Borlaug, Norman E. (Norman Ernest), 1914-2009

Alternative names
Birth 1914-03-25
Death 2009-09-12

Biographical notes:

Norman Ernest Borlaug, B.S. (1937), M.S. (1941), Ph.D. (1942) University of Minnesota. Winner of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his development of high-yield, disease resistant wheat that is credited with saving billions of people from starvation. Widely considered the public face of the Green Revolution, creator of the World Food Prize (1987), winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1977), and Congressional Gold Medal (2007). Norman Borlaug was born on March 25, 1914 in Cresco, Iowa to parents Henry and Clara Borlaug. Borlaug grew up on the family's grain and dairy farm and received his early education in a one room schoolhouse that served the rural community of Saude, Iowa. After graduating from Cresco High School in 1932 he applied for admission to the University of Minnesota. Despite initially failing his entrance exam he re-applied and began his academic career in the University's General College in 1933, eventually transferring to the College of Agriculture and majoring in Forestry. Borlaug received his B.S. in forestry in 1937 and married Margaret Gibson that same year. Between 1938 and 1939 he worked for the United States Forestry Service in both Massachusetts and Idaho. Borlaug earned two more degrees from the University of Minnesota: a M.S. in plant pathology in 1941 (supervised by C. M. Christiansen) and Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics in 1942 (supervised by J.M. Christiansen). During his tenure at the University of Minnesota he worked closely with E.C. Stakman, head of the Division of Plant Pathology. Borlaug was also an accomplished athlete, earning a berth on the University's Big 10 wrestling squad.Borlaug was employed as a plant pathologist for E.I. DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware from 1942-1944. In 1944 he was approached by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Mexican government to participate in a new program designed to expand agricultural production.

From the description of Norman E. Borlaug papers 1930-2006. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 429023874

Norman Ernest Borlaug was born in Cresco, Iowa on March 25, 1914. Borlaug attended the University of Minnesota and received his B. S. in forestry (1937). After graduation Borlaug joined the United States Forest Service, but returned to Minnesota for a Ph.D. in plant pathology (1942). Dr. Borlaug was a central figure in the Green Revolution, collaborating with Mexican scientists to improve the wheat crop and later also collaborating with scientists in other parts of the world, including India, Pakistan, and various countries of Asia and Africa.

From the description of Papers, 1941-1997 (Iowa State University). WorldCat record id: 83777367


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • Wheat
  • Food supply
  • Agricultural innovation
  • Green Revolution
  • Agriculturists
  • DDT (Insecticide)


not available for this record


  • Pakistan (as recorded)
  • Iowa (as recorded)