Nobel Prize Recipients Print E-mail

Octavio Paz


Octavio Paz was born in 1914 in Mexico City. Thanks to his grandfather’s extensive library, he was introduced to the world of literature at an early age, when he also began to write. He was sent to France where he wrote The Labyrinth of Solitude, his seminal study on Mexican identity. In 1962 he was appointed ambassador to India. In 1978 the UNAM awarded him the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa. In 1980 he received an honorary doctorate from Harvard University. Among many other distinctions, he was awarded the 1982 Miguel de Cervantes Prize, the most prestigious literary prize in the Hispanic world.

His illustrious career was crowned when he was bestowed the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature, the first time this award was ever conceded to a Mexican writer. Upon receiving the news of the award in New York, Paz wrote: “The Nobel Prize is not a passport to immortality. The modicum of immortality of literary works lies in their quality.”



Alfonso García Robles


Alfonso García Robles was born in Zamora, Michoacán in 1911. After studying Law, he joined the Mexican Foreign Service in 1939. From 1962 to 1964 he served as ambassador to Brazil. From 1964 to 1970 he held the post of Minister of non-native affairs. He served as Mexico’s permanent representative to the United Nations from 1971 to 1975. In 1975 and 1976 he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and since 1977 he has held the post as Mexico’s permanent representative on the disarmament committee.

García Robles played a leading role in the implementation of the Tlatelolco Accord which declares Latin American a nuclear arms-free zone.

On October 13, 1982 Alfonso García Robles was award the Nobel Peace Prize.



Mario Molina


Mario Molina was born in Mexico City on March 19, 1943. In 1960 he began his studies in chemical engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Upon graduating, he decided to carry on his post-graduate studies abroad. Later he returned to Mexico in the role of assistant professor, where he helped create Mexico’s first post-graduate program in chemical engineering. In 1968 he transferred to the University of California, Berkeley, where he carried out additional post-graduate studies in chemistry and physics. In 1973 he received a post-doctoral fellowship and joined the team of Professor Sherwood Rowland.

In 1989 he returned to academic life at the Massachusetts Institute of technology, where he continued his research on the formation and decomposition of the ozone layer, which would earn him the 1995 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. One year later (1996), the National Autonomous University of Mexico awarded him the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa.




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