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Ralph J Bunche

Ralph J Bunche
Posted By: Reggie Culpepper on February 08, 2009

Diplomat, statesman. Born Ralph Johnson Bunche on August 7, 1904 in Detroit, Michigan. He worked his way through college and then travelled, taught at Howard University (1928–41), and wrote A World View of Race (1937). He served in the Office of Strategic Services (1941–4) and then the State Department (1944–7).



At the start of his long career with the United Nations (1947–71), he was the acting mediator for the UN Palestine Commission (1948–9), and won the Nobel Peace Prize for this work (1950). He subsequently became under-secretary (1955–67) and under-secretary-general (1967–71) for the United Nations.

Most noted for his expertise in colonial affairs and race relations, he directed UN peacekeeping efforts in the Suez (1956), the Congo (1964), and Cyprus (1964). Although he was not an overt activist or spokesman during his public career he was arguably the most prominent role model for his fellow African-Americans until the emergence of Martin Luther King Jr.
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