 

 24 Joseph Rotblat

Joseph Rotblat
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: November 4, 1908
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: August 31, 2005

 25 Carlos Arredondo

Carlos Arredondo
Famous As: Peace activist and an American Red Cross volunteer
Birthdate: August 25, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San José, Costa Rica

 26 Michael Culver

Michael Culver
Famous As: Actor, Film actor
Birthdate: June 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hampstead

 27 David Starr Jordan

David Starr Jordan
Famous As: Botanist, Peace activist, Zoologist, Autobiographer, Ichthyologist
Birthdate: January 19, 1851
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gainesville (village), New York
Died: September 19, 1931

Remembered as the first president of the Leland Stanford Junior University, now known as Stanford University, David Starr Jordan was a reputed ichthyologist. An anti-war activist, too, who opposed America’s participation in World War I, he spent his later years as the chief director of the World Peace Foundation.

 28 Philip Berrigan

Philip Berrigan
Famous As: Peace activist
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. 

 29 Mairead Maguire

Mairead Maguire
Famous As: Peace Activist
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.

 30 Jody Williams

Jody Williams
Famous As: Political & Peace Activist
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.

 31 Kenneth E. Boulding

Kenneth E. Boulding
Famous As: Economist, University teacher, Philosopher, Author, Poet
Birthdate: January 18, 1910
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Liverpool
Died: March 18, 1993

English-born American economist, peace-activist, educator, and interdisciplinary philosopher Kenneth E. Boulding co-founded the Society for General Systems Research (later named International Society for Systems Science). He penned over 36 books and 112 articles, including The Image: Knowledge in Life and Society and Conflict and Defense: A General Theory. He devised the military concept Loss of Strength Gradient in the latter.

 32 The Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Jr.

The Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Jr.
Famous As: Chaplain
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. 

 33 Jaime Garzón

Jaime Garzón
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: October 24, 1960
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bogotá, Colombia
Died: August 13, 1999

 34 Roger Nash Baldwin

Roger Nash Baldwin
Famous As: Sociologist, Trade unionist
Birthdate: January 21, 1884
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Massachusetts
Died: August 26, 1981

Roger Nash Baldwin was a pacifist who played a major role in the development of the human rights movement in USA. He was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union and also founded the International League for the Rights of Man. He was a conscientious objector during World War I. He received the Medal of Freedom in 1981.  

 35 Leyla Zana

Leyla Zana
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: May 3, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Silvan, Diyarbakır

 36 Henri Bourassa

Henri Bourassa
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: September 1, 1868
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: August 31, 1952

Renowned Canadian journalist and politician Henri Bourassa is best remembered for founding the newspaper Le Devoir. Though a qualified lawyer, he made a name for himself by writing on political issues and also served as a member of the Canadian Parliament, as part of the Liberal Party of Canada.

 37 Frédéric Passy

Frédéric Passy
Famous As: Economist & Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Birthdate: May 20, 1822
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris
Died: June 12, 1912

Frédéric Passy was a French pacifist and economist. He is credited with co-founding the Inter-Parliamentary Union as well as many peace societies, such as the Société Française pour l'Arbitrage entre Nations. He is best known for his involvement in the European peace movement, for which he received the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 1901. 

 38 Alec Reid

Alec Reid
Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: August 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland
Died: November 22, 2013

 39 Esther Hobart McQuigg Slack Morris

Esther Hobart McQuigg Slack Morris
Famous As: Justice of the Peace
Birthdate: August 8, 1812
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Spencer, New York, United States
Died: April 3, 1902

Esther Hobart McQuigg Slack Morris, the US’s first female judge, was a prominent suffragist who made it possible for women of Wyoming to gain their voting rights. She left New York, since the city’s laws didn’t let her own property after her first husband’s death.

 40 Eagle Woman

Eagle Woman
Famous As: Translator
Birthdate: 1820 AD
Birthplace: South Dakota, United States
Died: December 18, 1888

Eagle Woman was a Lakota activist and translator. She was known for mediating the conflicts between the Sioux, white settlers, and the US government. She was the only woman recognized as chief among the Sioux. Along with her daughter, she organized a day school at Standing Rock Indian Reservation. She was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame.  

 41 Toyohiko Kagawa

Toyohiko Kagawa
Famous As: Peace Activist
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.

 42 Randal Cremer

Randal Cremer
Famous As: British Pacifist & Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Birthdate: March 18, 1828
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fareham
Died: July 22, 1908

 43 Fenner Brockway

Fenner Brockway
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 1, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Calcutta, British India
Died: April 28, 1988

 44 Kushal Konwar

Kushal Konwar
Famous As: Rebel, Activist
Birthdate: March 21, 1905
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sarupathar, Golaghat, Assam, India
Died: June 15, 1943

 45 Eugen Drewermann

Eugen Drewermann
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: June 20, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berghamen, Germany

 46 Mary Emma Woolley

Mary Emma Woolley
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: July 13, 1863
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: South Norwalk, Norwalk, Connecticut, United States
Died: September 5, 1947

Mary Emma Woolley was a peace activist, educator, and women's suffrage supporter. The daughter of a socially conscious father, she inherited his values. She became the first woman student to attend Brown University and embarked on an academic career. She went on to serve as the 11th President of Mount Holyoke College.  

 47 May Wright Sewall

May Wright Sewall
Famous As: Reformer
Birthdate: May 27, 1844
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Greenfield, Wisconsin, United States
Died: July 22, 1920

May Wright Sewall was a social reformer committed to the causes of women's rights, education, and world peace. She was passionately involved in the woman's suffrage movement. Besides her work as a social reformer, she also founded the Girls' Classical School in Indianapolis along with her second husband. She was active in the American Peace Society in her later years. 

 48 Salah Choudhury

Salah Choudhury
Famous As: The editor of The Weekly Blitz
Birthdate: January 12, 1965
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sylhet

 49 Hajer Sharief

Hajer Sharief
Famous As: Peace Activist
Birthdate: 1994 AD
Birthplace: Libya

 50 Sumaya Farhat Naser

Sumaya Farhat Naser
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: June 11, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Birzeit
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