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Tribute to Norman Borlaug, the father of the
"Norman Borlaug has probably done more and is known by fewer people than anybody that has done that much," said Dr. Ed Runge, retired head of Texas A&M University's Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and a close friend who persuaded Borlaug to teach at the school.
Equal parts scientist and humanitarian, the Iowa-born Normal Borlaug realized improved crop varieties were just part of the answer to world hunger, and pressed governments for farmer-friendly economic policies and improved infrastructure to make markets accessible. A 2006 book about Borlaug is titled "The Man Who Fed the World."
He made the world a better place – a much better place. He had people helping him, but he was the driving force.
Borlaug began the work that led to his Nobel in Mexico at the end of World War II. There he used innovative breeding techniques to produce disease-resistant varieties of wheat that produced much more grain than traditional strains.
The Nobel committee honored Borlaug in 1970 for his contributions to high-yield crop varieties and bringing other agricultural innovations to the developing world.
In Pakistan and India, two of the nations that benefited most from the new crop varieties, grain yields more than quadrupled over the period.
"We would like his life to be a model for making a difference in the lives of others and to bring about efforts to end human misery for all mankind," his children said in a statement.
Agricultural scientist Norman Borlaug, the father of the "green revolution" who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in combating world hunger and saving hundreds of millions of lives, died Saturday in Texas, a Texas A&M University spokeswoman said. He was 95. And will remain a hero among us.