01:48 - Source: CNN
How to win a Nobel Peace Prize

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Three women share 2011 Nobel Peace Prize

A record 241 candidates were nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize

The award is named for Alfred Nobel, a Swedish scientist and inventor of dynamite

Last year's winner was Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo

CNN —  

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize is divided between three women, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen, the Nobel committee announced Friday.

Since it was introduced at the beginning of the 20th century, the Peace Prize has become the preeminent award honoring individuals and organizations that work for peace, justice and financial and political stability, according to the Nobel Committee.

Here are some facts, figures and history behind the award:

The process

** Nominations come from lawmakers around the world, university professors, previous Nobel laureates and members of the Nobel committee.

** That committee – made up of five distinguished Norwegians chosen by the country’s parliament – picks the winner.

** This year, a record 241 candidates were nominated. The winner is announced Friday, but the names of the other nominees won’t be revealed for another 50 years.

The award

** The award consists of a medal, a personal diploma and a cash prize (10 million Swedish kronor, or about U.S. $1.4 million).

** The Peace medal has the inscription “Pro pace et fraternitate gentium,” which means “For the peace and brotherhood of men.”

** A person must be alive to be nominated. If they die during the consideration period, their name will be removed. Only if a person is announced as a winner and dies before the ceremony will a posthumous award be given.

The history

** The Nobel Peace Prize was created by Alfred Nobel, a Swedish scientist, industrialist and inventor of dynamite.

** Ninety-one Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded since 1901. It was not awarded 19 times, most notably during World War I and World War II.

** Sixty-two Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded to a single laureate; 28 prizes have been shared by two laureates. One time, the prize was shared between three people: Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin.

Recent winners

** Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo won last year but could not attend. The political activist and longtime critic of communist rule in China is serving an 11-year prison term for what the Chinese government calls “inciting subversion of state power.”

** In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama won for what the committee called “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

** Martti Ahtisaari of Finland was the 2008 winner. It was his “important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades to resolve international conflicts” that got him the prize, according to the committee.

** The year before, Al Gore and the U.N.’s International Panel on Climate Change shared the prize for their “efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change,” according to the committee.