John Raleigh Mott was a long-serving leader of the Young Men's Christian Association and the World Student Christian Federation. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946 for his work in establishing and strengthening international Protestant Christian student organizations that worked to promote peace. He shared the prize with Emily Balch. From 1895 until 1920 Mott was the General Secretary of the WSCF. In 1910, Mott, an American Methodist layperson, presided at the 1910 World Missionary Conference, which was an important milestone in the modern Protestant missions movement and some say the modern ecumenical movement. From 1920 until 1928 he was the Chairperson of the WSCF. For his labors in both missions and ecumenism, as well as for peace, some historians consider him to be "the most widely traveled and universally trusted Christian leader of his time". Intimately involved in the formation of the World Council of Churches in 1948, that body elected him as a lifelong honorary President. His best-known book, The Evangelization of the World in this Generation, became a missionary slogan in the early 20th century.
Mott was born in Livingston Manor, New York, Sullivan County, New York on May 25, 1865, and his family moved to Postville, Iowa in September of the same year. He attended Upper Iowa University, where he studied history and was an award-winning student debater. He transferred to Cornell University, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1888. Mott married Leila Ada White in 1891 and had two sons and two daughters. He retired to Orlando, Florida and lived at 528 E. Washington Street. It was there he learned he had won the Nobel Peace Prize.