List of black Nobel laureates

The Nobel Prize is an annual, international prize first awarded in 1901 for achievements in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. An associated prize in Economics has been awarded since 1969.[1] Nobel Prizes have been awarded to 881 individuals[2], of whom 15 – 1.7% - were black recipients.

Blacks have received awards in three of six award categories: eleven in Peace, three in Literature, and one in Economics. The first black recipient, American Ralph Bunche, was awarded the Peace Prize in 1950. The most recent as of 2017, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee, were awarded their Peace Prizes in 2011.

Two black laureates - Barack Obama and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – were presidents of their countries when they were awarded the prize. As of 2015, fifteen Nobel Prize laureates have been black.


1950 Ralph Bunche  United States Peace First black person to win a Nobel Prize[3]
1960 Albert John Luthuli  South Africa Peace First black African to win a Nobel Prize
1964 Martin Luther King, Jr  United States Peace Youngest African American to win a Nobel Prize
1979 W. Arthur Lewis  Saint Lucia Economics First and (so far) only black person to win a Nobel Prize other than Peace or Literature; first West Indian to win a Nobel Prize[4]
1984 Desmond Tutu  South Africa Peace
1986 Wole Soyinka  Nigeria Literature First black person to win the Nobel Prize for Literature[5]
1992 Derek Walcott[6]  Saint Lucia Literature
1993 Toni Morrison  United States Literature First black woman to win a Nobel Prize[7]
1993 Nelson Mandela  South Africa Peace
2001 Kofi Annan  Ghana Peace
2004 Wangari Maathai  Kenya Peace First black African woman to win a Nobel Prize and first and only environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize
2009 Barack Obama  United States Peace
2011 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf  Liberia Peace
2011 Leymah Gbowee  Liberia Peace

See also


  1. "Nobel Prize" (2007), in Encyclopædia Britannica, accessed 14 November 2007, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online:
    An additional award, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, was established in 1968 by the Bank of Sweden and was first awarded in 1969
  2. "All Nobel Laureates". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  3. Ralph Bunche, PBS.
  4. "Unsung Heroes". Time. 2007-12-01. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
  5. "Wole Soyinka Biography".
  7. Grimes, William (1983-10-08). "Toni Morrison Is '93 Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.