Maurice Pate

Last updated
Maurice Pate
Danny Kaye - L0063 971Fo30141701300188.jpg
Maurice Pate (centre) with Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner and Danny Kaye
Executive Director of UNICEF
In office
January 1947 January 19, 1965
Secretary General Trygve Lie
Dag Hammarskjöld
U Thant
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded by Henry Labouisse
Personal details
Born(1894-10-14)October 14, 1894
Pender, Nebraska, U.S.
DiedJanuary 19, 1965(1965-01-19) (aged 70)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Spouse(s)Jadwiga Mankowska (1927–1937)
Martha Lucas (1961–1965)
Education Princeton University (BS)

Maurice Pate (October 14, 1894 – January 19, 1965) was an American humanitarian and businessman. Pate served as the first executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) from 1947 until his death in 1965, after being proposed by the Chairman Ludwik Rajchman. [1]


Talking about the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjöld, its second Secretary-General, said, "The work of UNICEF is at the heart of the matter - and at the heart of UNICEF is Maurice Pate." [2] Herbert Hoover called Pate "the most effective human angel I know" when introducing Pate at a UNICEF dinner. [3] Pate was recognized worldwide for his efforts on behalf of children and hungry people.

Early years

Pate was born in Pender, Nebraska to Richard E. Pate and Rachel Davis Pate, of Welsh and Irish ancestry respectively. He was the oldest of seven children, three of whom died in infancy. His family moved to Denver, Colorado, when he was three years old. [4] He graduated from East Denver High School in Denver, Colorado in 1911, then left Denver for Princeton University. At Princeton he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, worked on the undergraduate Red Cross Committee, and earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and physics in 1915, with high honors. [5]

He went to work for the First National Bank in Hartley, Iowa, where his uncle was president, immediately after graduation and stayed until the United States joined World War I. After a great deal of persuasion, he worked for Herbert Hoover's Commission for Relief in Belgium, which began a lifelong friendship and collaboration. [5] then served in the American Expeditionary Force with the 29th Engineers in France. [3] After the war ended, Pate helped organize and direct efforts by the American Relief Administration to feed more than one million Polish children after the war. [6]

Pate worked for Standard Oil of New Jersey in Poland from 1922 to 1927 doing financial and sales work. He married Jadwiga Mankowska, a Polish socialite, in 1927, managed Polish import and banking business, and returned to the United States in 1935 as an investment banker and businessman. Missing her family and home, Jadwiga divorced Pate in 1937 and returned to Poland, but the two remained friends until her death in 1960. [3]


Upon the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Pate led the Commission for Polish Relief, and later joined the American Red Cross as director of relief supplies for POWs in Asia and Europe. [6] He conducted food surveys with Herbert Hoover in 1946 and 1947 – 38 countries in 76 days – and the two men planned UNICEF. [3] Pate joined UNICEF at its inception in January 1947. He agreed to serve as the director upon the condition that UNICEF serve the children of "ex-enemy countries," regardless of race or politics.

Initially, UNICEF was charged with combating the threats posed to children in Europe from disease and famine after World War II. The growing concern about child welfare and survival rates in developing countries, either from disease or starvation, led to the establishment of UNICEF as a continuing agency in 1953. Under Pate's leadership, UNICEF implemented programs to improve maternal and child health using low cost, preventive health care measures. Considerable progress was made to eradicate malaria, tuberculosis, whooping cough, and diphtheria. Vaccinations, breast feeding for children and rehydration therapy for diarrhea were emphasized to improve public health.

Later years and death

Pate received many honors and awards for his humanitarian work. He received decorations from the governments of Belgium, France, Poland, Netherlands, and Ecuador, received an honorary degree from Denison University in 1956, and an honorary Ph.D. from Princeton in 1958. Pate was awarded the Albert Lasker Public Service Award in 1959. [7] He declined a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960 because he felt the contributions of the entire UNICEF organization should be recognized instead of one individual’s contribution. [5]

Pate married Martha Lucas in 1961, one year after his former wife, Jadwiga, had died. Lucas Pate was successively assistant dean [8] of Radcliffe College and president of Sweet Briar College (1946-1950), [9] and served on the board of the United Negro College Fund and the national selection committee for Fulbright Scholars, and was active in UNESCO, which had many concurrent activities with UNICEF. Therefore, the Pates not only had complementary activities but could travel together most of the time. [3]

Pate died suddenly of a heart attack at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan on January 19, 1965, only a few months before he was to retire. [10] When he died, UNICEF had more than 550 long-term programs and had helped over 55 million children in 116 countries. Nine months after Pate died, UNICEF was awarded the 1965 Nobel Peace Prize. [11]

Pate's organization, the Maurice Pate Institute for Human Survival, donated his 100-acre (40.5 ha) property in Redding, Connecticut to the Mahayana Sutra and Tantra Center of Connecticut (now called Do Ngak Kunphen Ling Tibetan Buddhist Center for Universal Peace) in 1997. [2]

Maurice Pate Leadership for Children Award

The UNICEF Maurice Pate Leadership for Children Award, for "extraordinary example and exemplary innovation and inspirational leadership in contributing to the advancement of the UNICEF mandate for children on a national, regional and global scale," was established after his death in 1965 and is named in his honor. [12]

See also

Related Research Articles

Herbert Hoover 31st president of the United States (1929–33)

Herbert Clark Hoover was an American politician, businessman, and engineer who served as the 31st president of the United States from 1929 to 1933. A member of the Republican Party, he held office during the onset of the Great Depression. Before serving as president, Hoover led the Commission for Relief in Belgium, served as the director of the U.S. Food Administration, and served as the third U.S. secretary of commerce.

Charles G. Dawes Vice president of the United States 1925 -1929

Charles Gates Dawes was an American banker, general, diplomat, composer, and Republican politician who was the 30th vice president of the United States from 1925 to 1929. For his work on the Dawes Plan for World War I reparations, he was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1925.

Edward Calvin Kendall American chemist

Edward Calvin Kendall was an American chemist. In 1950, Kendall was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine along with Swiss chemist Tadeusz Reichstein and Mayo Clinic physician Philip S. Hench, for their work with the hormones of the adrenal gland. Kendall did not only focus on the adrenal glands, he was also responsible for the isolation of thyroxine, a hormone of the thyroid gland and worked with the team that crystallized glutathione and identified its chemical structure.

Philip Showalter Hench American physician (1896-1965)

Philip Showalter Hench was an American physician. Hench, along with his Mayo Clinic co-worker Edward Calvin Kendall and Swiss chemist Tadeus Reichstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1950 for the discovery of the hormone cortisone, and its application for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The Nobel Committee bestowed the award for the trio's "discoveries relating to the hormones of the adrenal cortex, their structure and biological effects."

Lasker Award American medical science award

The Lasker Awards have been awarded annually since 1945 to living persons who have made major contributions to medical science or who have performed public service on behalf of medicine. They are administered by the Lasker Foundation, founded by Albert Lasker and his wife Mary Woodard Lasker. The awards are sometimes referred to as "America's Nobels".

Ève Curie Writer, journalist and pianist, younger daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie

Ève Denise Curie Labouisse was a French and American writer, journalist and pianist. Ève Curie was the younger daughter of Marie Skłodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie. Her sister was Irène Joliot-Curie and her brother-in-law Frédéric Joliot-Curie. She worked as a journalist and authored her mother's biography Madame Curie and a book of war reportage, Journey Among Warriors. From the 1960s she committed herself to work for UNICEF, providing help to children and mothers in developing countries. Ève was the only member of her family who did not choose a career as a scientist and did not win a Nobel Prize, although her husband, Henry Richardson Labouisse, Jr., did collect the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965 on behalf of UNICEF.

John Vane British scientist

Sir John Robert Vane was a British pharmacologist who was instrumental in the understanding of how aspirin produces pain-relief and anti-inflammatory effects and his work led to new treatments for heart and blood vessel disease and introduction of ACE inhibitors. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1982 along with Sune Bergström and Bengt Samuelsson for "their discoveries concerning prostaglandins and related biologically active substances".

Roger Guillemin French-American neuroscientist

Roger Charles Louis Guillemin is a French-American neuroscientist. He received the National Medal of Science in 1976, and the Nobel prize for medicine in 1977 for his work on neurohormones, sharing the prize that year with Andrew Schally and Rosalyn Sussman Yalow.

Russian famine of 1921–1922 Famine that killed 5 million in the Volga and Ural River regions, also known as Povolzhye famine

The Russian famine of 1921–1922, also known as the Povolzhye famine, was a severe famine in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic which began early in the spring of 1921 and lasted through 1922.

Henry Richardson Labouisse Jr. American diplomat

Henry Richardson Labouisse Jr. was an American diplomat and statesman. He was the third Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) from 1954 to 1958. He was the director of the United Nations Children's Fund for years (1965–1979). He was also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. A lawyer, he was United States Ambassador to France 1952–1954, as well as United States Ambassador to Greece 1962–1965. Labouisse had been the principal United States Department of State official dealing with the implementation of the Marshall Plan.

Robert I. Rotberg

Robert Irwin Rotberg is an academic from the United States who served as President of the World Peace Foundation (1993–2010). A professor in governance and foreign affairs, he was director of the Program on Intrastate Conflict, Conflict Prevention, and Conflict Resolution at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government (1999–2010), and has served in administrative positions at Tufts University and Lafayette College.

The Man of Peace is an award created in 1999 by the annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Rome. The purpose of the award is to recognize individuals who "from personalities from the world of culture and entertainment who have stood up for human rights and for the spread of the principles of Peace and Solidarity in the world, made an outstanding contribution to international social justice and peace".

Do Ngak Kunphen Ling Tibetan Buddhist Center for Universal Peace (མདོ་སྔགས་ཀུན་ཕན་གླིང་།) (DNKL) is a Tibetan Buddhist retreat center located in Redding, Connecticut. It offers classes and meditation retreats in the Gelug spiritual tradition of the 14th Dalai Lama under the guidance of Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa.

UNICEF Specialised agency of United Nations

UNICEF, also known as the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, is a United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide. The agency is among the most widespread and recognizable social welfare organizations in the world, with a presence in 192 countries and territories. UNICEF's activities include providing immunizations and disease prevention, administering treatment for children and mothers with HIV, enhancing childhood and maternal nutrition, improving sanitation, promoting education, and providing emergency relief in response to disasters.

Melvyn P. Leffler American historian and educator (born 1945)

Melvyn Paul Leffler is an American historian and educator, currently Edward Stettinius Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He is the winner of numerous awards, including the Bancroft Prize for his book A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration and the Cold War, and the American Historical Association’s George Louis Beer Prize for his book For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War.

The Commission for Polish Relief (CPR), also known unofficially as Comporel or Hoover Commission, was initiated in late 1939 by former US President Herbert Hoover, following the German and Soviet occupation of Poland. The Commission provided relief to Nazi occupied territories of Poland until December 1941.

Hoover Institution Library and Archives Research center and archival repository at Stanford University

The Hoover Institution Library and Archives is a research center and archival repository located at Stanford University, near Palo Alto, California in the United States of America. Built around a collection amassed by Stanford graduate Herbert Hoover prior to his becoming President of the United States, the Hoover Library and Archives is largely dedicated to the world history of the 20th and 21st centuries. It includes one of the largest collections of political posters in the world.

Dr. Martha B. Lucas Pate was a Kentucky-born administrator of colleges and organizations dedicated to international affairs, education, humanitarian aid, and religion. She was best known for her tenure as the fourth president of Sweet Briar College from 1946 to 1950. After the Board of the college refused to integrate the school in 1949, she left to become active in the United Negro College Fund, the Foreign Policy Association, the Council on Religion and International Affairs, the Fund for Theological Education, the Institute for International Education, the Fund for Peace, and the New York Medical College, to name a few. She spent the last few years of her life lobbying against nuclear weapons.

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) founded organization working for peace and social justice in the United States and around the world. AFSC was founded in 1917 as a combined effort by American members of the Religious Society of Friends to assist civilian victims of World War I. It continued to engage in relief action in Europe and the Soviet Union after the Armistice of 1918. By the mid-1920s it focused on improving racial relations in the U.S., as well as exploring ways to prevent the outbreak of another conflict before and after World War II. As the Cold War developed, it moved to employ more professionals rather than Quaker volunteers, over time attempting to broaden its appeal and respond more forcefully to racial injustice, women's issues, and demands of sexual minorities for equal treatment.

Clarence Evan Pickett (1884-1965) was an American religious leader, notable 20th century Quaker, and head of a non-governmental, humanitarian relief agency.


  1. Y. Beigbeder, New Challenges for UNICEF: Children, Women and Human Rights (p. 12), Springer, 2001, ISBN   9780230595576
  2. 1 2 "Maurice Pate". Do Ngak Kunphen Ling Tibetan Buddhist Center for Universal Peace. Archived from the original on 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Scope and Content Note". Maurice Pate Papers - Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum Historical Materials. National Archives and Records Administration. Archived from the original on 2002-06-13. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
  4. "Biography of Maurice Pate" (PDF). Maurice Pate Papers 1904-1985. Princeton University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-24. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
  5. 1 2 3 Leitch, Alexander (1978). "Maurice Pate". A Princeton Companion. Princeton University Press . Retrieved 2007-07-24.
  6. 1 2 "Maurice Pate biography". About UNICEF: Who we are. United Nations . Retrieved 2007-07-23.
  7. "1959 Albert Lasker Public Service Award". Lasker Foundation. Archived from the original on 2007-04-26. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
  8. Time Magazine, Oct. 17, 1949, Education: Woman of the World. Retrieved at,9171,853956,00.html
  9. Sweet Briar College 2009-2010 Student Handbook, page 5. Retrieved at "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-09. Retrieved 2010-09-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. Lionæs, Aase (1965-12-10). "Nobel Peace Prize 1965 - Presentation Speech". Norwegian Nobel Committee . Retrieved 2007-07-24.
  11. "Nobel Peace Prize Laureates". Norwegian Nobel Committee. 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-05-05. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
  12. "UNICEF Maurice Pate Leadership for Children Award" (PDF). UNICEF. December 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
Diplomatic posts
New office Executive Director of UNICEF
Succeeded by
Henry Labouisse