The US Capitol Just Honored Norman Borlaug, The Man Who Saved A Billion Lives

Norman Borlaug StatuteREUTERS/Gary CameronU.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (2nd L) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (L) unveil a statue of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug at Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol in Washington March 25, 2014. American biologist Borlaug was a humanitarian and Nobel laureate.

A statue was unveiled in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday of plant scientist Norman Borlaug, the man widely considered as the father of the Green Revolution and whose work helped save as many as one billion people from starvation in the developing world.

Magicians Penn and Teller even called Borlaug “the greatest human that ever existed” in a recent episode of “Penn & Teller: Bullshit” (The segment is embedded below).

Norman BorlaugAP Photo/Bill MeeksNorman Borlaug looks over some sorghum tests, Oct. 30, 1996.

Borlaug, who died in 2009 and would have celebrated his 100th birthday today, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for developing new varieties of wheat that were resistant to disease and had high-yield potential.

The new breeding technique and other advances in agricultural practices that were embraced by farmers in Mexico and Asia, increased food production and helped to save millions from hunger.

According to an obituary in The New York Times, Borlaug’s “breeding of high-yielding crop varieties helped to avert mass famines that were widely predicted in the 1960s, altering the course of history.”

“Because of his achievements to prevent hunger, famine and misery around the world,” The World Food Prize writes on its website, “it is said that Dr. Borlaug has ‘saved more lives than any other person who has ever lived.'”

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