It's incredible, and somewhat disappointing, that one of the greatest contributors to the health and survival of humanity is rarely, if ever, remembered by the public. Normal Borlaug, born in Cresco, Iowa, on March 25th, 1914, has been responsible for the survival of over one billion of the world's poorest people through his programs of efficient farming, crop survival, and food security.
Born in Iowa in the first quarter of the 20th century, Borlaug pulled many of his earliest life lessons from his involvement in high school sports. A founding member of his high school's wrestling team, he credits the sport with teaching him that he could stand on his own and persevere in any situation.
After studying genetics and plant biology at college, Borlaug graduated aiming to work on a variety of plant-based lab studies. Instead, he ended up applying to serve in World War II, following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. His research and lab skills resulted in him being assigned the job of creating solutions to American infrastructure problems, including developing waterproof military glue.