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The first African American to be a division head in the Dept. of State (1945), he entered the United Nations in 1946 as director of the Trusteeship Division. He became (Dec., 1947) principal secretary of the UN Palestine Commission and was awarded the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for mediating the 1948 Arab-Israeli truce. He served as UN undersecretary general for special political affairs (1955–67) and undersecretary general from 1967 until his retirement due to poor health shortly before his death.