9 Comments Petition to Nominate Pete Seeger for Nobel Peace Prize

Article written by Ken on Friday, Mar 23, 2007 in Opinion

Long-time civil rights activist and co-founder of the Freedom Song Network, Eleanor Walden has organized a petition to urge the American Friends Service Committee to nominate Pete Seeger for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Pete Seeger has been a crusader for Peace and Social Justice over the course of his 87 year lifetime. As a prominent musician his songs, messages and performance style have worked to engage other people, particularly the youth, in causes to end the Vietnam war, ban nuclear weapons, work for international solidarity, and ecological responsibility. It is time that a cultural worker receives the recognition that this work has great influence and global reach, that it is not only a medium of entertainment but of education, compassion and fraternity.

Of course Pete has never been alone in this work. He is the first to affirm that. But his unique sense of purpose, decency, and ability, and the support of Toshi and his family gave him the opportunity to be all that he could be. He is a role model and a guiding spirit, we are fortunate to have had him in our world. We can be influential in getting him nominated for the honor he deserves.

As cultural workers we know the power of the arts, we also know how difficult it is to gain recognition for cultural creation. Pete Seeger has gained recognition without compromise! Carl Sandburg called Seeger “the living embodiment of America’s traditions….” When Pete was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 they said, “Pete Seeger’s contribution to folk music, both in terms of its revival and survival, cannot be overstated.” Pete was also honored by the Kennedy Center with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. In 2001 they again paid tribute to Pete Seeger with a cross generational presentation. The program featured friends and family including Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, grandson of Pete Seeger, and Sarah Lee Guthrie, granddaughter of Woody Guthrie.” They described Pete as being, “Instrumental in popularizing the indigenous American song, his own compositions – among them ‘If I Had a Hammer,’ ‘We Shall Overcome,’ and ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone’ (and ‘The Big Muddy’ ) have served as anthems for an entire generation.

It is important to honor our forbears, we all stand on Pete Seeger’s shoulders in a manner of speaking. We have an opportunity to acknowledge him a “father” of a cultural, social, and political movement, which enriched us all and in which we all share, as much as we share our paternal DNA.

I posted a petition on a site named The aim is grassroots influence to the American Friends Service Committee to nominate Pete Seeger for the Nobel Peace Prize. I know there are many people interested in adding support. I’m asking everyone to circulate the petition information to at least 5 other people asking them to notify 5-10 other people.

Eleanor Walden

The petition can be found at

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Robbin Stokes Reply

I totally agree with the petition to nominate Pete seeger for the Nobel Peace Prize. His influence has been great, his philosophy to be admired, his down to earth style genuine. His music is for the ages!

Thanks Robbin, a lot of people seem to agree. The petition has gotten about a thousand signatures in the past couple days.

Claire Holt Reply

No one has done more to promote peace then Pete. He is the peace symbol

Miah Reply

Well, I’m a year or so late, but let the petition grow, and then send it! Was he nominated? I know he hasn’t gotten it yet. Seems like this would be a good year for it, with the Obama presidency, a look toward hope…

Dipak R. Shah Reply

I was not aware about this petition until today when a friend of mine from Oregon informed me about it. As a student in the United States in the 1950’s, I got the opportunity to hear Pete and his music. His messages and presentations influenced me into researching and singing folk songs and learn more about the people of various countries. His messages of Peace and Social justice through his music surely need universal recognition and my wife Usha and I support this petition to nominate him for The Nobel Peace Prize.

Dipak R. Shah Reply

Pete’s messages of Peace and Social Justice through his music surely need universal recognition and my wife Usha and I support this petition to nominate him for The Nobel Peace Prize

Sharon Reply

The petition has over 26,000 signatures to date; you can track it at the original petition link above. There was some news about a congressional representative handling the nomination (–NEWS&display=1981), but I have not seen an update. The Nobel Prize organization keeps nominations confidential for many years (, so any confirmation would have to come from the people submitting nominations.

There has been renewed interest in the petition since Pete’s performance with Bruce Springsteen at the “We Are One” Inaugural Celebration on January 18th. Here’s one recent article: and here’s Appleseed’s commentary:

Kit Dreyfuss Reply

I can’t think of a living human being who would be more deserving than Pete Seeger of the Nobel Peace Prize. I know the letter of nomination was due 2-1-09, so I would like to be apprised of the progress of the nomination. Thanks.

Jim Heiselmann Reply

I have just seen, “Pete Seeger: The Power of Music” on DVD. He is an inspiration. Often I was moved to tears by his sincerity and love for this nation, this world and for the people of the world. He has written and sung so many songs for peace, non-violence and for redemption, he surely deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, if anyone does!