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Robert S. Lawrence to Receive the Albert Schweitzer Award


Award Recognizes Lifetime Achievement

Robert S. Lawrence, MD, professor and associate dean for professional education programs at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a world leader in human rights and the environment, will receive the 2002 Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism for his lifelong efforts to improve health care, human rights and the environment.

Lawrence, who helped found the organization Physicians for Human Rights in 1986 and later the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, will receive the award in a ceremony on Nov. 5, 2002, at 1:30 p.m. at the University's Evergreen House at 4545 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.

The Albert Schweitzer Prize is given under the auspices of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in New York and is administered by Johns Hopkins. The award, which carries a $15,000 cash prize, was established in 1986 by Albert Toepfer, an international grain merchant from Hamburg, Germany, to advance the cause of humanitarianism by recognizing exemplary contributions to humanity and the environment.

President William R. Brody will make the presentation, accompanied by Rhena Schweitzer, daughter of Albert Schweitzer, and Heinrich Toepfer and Lore Toepfer, son and daughter of Alfred Toepfer.

Among Lawrence's accomplishments are helping to establish a comprehensive health care system in the rural south in the early 1970s; the many humanitarian missions he's made to investigate cases of torture, death and human rights abuses; and his work to establish Physicians for Human Rights as a powerful agent for documenting and prosecuting such human rights abuses.

Twice Lawrence has served as president of Physicians for Human Rights, an organization that, as one of the founding groups of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, shared in the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.

At Johns Hopkins, Lawrence founded the Center for a Livable Future, an organization whose  goal is "to promote policies for the protection of health, the global environment and our ability to sustain life for future generations."

Previous recipients of the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism include President Jimmy Carter, Marian Wright Edelman, Norman Cousins, C. Everett Koop and the late Gwen Grant Mellon.  

Public Affairs Media Contact for Johns Hopkins University: Glenn Small @ 410-516-6094 or

Public Affairs Media Contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Brigham @ 410-955-6878 or Photographs of Robert Lawrence are available upon request.