Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer was born January 14, 1875 and died September 4, 1965. He graduated with his doctor of philosophy degree in 1899 and became a theologian, as well as a concert organist. He later became a medical missionary in Africa, settling in Lambarane in French Equatorial Africa. In 1913 he founded a hospital there where he spent most of the rest of his life. In 1953 he won the Nobel Peace Prize and he donated the $33,000 award to establish a leprosarium. He was a doctor and surgeon at the hospital, a pastor, writer, administrator and a cultural commentator. He thought that "reverence for life" was his greatest contribution to humankind and believed that Western civilization is in decay because it is abandoning its affirmation of life. Respect for life is his highest principle, that is, respecting the will-to-live in everyone, including animals and plants. From 1952 until his death he worked against nuclear tests and weapons with Albert Einstein. He was largely although not completely a vegetarian, and praised such a diet as most expressive of reverence for all life.

I am indebted to the Nobel Peace Prize site, for the writing of this biography.

For an additional Schweitzer quote see Peace Quotes elsewhere on this website.

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