1828-09-25

JEAN HENRI DUNANT, Swiss philosopher, born (d: 1910) He published his Un Souvenir de Solférnino (“A Remembrance of Solférnino”), a description of the sufferings of the wounded at the battle of Solférnino and a plea for organizations to care for the war wounded. There was an immediate response, out of which grew the Red Cross.

In 1901 Dunant shared the first Nobel Peace Prize. It has long been suspected that after his death, Dunant’s family not only bowdlerized the philanthropist’s memoirs, but outright falsified them through the addition of material not written by Dunant himself. He is widely believed to have been homosexual, but there is no documentary proof. Personally I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt.