Jane Addams

December 11, 2007
by findingDulcinea Staff
On December 11th 2007, government officials, influential individuals, and honored guests from all over the world will be gathering at the Oslo Spektrum to help spread the message of peace and celebrate this year's Nobel Peace Prize laureates. In honor of all the great men and women who have won the Prize, we have decided to spotlight three past recipients.


In addition to pioneering the field of social work, popularizing the U.S. Settlement House movement, and influencing the fields of feminism and international relations, Jane Addams was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Read on to learn more about one of the past century’s most influential women.
The University of Illinois at Chicago provides a chronology of Jane Addams’s life. Read this to get a sense of how much this busy woman was doing, and when she did it.

Closed Door, Open Window

Addams encountered public criticism when she publicly opposed America's entry into World War I. She was attacked in the press and even expelled from the Daughters of the American Revolution. However, she found an outlet for her humanitarian impulses as an assistant to Herbert Hoover, providing relief supplies of food to the women and children of the enemy nations. Garner more biographical tidbits from the Nobel Prize organization’s biography of Addams.
Jane Addams served as president of The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom until 1929, as presiding officer of its six international conferences in those years, and as honorary president for the remainder of her life.

New House

Addams co-founded Hull House in Chicago, Illinois, one of the first settlement houses in the United States. Around two thousand people visited Hull House each week during its heyday. Its offerings included a night school for adults, kindergarten classes, a community kitchen, an art gallery, a coffeehouse, fitness facilities, a swimming pool, a book bindery, a music school, a drama group, and a library.
Twenty Years at Hull House is a memoir of Jane Addams’s creation of the famous settlement house. Read the full text of the work and view illustrations.


In addition to her role as a dedicated social activist, Addams established herself as an author. She wrote twelve books and over 500 essays, speeches, and articles.  The Jane Addams Reader compiles some of the author’s best writing.


The Jane Addams School for Democracy was inspiration by Chicago’s Hull House (founded by Addams) and “seeks to create an environment where immigrants and college students mutually learn from one another in the spirit of democracy, citizenship, and public work.”
The Jane Addams Children's Book Awards are given annually to the children's picture books and longer books published the preceding year that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence.

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