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Bunche, Ralph Johnson, 1904-1971


Born in Detroit, Ralph Bunche and his family relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1914 and then to Los Angeles around 1917. He graduated from U.C.L.A. in 1927 and went on to study political science at the graduate level at Harvard University. He simultaneously worked on his Ph.D. from Harvard and taught at Howard University from 1928 to 1934. From the 1940's through the 1960's he was widely considered the leading American expert on Africa and colonial affairs. He served on President Franklin Roosevelt's "Black Cabinet" and was offered the position of Assistant Secretary of State under President Truman. He began his career in international politics as an advisor to the State Department and eventually went on to serve as head of the Trusteeship Division of the United Nations. During his time at the United Nations he negotiated important armistice agreements that ended the first Arab-Israeli War in 1949, and he negotiated a settlement between Great Britain and Iran. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950 for promoting racial progress and harmony.

"Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey." Corporation for Public Broadcasting. PBS Online and the Carnegie Corporation. Fred Ritchin and Zohar NirAmitin. http://www.pbs.org/ralphbunche/index.html. 8 February, 2005.

"The Nobel Peace Prize 1950: Ralph Bunche." Ed. Frederick W. Haberman. Amsterdam, 1972. http://nobelprize.org/peace/laureates/1950/bunche-bio.html. 8 February, 2005.

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