American Nobel laureates

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  1. Barack Obama

    Barack Obama


    Barack Hussein Obama II (bəˈrɑːk hˈsn ɵˈbɑːmə, born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States, and the first African American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000.

  2. Martin Luther King

    Martin Luther King


    Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968), was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.

  3. Ernest Hemingway

    Ernest Hemingway


    Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works. Additional works, including three novels, four short story collections, and three non-fiction works, were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.

  4. Al Gore

    Al Gore


    Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. (born March 31, 1948) is an American politician, advocate and philanthropist, who served as the 45th Vice President of the United States (1993–2001), under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President and lost the 2000 U.S. presidential election despite winning the popular vote. Gore is currently an author and environmental activist. He has founded a number of non-profit organizations, including the Alliance for Climate Protection, and has received a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in climate change activism.

  5. Henry Kissinger

    Henry Kissinger


    Henry Alfred Kissinger (/ˈkɪsɪnər/; born Heinz Alfred Kissinger May 27, 1923) is an American diplomat and political scientist. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. For his actions negotiating the ceasefire in Vietnam (which was ultimately never actualized), Kissinger received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize under controversial circumstances, with two members of the committee resigning in protest. After his term, his opinion has still been sought by many subsequent U.S. presidents and other world leaders.

  6. John Steinbeck

    John Steinbeck


    John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. (February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American author of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books, and five collections of short stories. He is widely known for the comic novels Tortilla Flat (1935) and Cannery Row (1945), the multi-generation epic East of Eden (1952), and the novellas Of Mice and Men (1937) and The Red Pony (1937). The Pulitzer Prize-winning The Grapes of Wrath (1939), widely attributed to be part of the American literary canon, is considered Steinbeck's masterpiece. In the first 75 years since it was published, it sold 14 million copies.

  7. Jimmy Carter

    Jimmy Carter


    James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. (born October 1, 1924) is an American politician, author, and member of the Democratic Party who served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. He was awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.

  8. T.S. Eliot

    T.S. Eliot


    Thomas Stearns Eliot OM (26 September 1888 – 4 January 1965), usually known as T. S. Eliot, was an essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic, and "one of the twentieth century's major poets". He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to the old Yankee Eliot family descended from Andrew Eliot, who migrated to Boston, Massachusetts from East Coker, England in the 1660s. He emigrated to England in 1914 (at age 25), settling, working and marrying there. He was eventually naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39, renouncing his American citizenship.

  9. William Faulkner

    William Faulkner


    William Cuthbert Faulkner (/ˈfɔːlknər/, September 25, 1897 – July 6, 1962) was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays, and screenplays. He is primarily known for his novels and short stories set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, based on Lafayette County, Mississippi, where he spent most of his life.

  10. Theodore Roosevelt

    Theodore Roosevelt


    Theodore Roosevelt Jr. (ˈrzəvɛlt ROH-zə-velt; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to by his initials TR, was an American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and historian who served as the 26th President of the United States. A leader of the Republican Party, he was the spokesman for the Progressive Era. A sickly child whose asthma was debilitating and nearly fatal, Roosevelt regained his vigor, and embraced a strenuous life. He integrated his exuberant personality, vast range of interests, and world-famous achievements into a "cowboy" persona defined by its exultant masculinity. Home-schooled, he became a lifelong naturalist at an early age. Roosevelt attended Harvard College, where he studied biology, boxed, and developed an interest in naval affairs. His first of many books, The Naval War of 1812 (1882), established his reputation as both a learned historian and a popular writer. He soon entered politics, winning election to the New York State Assembly in 1881. He became the leader of the reform faction of the Republican Party in the state. Following the deaths of his wife and mother on the same day in 1884, Roosevelt took a reprieve from politics to operate a cattle ranch in the Dakotas as a cowboy. When his herds died in a blizzard he returned to run unsuccessfully for Mayor of New York City in 1886. He became New York City Police Commissioner in 1895, where he instituted major reforms. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under William McKinley, resigning after one year to serve with the Rough Riders, gaining national fame for courage during the war in Cuba. The returning war hero was elected Governor of New York, but confronted an entrenched party establishment that distrusted him and pushed him into becoming McKinley's running mate in 1900. He stumped the nation, helping McKinley win by a landslide on a platform of peace, prosperity and conservatism.

  11. Toni Morrison

    Toni Morrison


    Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford; February 18, 1931) is an American novelist, editor, and professor. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed characters. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon and Beloved. She was also commissioned to write the libretto for a new opera, Margaret Garner, first performed in 2005. She won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award in 1988 for Beloved and the Nobel Prize in 1993. On May 29, 2012, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Morrison serves as Professor Emeritus at Princeton University.

  12. Woodrow Wilson

    Woodrow Wilson


    Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924) was the 28th President of the United States from 1913 to 1921 and leader of the Progressive Movement. A Southerner with a PhD in political science, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910. He was Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913, and led his Democratic Party to win control of both the White House and Congress in 1912.

  13. Eugene O'Neill

    Eugene O'Neill


    Eugene Gladstone O'Neill (October 16, 1888 – November 27, 1953) was an American playwright and Nobel laureate in Literature. His poetically titled plays were among the first to introduce into American drama techniques of realism earlier associated with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, and Swedish playwright August Strindberg. The drama Long Day's Journey Into Night is often numbered on the short list of being among the finest American plays in the 20th century, alongside Tennessee William's A Streetcar Named Desire and Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.

  14. Kary Mullis

    Kary Mullis


    Kary Banks Mullis (born December 28, 1944) is a Nobel Prize-winning American biochemist, author, and lecturer. In recognition of his improvement of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique, he shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Michael Smith and earned the Japan Prize in the same year. The process was first described by Kjell Kleppe and 1968 Nobel laureate H. Gobind Khorana, and allows the amplification of specific DNA sequences. The improvements made by Mullis allowed PCR to become a central technique in biochemistry and molecular biology, described by The New York Times as "highly original and significant, virtually dividing biology into the two epochs of before P.C.R. and after P.C.R."

  15. Sinclair Lewis

    Sinclair Lewis


    Harry Sinclair Lewis (/ˈlɪs/; February 7, 1885 – January 10, 1951) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. In 1930, he became the first writer from the United States to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, which was awarded "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters." His works are known for their insightful and critical views of American capitalism and materialism between the wars. He is also respected for his strong characterizations of modern working women. H.L. Mencken wrote of him, "[If] there was ever a novelist among us with an authentic call to the trade ... it is this red-haired tornado from the Minnesota wilds."

  16. Pearl S. Buck

    Pearl S. Buck


    Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (June 26, 1892 – March 6, 1973), also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu (Chinese: ), was an American writer and novelist. As the daughter of missionaries, Buck spent most of her life before 1934 in China. Her novel The Good Earth was the best-selling fiction book in the United States in 1931 and 1932 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. In 1938, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces". She was the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

  17. John Nash

    John Nash


    John Forbes Nash, Jr. (June 13, 1928 – May 23, 2015) was an American mathematician whose works in game theory, differential geometry, and partial differential equations have provided insight into the factors that govern chance and events inside complex systems in daily life.

  18. Richard Feynman

    Richard Feynman


    Richard Phillips Feynman, ForMemRS (ˈfnmən; May 11, 1918 – February 15, 1988) was an American theoretical physicist known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as in particle physics for which he proposed the parton model. For his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman, jointly with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965. He developed a widely used pictorial representation scheme for the mathematical expressions governing the behavior of subatomic particles, which later became known as Feynman diagrams. During his lifetime, Feynman became one of the best-known scientists in the world. In a 1999 poll of 130 leading physicists worldwide by the British journal Physics World he was ranked as one of the ten greatest physicists of all time.

  19. Elie Wiesel

    Elie Wiesel


    Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel KBE (/ˈɛli wɪˈzɛl/; born September 30, 1928) is a Romanian-born Jewish writer professor and political activist. He is the author of 57 books, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz, Buna, and Buchenwald concentration camps. Wiesel is also the Advisory Board chairman of the newspaper Algemeiner Journal.

  20. Gerty Cori

    Gerty Cori


    Gerty Theresa Cori (née Radnitz; August 15, 1896 – October 26, 1957) was a Czech-American biochemist who became the third woman—and first American woman—to win a Nobel Prize in science, and the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

  21. Milton Friedman

    Milton Friedman


    Milton Friedman (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) was an American economist, statistician and writer who taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades. He received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory and the complexity of stabilization policy.

  22. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan

    Venkatraman Ramakrishnan


    Sir Venkatraman "Venki" Ramakrishnan (Tamil: வெங்கட்ராமன் ராமகிருஷ்ணன்; born 1952) is an Indian-born American and British structural biologist, who shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath, "for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome". He currently works at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. Upon the retirement of Paul Nurse, Ramakrishnan will take up the post of President of the Royal Society on November 30 2015.

  23. Robert Burns Woodward

    Robert Burns Woodward


    Robert Burns Woodward (April 10, 1917 – July 8, 1979) was an American organic chemist. He is considered by many to be the preeminent organic chemist of the twentieth century, having made many key contributions to the subject, especially in the synthesis of complex natural products and the determination of their molecular structure. He also worked closely with Roald Hoffmann on theoretical studies of chemical reactions. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1965.

  24. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

    Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar


    Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, FRS (ˌʌndrəˈʃkər; October 19, 1910 – August 21, 1995), was an Indian American astrophysicist born in Lahore, Punjab. Chandrasekhar was awarded, along with William A. Fowler, the 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics, with Chandrasekhar cited for his mathematical theory of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars. This work led to the currently accepted theory on the later evolutionary stages of massive stars, including black holes. The Chandrasekhar limit is named after him.

  25. Charles K. Kao

    Charles K. Kao


    The Honourable Sir Charles Kuen Kao, (born 4 November 1933) is a Chinese-born Hong Kong, American and British electrical engineer and physicist who pioneered in the development and use of fiber optics in telecommunications. Kao, known as the "Godfather of Broadband", "Father of Fiber Optics" or "Father of Fiber Optic Communications", was jointly awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for "groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication". Kao holds multiple citizenship of Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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