Washington: Google Doodle Celebrates on Tuesday Fridtjof Nansen’s 156th Birthday anniversary. Legendary adventurer Fridtjof Nansen was a pioneering Norwegian who explored the world’s unknown terrain and broke new ground as an international humanitarian.
Born in Oslo, Norway in 1861, Nansen found himself gripped by a sense of adventure from a young age. He learned to cross-country ski as many as 50 miles in one day with minimal supplies, and occasionally just his dog! His love of the outdoors led him to study zoology at the Royal Frederick University, and though a top academic in his field, the wilderness called to Nansen and he took up his skis again.
In 1888, he became the first man to lead an expedition across the snow-capped interior of Greenland. One icy adventure was not enough – just a few years later, Nansen attempted to become the first man to reach the North Pole. While the expedition was unsuccessful, he did reach the northernmost latitude of any explorer at that time.
As World War I took hold in 1914, Nansen was forced to halt his explorations and focus on research at home. However, by 1920, his interests shifted from understanding the landscape of the world to influencing the international political climate as the war came to a close. Nansen became one of the world’s great humanitarians as he worked to free hundreds of thousands of prisoners of war and repatriate refugees. He created the Nansen Passport, a travel document for stateless refugees that became recognized by 52 governments around the world and allowed those who were displaced to emigrate and resettle. Nansen was eventually awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 for his work helping those without a voice and searching for a home.
Fridtjof Nansen began his career by shattering the boundaries of human exploration and brought the same courage and tenacity to his fight to support refugees.