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Press release

UNICEF mourns the death of Eve Curie Labouisse

© UNICEF/HQ05-0894/Nicole Toutounji
UNICEF HQ: (Left-right) Permanent Representative of France to the UN Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sablière, Mme. Eve Curie-Labouisse and UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman stand together at the ceremony awarding Mme. Curie-Labouisse
NEW YORK, 25 October 2007 – UNICEF is saddened to learn of the death of Eve Curie Labouisse on Monday, 22 October. Mrs. Labouisse was 102 at the time of her death.  She was the widow of former Executive Director of UNICEF Henry Labouisse, who passed away in 1987. Henry Labouisse accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of UNICEF in 1965.

Mrs. Labouisse was a journalist and a humanitarian, and was also well-known for her biography of her mother, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Marie Curie. Born in Paris in 1904, she was hailed as an accomplished pianist at a young age and performed across Europe.  During the Second World War she reported from various fronts as a war correspondent. In later years she worked as an advisor to the Secretary General of NATO, published the evening newspaper ‘Paris Presse’ and wrote features for the ‘International Herald Tribune’.

In 1954 she married Henry R. Labouisse, a UN diplomat who became UNICEF’s Executive Director in 1965 - a position he held for 15 years until 1979. During this time, Eve Labouisse was known as the ‘First Lady of UNICEF’ and travelled to many of the more than 100 developing countries that were receiving UNICEF assistance at that time. 

“Mrs. Labouisse was a talented professional woman who used her many skills to promote peace and development. While her husband headed UNICEF, she played a very active role in the organization, traveling with him to advocate for children and to provide support and encouragement to UNICEF staff in remote and difficult locations,” said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said. “Her energy and her commitment to the betterment of the world should serve as an inspiration to us all.”

Mrs. Labouisse remained an honorary board member of the US Fund for UNICEF until her death.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact:

Kate Donovan, UNICEF Media: Tel + 212- 326-7452; Email: Kdonovan@unicef.org





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