Sam McFarland


When Jean Henry Dunant received the first Nobel Peace Prize in 1900, he was praised for “the supreme humanitarian achievement of the nineteenth century.” This praise was merited, for Dunant had led the creation of both the international Red Cross and the First Geneva Convention. The Red Cross has since saved countless lives and relieved human suffering around the world. The Geneva Convention established that those treating war wounded, wearing a red cross, would not be attacked. With this Convention, Dunant began the creation of international humanitarian law to reduce the suffering caused by war. Despite Dunant’s vital contributions, he has been largely forgotten. This article briefly tells the story of this dedicated humanitarian leader and of his great achievements.