Nansen, Fridtjof


Nansen, Fridtjof

biographical name

(born Oct. 10, 1861, Store-Frøen, near Kristiania, Nor.—died May 13, 1930, Lysaker, near Oslo) Norwegian explorer and statesman. In 1888 he led the first expedition to cross the ice fields of Greenland. On a later expedition, in 1895, in an attempt to reach the North Pole, he reached the farthest northern latitude then attained. He engaged in scientific research (1896–1917) and led oceanographic expeditions in the North Atlantic in 1900 and 1910–14. He undertook diplomatic missions as Norway's first minister to Britain (1906–08) and as head of Norway's delegation to the new League of Nations (1920). He directed the repatriation from Russia of over 400,000 prisoners of war for the League and organized famine relief in Russia for the Red Cross. In 1922 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace; he used the prize money for international relief work. In 1931 the Nansen International Office for Refugees was established in Geneva.

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