Dag Hammarskjold was born in Jonkoping, Sweden, in 1905, and died near Ndola, Northern Rhodesia, on September 18, 1961, in an air crash while flying there to negotiate a cease-fire between United Nations and Katanga forces.The son of the Swedish prime minister during World War I, Hammarskjold studied law and economics at the universities of Uppsala and Stockholm. He quickly gained prominence in his own country as secretary and then chairman of the board of governors of the Bank of Sweden; he was undersecretary of the Swedish department of finance from 1936 to 1945. In 1946 he entered the foreign ministry as financial adviser and became chief Swedish delegate to the OEEC in 1948. In 1951 he was the vice chairman of the Swedish delegation to the United Nations, in 1952 he was chairman, and in 1953 he was elected Secretary-General and re-elected in 1957.Widely read in literature and philosophy, Dag Hammarskjold translated the poetry of St.-John Perse into Swedish. He was made a member of the Swedish Academy in 1954. From the Hardcover edition.
James Earl Carter Jr. was born on October 1, 1924 in Plains, Georgia. He graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in 1946, and spent seven years as an officer in the Navy. When his term was over, Carter returned to Plains and began his career in politics at the state level in 1962. In 1970, he was elected Governor of Georgia and six years later announced his candidacy for the Presidency. Carter campaigned against Gerald Ford and eventually won with 297 electoral votes, becoming the 39th President of the United States. As President, Carter established a National Energy Policy, expanded the National Park System and created the Department of Education. He was also instrumental in the Camp David Agreement of 1978, which helped to bring peace between Egypt and Israel. Carter established full diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and completed negotiations of the SALT II Nuclear Limitations Treaty with the Soviet Union. Upon completion of his term as President, he founded the Carter Center in Atlanta, a non-profit organization that works to prevent and resolve conflict and to enhance freedom and democracy around the world. Carter also actively supports Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that helps to build homes for those in need. In 2002, Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize.
W. H. Auden, who was born in York, England, on February 21, 1907, is one of the most successful and well-known poets of the 20th century. Educated at Oxford, Auden served in the Spanish Civil War, which greatly influenced his work. He also taught in public schools in Scotland and England during the 1930s. It was during this time that he rose to public fame with such works as "Paid on Both Sides" and "The Orators." Auden eventually immigrated to the United States, becoming a citizen in 1946. It was in the U.S. that he met his longtime partner Chester Kallman. Stylistically, Auden was known for his incomparable technique and his linguistic innovations. The term Audenesque became an adjective to describe the contemporary sounding speech reflected in his poems. Auden's numerous awards included a Bollingen Prize in Poetry, A National Book Award for "The Shield of Achilles," a National Medal for Literature from the National Book Committee, and a Gold Medal from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Numerous volumes of his poetry remain available today, including "About the House" and "City Without Walls." W.H. Auden died on September 28, 1973 in Vienna.