Ralph Bunche was a U.S. diplomat who won the Nobel peace prize in 1950. He became the first African American Nobel laureate. He was the highest American official in the United Nations.
Ralph Johnson Bunch was born on August 7, 1904, in Detroit, Michigan. His father was a barber and his mother was a musician. His parents died when he was 13 years old. His grandmother took Ralph and his young sister and moved to Los Angeles, California. As a schoolboy Ralph worked as a janitor, carpet-layer, and seaman.
Ralph was a good student and a good athlete. In 1934 he earned a doctorate in government and international relations at Harvard University. Later he taught at Howard University in Washington, D.C. From 1928 to 1942 Bunche was a member of the department of political science at Howard University.
In 1930 he married Ruth Harris, one of his students. They had three children.