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John Boyd Orr, 1st Baron Boyd-Orr

The Lord Boyd-Orr
John Boyd Orr nobel.jpg
Born John Boyd Orr
(1880-09-23)23 September 1880
Kilmaurs, East Ayrshire
Died 25 June 1971(1971-06-25) (aged 90)
Edzell, Angus
Citizenship United Kingdom
Nationality Scottish
Fields Biology
Institutions University of Glasgow
Rowett Research Institute
Food and Agriculture Organization
Alma mater University of Glasgow
Doctoral advisor E.P. Cathcart
Known for wartime nutrition
Influences E.P. Cathcart
Diarmid Noel Paton
Samuel Gemmill
Notable awards Bellahouston Gold Medal
Nobel Peace Prize
Fellow of the Royal Society

John Boyd Orr, 1st Baron Boyd-Orr CH, DSO, MC, FRS (23 September 1880 – 25 June 1971), known as Sir John Boyd Orr from 1935 to 1949, was a Scottish teacher, doctor, biologist and politician who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his scientific research into nutrition and his work as the first Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He was the co-founder and the first President (1960–1971) of the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS).

John Boyd Orr was born at Kilmaurs, near Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland, the middle child in a family of seven children. His father, Robert Clark Orr, was a quarry owner, and a man of deep religious convictions, being a member of the Free Church of Scotland. His mother, Annie Boyd, was the daughter of another quarry master, wealthier than Robert Orr, and grandmaster of a Freemason's Lodge.

The family home was well supplied with books, and his father was widely read in political, sociological and metaphysical subjects, as well as religion. As he grew older, John would regularly discuss these subjects with his father, brothers, and visiting friends. There was also family worship each evening.

When John was five years old, the family suffered a setback when a ship owned by Robert Orr was lost at sea. They had to sell their home in Kilmaurs, and moved to West Kilbride, a village on the North Ayrshire coast. According to Kay, the new house and environment were a great improvement on Kilmaurs, despite the family's reduced means. The major part of his upbringing took place in and around West Kilbride. He attended the village school until he was thirteen. Religion was then an important part of junior education in Scotland, and the school gave him a good knowledge of the Bible, which stayed with him for the rest of his life.

Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Archibald Sinclair, Bt
Rector of the University of Glasgow
Succeeded by
Walter Elliot
Preceded by
Sir Daniel Macaulay Stevenson
Chancellor of the University of Glasgow
Succeeded by
Sir Alexander Cairncross
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Alexander Morrison and
Sir John Anderson and
Noel Skelton
Member of Parliament for Combined Scottish Universities
With: Sir John Anderson
Noel Skelton
Succeeded by
Walter Elliot and
Sir John Anderson and
Noel Skelton
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Boyd-Orr

  • Boyd Orr, John (1905). Scotch Church Crisis: The Full Story of the Modern Phase of the Presbyterian Struggle. Glasgow: John M'Neilage. 
  • Boyd Orr, John (1929). Minerals in Pastures and Their Relation to Animal Nutrition. London: Lewis. 
  • Boyd Orr, John (1934). The National Food Supply and Its Influence on Public Health. London: King. 
  • Boyd Orr, John (1936). Food, Health and Income. London: Macmillan. 
  • Boyd Orr, John (1937). Nutritional Science and State Planning. in John Boyd Orr (ed.). What Science Stands For. London: Allen & Unwin. 
  • Boyd Orr, John (1940). Nutrition in war. London: Fabian Society. 
  • Boyd Orr, John (1942). Fighting for What?. London: Macmillan. 
  • Boyd Orr, John (1943). Food and the People. London: Pilot Press. 
  • Boyd Orr, John (1946). A Charter for Health. London: Allen & Unwin. 
  • Boyd Orr, John (1948). Food: The Foundation of World Unity. London: National Peace Council. 
  • Boyd Orr, John (1950). International Liaison Committee of Organisations for Peace: A New Strategy of Peace. London: National Peace Council. 
  • Boyd Orr, John (1957). Feast and famine: The wonderful world of food. London: Rathbone Books. 69pp
  • Boyd Orr, John (1958). The Wonderful World of Food: The Substance of Life. Garden City, NY: Garden City Books. 
  • Boyd Orr, John; David Lubbock (1964) [1953]. The White Man's Dilemma: Food and the Future (2nd ed.). London: Allen & Unwin. 124pp
  • Boyd Orr, John (1966). As I recall: the 1880s to the 1960s. with an introduction by Ritchie Calder. London: MacGibbon & Kee. 
  • Boyd Orr, John; Robert Nelson Beck (1970). Ethical Choice. London: Free Press. ISBN . 444pp


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