Who was Nicholas Murray Butler? (April 2, 1862 – December 7, 1947)


Nicholas Murray Butler (April 2, 1862 – December 7, 1947), American educator and Nobel laureate, born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and educated at Columbia College (now Columbia University). In 1885 he became an assistant professor of philosophy at Columbia College.

He organized the New York College for Training Teachers (now Teachers College of Columbia University) and served from 1886 to 1891 as its first president. He was president of Columbia College from 1902 to 1912 and of the newly created Columbia University from 1912 to 1945. He was largely responsible for the expansion and original organization of Columbia University.

In addition to his work as an educator, Butler was active in American politics, particularly between 1904 and 1936, when he served as a delegate to seven national conventions of the Republican party. Butler received the votes of the Republican party electors for vice president in the presidential election of 1912; the original candidate, James S. Sherman, had died during the campaign.

His interest in world peace, disarmament, and international understanding led Butler to serve as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 1925 until 1945 and to advocate U.S. participation in the League of Nations. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize for 1931 with the American social worker Jane Addams.

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