Fact Check

George Bush Nobel Prize Nomination

Has President Bush been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize?

Published Oct 15, 2002


Claim:   President George W. Bush was nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Status:   Mixture.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2001]

Well, it seems that GWB has just been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Further comment and editorial evaluation would be premature, but it's interesting, IMO.

Origins:   Despite a rumor that circulated late in 2001,

President Bush

there was no substantive evidence to support the claim that President George W. Bush was amongst the nominees for the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize (which was awarded to the United Nations and its Secretary-General, Kofi Annan): The deadline for Nobel Peace Prize nominations is February 1, which put the cutoff period well before the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. (President Bush's actions during the aftermath of which were the putative basis for his nomination), and Bush wasn't sworn in as president until January 20. For a U.S. president to have produced accomplishments worthy of Nobel Prize recognition after a mere eleven days in office would have been a truly remarkable feat indeed. (Apparently the Nobel Peace Prize committee didn't consider this scenario too remarkable, though, as they later awarded the prize to President Barack Obama in 2009 under similar circumstances.)

Although Nobel Prize nominations are officially kept confidential for fifty years, in February 2002 reports began circulating that members of the Norwegian Nobel committee had let it slip that George W. Bush was among the 156 persons (along with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani) being considered for the 2002 Peace Prize. The Reuters news agency noted, however:

Neither Bush nor Blair is likely to win. Bishop Gunnar Staalsett, a member of the secretive five-member Nobel committee which elects the winner, has spoken out against the U.S.-led and British-backed strikes on Afghanistan.

In the event, the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in October 2002 to former President Jimmy Carter.

Last updated:   9 October 2009

  Sources Sources:

    Doyle, Alister.   "Bush for Nobel Prize - If He Avoids War."

    Reuters.   25 September 2001.

    Mellgren, Doug.   "Peace Prize Will Give the World Brief Break from War on Terror Groups."

    Associated Press.   7 October 2001   (p. A27).

    Reuters.   "Blair and Bush Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize."

    4 February 2002.

    Reuters.   "Carter Wins Nobel Peace Prize."

    The New York Times.   11 October 2002.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.