Henri Dunant, Red Cross founder

Henri Dunant, Red Cross founder

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Jean Henri Dunant (1828-1910), philanthropist and founder of the Red Cross. Henri Dunant was born in Switzerland. He lived a life of contrasts, ranging from wealth to poverty and from fame to obscurity. His early work was for religious organisations. He then moved into business. In June 1859 he saw the bloody aftermath of the battle of Solferino. His writings about the event, and his care of wounded soldiers, led to the founding of a committee in 1863 that later became the International Committee of the Red Cross, dedicated to alleviating human suffering. A bankrupt Dunant disappeared into obscurity after 1875. From 1895, he was awarded many prizes and honours, including a share of the first Nobel Peace Prize (1901), but he remained in poverty and died in a hospice.

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