Known for movies

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DiedSeptember 12, 2009, Dallas, Texas, United States
FactPlant breeder and agronomist.

Norman Borlaug was an American agronomist who is considered one of the most important figures in the history of agriculture. He is credited with saving millions of lives through his work in developing high-yield, disease-resistant wheat varieties.

Borlaug was born in Saude, Iowa, on March 25, 1914, the son of Henry Oliver and Clara Borlaug. His father was a Norwegian immigrant who had settled in the United States in 1882. His mother was of Swedish descent. Borlaug had four brothers and one sister.

Borlaug’s interest in agriculture began at an early age. He worked on his family’s farm during summers and winters while attending high school. After graduating from high school in 1932, he enrolled at the University of Minnesota, where he majored in forestry.

Borlaug’s career in agriculture began in the early 1940s when he was hired by the DuPont Company to work on a research project in Mexico. The project was aimed at developing new strains of wheat that would be resistant to disease and able to produce higher yields.

Borlaug’s work in Mexico was extremely successful. He developed a number of new wheat varieties that helped increase production in the country. He also trained Mexican farmers in modern agricultural techniques.

In the late 1940s, Borlaug was recruited by the Rockefeller Foundation to work on a similar project in India. Once again, his work was very successful. He helped increase wheat production in India by developing new wheat varieties and training farmers in modern agricultural techniques.

In the 1960s, Borlaug turned his attention to Africa. He helped develop new wheat varieties that were resistant to drought and helped train African farmers in modern agricultural techniques. As a result of Borlaug’s work, wheat production in Africa increased dramatically.

Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work in increasing food production. He continued to work on agricultural development projects around the world until his death in 2009.

Borlaug’s work is estimated to have saved millions of lives. He is often referred to as the “father of the Green Revolution.”

General Info

Full NameNorman Borlaug
DiedSeptember 12, 2009, Dallas, Texas, United States
ProfessionAgricultural Scientist
EducationUniversity of Minnesota


ChildrenScotty Borlaug, Norma Jean Laube, William Borlaug
ParentsHenry Oliver Borlaug, Clara Vaala Borlaug
SiblingsPalma Lillian Borlaug Behrens, Helen Borlaug, Charlotte Borlaug Culbert


AwardsNobel Peace Prize, Padma Vibhushan, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal, National Medal of Science for Biological Sciences, Public Welfare Medal, Vannevar Bush Award

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1When wheat is ripening properly, when the wind is blowing across the field, you can hear the beards of wheat rubbing together. They sound like the pine needles in a forest. It is a sweet, whispering music that once you hear, you never forget.


1His interest in improving crops began during his childhood on a farm, where he wondered why plants grew better in some places than others.
2He left a job at DuPont to take a job in Mexico helping farmers improve their crop yields.
3Awarded the (USA) Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977.
4Awarded a Congressional Gold Medal on 17 July 2007 by President George W. Bush in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. Medal was authorized by Public Law 109-395, approved 14 December 2006.
5Plant breeder and agronomist.
6Awarded the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in fostering the "Green Revolution", the development of high-yield varieties of wheat which forestalled famine in the developing world.



American Experience2010TV Series documentary special thanks - 1 episode


Freedom from Famine: The Norman Borlaug Story2009Documentary
Penn & Teller: Bullshit!2003TV Series documentaryHimself
The Late Great Planet Earth1979DocumentaryHimself (as Dr. Norman Borlaug)
Cousteau: Oasis in Space1976TV Series documentaryHimself

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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