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Le Duc Tho Is The Only Person To Have Refused The Nobel Peace Prize

Nearly 100 Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded since 1901. The prize, which goes to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses," is a significant honor. Only one person has ever refused the distinction: Le Duc Tho, a North Vietnamese politician and diplomat. In 1973, the Nobel Committee awarded the prize jointly to Tho and U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for negotiating a peace settlement during the Vietnam War. Problem was, their truce was almost immediately violated and the Vietnam War continued until 1975. Le Duc Tho, as a result, refused to accept the prize.

The public agreed with Tho's decision. When the prize was originally announced, Time reported that it was met with "an unprecedented storm of criticism," and one reader who wrote in even compared giving the diplomats the Nobel Peace Prize to giving a prostitute "an award for extreme virtue." Explore the history of the Nobel Peace Prize with the videos below.

The History of the Nobel Prize

Find out how the prize began and where it might go in the future.

The Vietnam War In Under Six Minutes

Hit the key facts about this bitter conflict.

25 People Who Should Have Won The Nobel Peace Prize

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